Welcome to the Machine

The following essay and translation by our Hungarian correspondent László is a follow-up to last month’s report on chipping.

The chip-loving Hungarian celebrity Vanda Schumacher reminds me of Nicole Kidman, who made a PSA video recently in which she eats yummy mealworms (using chopsticks). Don’t watch the video of her feast if you have an overactive gag reflex.

An actress of her stature doesn’t do that sort of promo for free, and Nicole Kidman is VERY expensive. She is known to have a taste for insects, but we may still assume that somebody paid a lot of money to videotape her promoting the consumption of mealworms by humans. Hmm…

You Vill Merge With Ze Machines, Like It or Not

by László

The latest round of the cringe-inducing microchip implant propaganda in Hungary. The point is that it is not some fringe piece hidden in a dark corner of the Internet: 24.hu, which published it, is a huge mainstream media outlet. The general public is now being bombarded with this nightmarish globalist dystopia that is being gradually introduced. No need for further explanations: just turn on your implanted new-normal decoders.

Chip implanted under the skin is not satanic, and it is not a surveillance device

People tend to be irrationally afraid of new technologies anyway, but recently no development has provoked such strong emotions as the subcutaneous chip. But whether you like it or not, this is the not-so-distant future.

Although this summer, with its austerity measures, the collapse of the forint exchange rate, extreme heat waves and other frightening symptoms of climate change, is not the least bit like the usual silly season news frenzy, the TV presenter and actress Vanda Schumacher still managed to blast a huge news bomb when she said she wanted to have a chip implanted in the back of her hand because she believes it is the future.

She has since had the tiny operation in Zurich and now feels like a real cyberpunk. Here’s a quote from her Instagram post about the procedure:

“I have a 28mm chip implanted in my hand, that contains a transmitter similar to a bank card, which allows me to pay anywhere with a swipe of my finger without a phone, money or card. It may seem strange at first, but it will make my life a lot easier, because you see how much I travel, what adventures I go through, and because I get mugged every three months or so, it makes me feel safer.”

If you want to follow in the footsteps of Vanda Schumacher, you don’t necessarily have to travel all the way to Switzerland.

Gábor Zagyvai, who is the only one in Hungary who deals with extreme body modifications other than tattoos and piercings, will soon also be doing chip implantation. He says that although there are several types of electronic implants that can be inserted under the skin, the chip that Schumacher chose for payment is currently the most popular.

Money under the skin, too

The pay-chip and the IT background behind it are the product of London-based Walletmor. Their application is a virtual wallet connected to the chip. You can load as much money as you want into it from your bank account, and you can manage as much money as you want without having a bank card, phone, smart watch or anything else.

The biocompatible coating of the chip, which means that it can be implanted under the skin, is provided by a US company called Dangerous Things. They made the world’s first NFC implant available to anyone in 2013. NFC (Near Field Communication) technology works by generating a small magnetic field from a receiver, such as a bank card terminal, which, if the implant is close enough to it, induces enough energy from the field to communicate with the terminal for a short period of time. This means that the implant has no energy source of its own and does not emit any radiation. It is like a contactless bank card, but much smaller.

The implantation process is simple, and it takes about fifteen minutes: proper preparation of the skin surface, a tiny incision, then two stitches after the careful insertion of the implant. According to Zagyvai, replacing the chip won’t be any more complicated — he doesn’t think the silicone shell will adhere to the connective tissue, but as it’s a completely new thing, there’s no experience with this yet.

Replacement will be necessary, because the implant has an eight-year expiry date. This does not mean that when it expires, the device will start to cause damage to the body, it will just stop working because it will not be compatible with the constantly evolving technology.

Implants are usually placed in the back of the hand because that is where they are most practical, but they can basically be placed anywhere. If you use the back of your hand a lot, like in martial arts, and you hit the bamboo with your bare hand all day, it might be better to put it a little higher up in the forearm, says Zagyvai, adding that the implant is so thin and flexible that anything can happen, but it’s hard to imagine an accident that could cause injury. It is safer than an earring or any kind of body jewellery.

Sci-fi in everyday life

Zagyvai has already implanted such a chip in one man, and then he and the man went to some shops on the boulevard to test it out. He says not all machines accepted payment through the implant at first, but with a little manoeuvring they could find the right distance and angle everywhere. He does not deny, however, that they attracted some attention everywhere, as the technology is not yet widespread in Hungary.

Vanda Schumacher, who also has Walletmor’s implants in the back of her hand, can report experiences that are almost entirely positive. As she travels a lot, she has tried it not only in Hungary but also in the United States and other European countries.

“I recently bought some scones and two ice creams. It is accepted in many places, only the older terminals can’t always scan it; for example the shop I live opposite has no problems one day, but the next day it rejects the transaction and asks for the card, so you have to try again.”

Regarding the reactions of people around her, the actress says that since the story has been quite big in the media, people are not really surprised when she tries to pay with her chip; they usually recognise her. In fact, in one shop the salesgirl was very disappointed when Vanda told her that she was paying by credit card because she had forgotten to load her chip. But there are also situations, such as at a farmers’ market, where she prefers not to try the implant because she doesn’t want to attract attention.

“So far, there have been few negative experiences. I recently tried to buy a chocolate bar and a newspaper at the Miami airport and the saleswoman there was very emphatic that she could not accept this technology. I started to explain to her that it’s just like paying with a contactless card, but she seemed to have put up a wall that nothing will pass through, so I just let it go.”

According to Vanda Schumacher, when it comes to innovations and progress, people tend to judge out of fear; for example when the first fingerprint scanners appeared on phones, and then facial recognition. A lot of people had said it had been some kind of secret data collection for the powers that be, but then people got used to it and realised how convenient it was.

“A friend told me that when he read the first articles about my chip, he thought I was the world’s biggest idiot. Then, the next day, when she went to the beach with her family and while her husband was in the water with the kids, she sat on the beach so their wallets wouldn’t get stolen, she realised that maybe it did make sense after all.”

Vanda was mugged in Santa Monica earlier this year. They took her purse, all her money, her phone, her papers. She says the most annoying thing was that she couldn’t buy a phone without money, and without a phone she couldn’t access her bank account. Because of situations like this, she says it means a lot to her that she always has a safety deposit that cannot be stolen.

The actress adds that this technology is not a novelty, as everyone has been using contactless cards and banking apps or other financial apps for years. The only difference is that she now carries an NFC chip not only in her wallet, embedded in a plastic card, but also under her skin.

A joke that is getting serious

There are several types of NFC chips; some can be used to unlock a phone, for example, or to unlock and start a car or motorbike. There are funny implants, like a plain, tiny magnet that can be used to make a joke at a party about sticking a beer cap to it, or one that lights up under the skin when a signal is given. Although the above may make it seem that chip implants, which are still in their infancy, are just a gimmick, Gábor Zagyvai believes that they are the future.

“For the time being it is just experimentation, but when the wheel was invented they didn’t know that it would one day be fitted to aeroplanes. For years I have been going to Essen to teach and learn at a conference called BMXnet. A few years ago I watched a brutally large chip, eight to ten millimetres thick, being implanted in an American journalist. The device allowed him to store all his health data, such as his pulse, blood pressure, blood sugar, body temperature, and transmit it to his doctor. If such a diagnostic device can be shrunk down to a normal size, it will be a huge step forward in medicine. Another direction is that in Mexico, where cartel activity is quite rampant and kidnappings are common, more and more parents are putting chips in their children so that whatever happens, they can find them.”

Vaccines, 5G and the beast

Zagyvai says so far he has only shared in a few Facebook posts that he will soon have access to an implant suitable for payment. There are plenty of people interested, but for now they are just checking it out. People are initially unsure about new things, especially those that affect the body.

But when they see that some people already have it, it works, it’s comfortable and it’s cool, then more and more people will come.

According to the expert, most people will be attracted by the practical side of technology, the fact that it cannot be left at home, lost or stolen. He himself, while not shying away from having his own chip, will not implant this online payment device. He does not like using electronic money, saying it is much harder to waste it if you have to spend real cash.

In Hungary, especially in recent years, the term chip has taken on a strange connotation. Especially after the advent of coronavirus vaccines and the 5G mobile network, wild conspiracy theories began to spread that vaccines had trackers and 5G-spreading chips. According to Zagyvai, it’s a complete hoax.

“People who are afraid of vaccine-injected tracking devices take it for granted that they will pay a lot of money for the most perfect surveillance device that they voluntarily take with them everywhere, even to the toilet and to bed. Not only can you pinpoint the location of a smartphone, but I’m sure there are ways to turn on their cameras and microphones from anywhere. But there is no real need for that, people voluntarily share on social networking sites where they go, what they eat, what they think or how they feel.”

Zagyvai says that two years ago he was walking along the boulevard [in Budapest] when he was approached by a group of foreigners. They chatted for a while and it turned out that they belonged to a religious community. Gábor told them that he had tattoos and did body modifications, and they clapped their hands together and said that it was all fine, but you should never get a chip, because it was the mark of the beast.

“I understand the concerns, because merging the body and technology seems a serious step, but tell a pacemaker owner that the implant is the work of Satan when he can live decades longer because he has a machine working in his body. It is also true, however, that all technology can be used for good and bad. I can cut a slice of bread with a knife, or I can kill with it.”

For previous essays by László, see the László Archives.

13 thoughts on “Welcome to the Machine

  1. “I have a 28mm chip implanted in my hand.”

    Twenty-eight millimeters? That’s big, longer than an inch (=25.4 mm). Is 28mm a length, a width, the diameter of a sphere?

    • She doesn’t even know what she’s talking about, nor does she have the brains to see the obvious idiocy of it. CPU chips in general purpose computers are smaller than that.

      The chip is generally referred to as being the size of a grain of rice (which is actually the size of the device, not the chip).

      I presume that she heard somewhere that the chip is made with the 28 nanometer process and that that is the best sense her brain could make of that information, even though it is prima facie false.

      • Found the following from the WalletMor FB site: “Its shape resembles a safety pin with dimensions of approx. 0.5 mm x 7 mm x 28 mm and weighs less than 1 gram.” But looking at the comments of ‘implantees’ is chilling, at least to me. From ‘it’s cool, I love gadgets all the way to I want to be like a cyborg’. Get people hooked on this newest toy and then what will happen when the company decides that users must pay a subscription fee? How long before someone decides it’s a good idea to chip kids, to be able to track them ‘for their safety’, or any adult for that matter. Having seen the power of the central authorities with regard to implementing vaccine passports, it is not hard to envision a time when chips will be required to do anything.

        • What starts off as optional seems to easily morph into being mandatory. Especially if the surveillance state finds it useful.

        • I couldn’t find that information on their actual website. Go figure.

          And it seems I owe the lady at least a partial apology, for the dimension that is actually 28mm.

          That’s still a pretty big hunk of stuff to implant. Why not just put it on a wrist strap? Most of that 28mm is antenna, which is flexible.

  2. Amazon/Whole Foods now has a palm reader for payments at the cash register. I suppose that Amazon is now into fortune-telling as they are now set up to read palms.

  3. “…and because I get mugged every three months or so, it makes me feel safer.”

    Huge facepalm… Until the next mugger who knows what to do just cuts off her hand to swipe with it. Now that’s gonna really hurt. Movies have already presented the idea, so no creativity required.

    • Yes, don’t they realise how stupid they are and how ruthless criminals are? Cutting off a finger is nothing to many of these people and with the coming economic collapse, finger cutting will be minor. Probably no punishment anyway. Expect to see a lot of people without digits LOL

    • That’s probably one of the first things I thought about. Might piss off a mugger just enough to try and carve one out… I wonder if the chip is detectable by palpating the skin?

      • If this blasphemy ever begins to become widespread, at least amongst the affluent classes (because who amongst the serfs will have any funds to spend anyway), then muggers will just take to lopping off hands as a matter of course under the assumption that no cards or cash means that they have an implant.

        I don’t know if I could work up much pity for such afflicted urban elites.

  4. The insects degrade the immune system and the borg will be transhumanism.
    The sheep will line up under the banners of convenience and being cutting edge.
    Hariri and Attali will laugh out loud by the champagne fountain.

  5. “…but it will make my life a lot easier…”

    Yeah, well, whatever…

    If you don’t want to leave your wallet on the beach, you can always use some kind of wristwatch device. And total “time saved” – what is it? 2 minutes a day?

    Animals are chipped, to be under control, that’s all I need to know…

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