There are a lot of things happening below the surface in The O Line Mystery book series. I spend a lot of time thinking up new and fictitious consumer level "tracking devices". How would your everyday Jo(sephine) Schmo get caught up in an international satellite spying ring using her shopping club card? These everyday accidental occurrences are definitely a running theme through out in the character’s lives and the plot lines. There isn’t one incident where I got this theme, it was a conglomeration of daily incidents that always seemed to surface. Not exactly irony, per se but kind of like how body language speaks louder than words. Also my partner and I often joke around with the phrase “just because your paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not after you”. (Which sometimes turns into ‘just because you’re angry doesn’t mean you’re not mad” and ‘just because you’re lost doesn’t mean you’re a loser” – you get the picture.) Marry those two ideas with the idea of how grocery stores hand out those customer club cards that really could track your purchases and you start to get the running theme.
BUT then I read something like this http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/30/carrier-iq-trevor-eckhart_n_1120727.html and my heart goes out to this guy. Ya know, just because he’s paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. This poor fella is screaming it from the You tube mountaintop, “HELLO I’m living in an Orwellian Nightmare! They ARE tracking us!! HELLO! This is bad! hello?”
Enter the man in a white lab coat. “On a scale of one to ten, one being not at all and ten being the worst, how would you describe your stress level at this news, Mr. Eckhart?”
“Well, I mean it can’t be good tracking our every movement. So 10 I suppose. Because I can’t shut it off – it’s embedded in the software!”
“So, do you often imagine somebody embedding a chip in you, Mr. Eckhart?”
“No, but this is just another step in the erosion of freedom of choice, don’t you see?”
“Tsk, tsk. Now Mr. Eckhart what would you say if I had something in my pocket that would make all these icky feelings go away?”
“It’s just a pill. A serene blue pill filled with re-uptake inhibitor’s. I call it Soma.”
“AAAAAAH NO NO!”
And the next scene is Trevor Eckhart sitting in a box car with his one armed friend eating cocktail wieners from a can….
Sorry, that was so off topic. My point is what is the right answer here? So we now have these smart phones, which allows us knowledge at our fingertips. Knowledge = Power. (Just as an example I offer Egypt, but it could be shopping for the best price.) Right, so we have this vast knowledge base and it turns out someone is watching you. It’s true the ramifications of the act of tracking could be horrible OR it could just be the market trying to find trends. It is an interesting discovery Eckhart has brought to light and one we won’t know the ramifications of until it’s too late! mmmmwahahaHAHA! Enter the plot point...