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We are all in favour of monitoring performance. It is right that we should strive for perfection at work. The news that microchips may be implanted in a footballer's jersey or boots therefore deserves a welcome. From now on, a player's speed, power and movement will be calculable to the
nth degree: 1.7 per cent less good than last week? Expect a warning in the next day's post.

We are all in favour of monitoring performance. It is right that we should strive for perfection at work. The news that microchips may be implanted in a footballer's jersey or boots therefore deserves a welcome. From now on, a player's speed, power and movement will be calculable to the nth degree: 1.7 per cent less good than last week? Expect a warning in the next day's post.

But why stop with footballers? This new technology offers endless opportunities. It would be possible to instal a microchip in a builder's belt, so that "the job's almost done" could be remotely decoded as "I haven't started because you're away and don't know what's happening - but I might start next week". Budding writers could be monitored, so that when they insist that the final chapter is "almost complete", the publisher could peer over their electronic shoulder to see that chapter one is barely begun. Even our politicians could be monitored, with a speical sincerity microchip, to find out whether they themselves believe in all the promises they will make in the weeks to come. Then again, perhaps it would be too depressing. Sometimes, too much knowledge can be a bad thing.

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