Knowledge is power
There seems to be a correlation between the number of words in a quotation and its power and longevity, with the applicable axiom being that less is more. Benjamin Franklin certainly captured the attention of his countrymen when he opined that “a penny saved is a penny earned.” President Franklin Roosevelt galvanized the U.S. at a time of great crisis when he said America had “nothing to fear but fear itself.” And Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis became a pop culture icon with his “Just win, baby,” exhortation.
Brevity is only part of what makes these quotes memorable. The larger part is the undeniable truths they convey. Another utterance that meets these criteria is attributed to the English author and philosopher Sir Francis Bacon, who in 1597 mused that “knowledge is power.” What right-thinking person could argue about that? Certainly not me. If only I had known that DVDs would one day make the VHS format obsolete.
I thought about Bacon’s observation as I read this edition’s cover story on page 48, in which Contributing Writer Doug Mohney examines the pros and cons of RFID technologies. Much of the focus on RFID has been on its value as a supply-chain management tool. But now it is being contemplated for a plethora of other applications, including border security. As Mohney reports, privacy advocates are viewing this development with trepidation and angst.
There is good reason for their concern. Certainly, it is easy to envision a scenario where RFID is used in a manner that would erode America’s constitutional protections. But although I don’t want the federal government to be able to track my every movement, using RFID to keep better tabs on visitors crossing our borders is fine by me. The more they know about the border-crossers, the better equipped they will be to head off terrorist attacks.
Regarding the power of knowledge, I am pleased to report that the MRT staff is working with the staff of IWCE — another Prism Business Media entity — to develop the inaugural IWCE-MRT Wireless Summit, which is scheduled to be held November 14-15 in Charlotte, N.C.
Both MRT and IWCE are in the business of providing their readers and attendees, respectively, with timely information on the technologies, business issues and policies that shape their ability to develop and deploy effective wireless communications systems. Visit our Web sites often — www.mrtmag.com and www.iwceexpo.com — for details on this event as they emerge. More important, please plan to attend, as this conference will bring you up to date on important changes that have occurred in our industry since IWCE 2006 was held in May. Remember, there is no such thing as too much knowledge.