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filling the void

Friday, November 03, 2006

Unique Identifier

When I got on the train for Amsterdam (again) yesterday, I became intently fascinated by my fingers. Thumb, fingers and their fingerprints, to be exact. I know how we have unique parts of our bodies like fingerprints, retinas, irises and DNS, but what I don't know is WHY.
DNA has a clear reason, but fingerprints? What mechanism of evolution saw it fit to equip us with unique identifiers that left a trace on whatever we touch. How was it that when this mutation surfaced, that beings with it fared better than beings without it?
And what the hell is it for? Very few people use it for proper authentication. It's almost exclusively used to identify people when some crime has been committed. If the police didn't have the ability to use fingerprint evidence to solve crime, they'd be crippled beyond compare. I'm not saying taking advantage of biological evolution is bad, everybody does it, all the time, but the police got a much larger helping of good luck than other people.
This is not an anti-police rant though, it's more of a reflection about how our fingerprints came to be. Fascinating and dangerous stuff.

On the train FROM Amsterdam, however, it got stuck with a bunch of singing and screaming football fans. At that point, I wish my body came without fingerprints, so that I could have happily strangled each and every last one of those loudmouth motherfuckers. I don't care what team you root for, do it when I'm not around! When you're at a game, scream all you want, but don't try to out-scream the train on the other side of the yard on the way home. When you are part of civilization, there are some things you have to do, and one of those is show some goddamn respect for your fellow man. Especially at 2 am in the morning. STFU!


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