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Obadiah: “666 is back”

Saturday 30 April 2016

666: “I carry you inside me” is what the fans at the Tigre club, in football (soccer) mad Argentina, chant. Soon they will be telling the truth when they chant this slogan, as the club plans to offer fans a microchip implant which will allow them to pass through the turnstiles without a ticket. Inevitably Obadiah’s thoughts turn to 666 (the “mark of the beast” from Revelation).

Harder to laugh: like many Christians, Obadiah has laughed at many “666” scare stories over the years. But a scornful response might be getting harder as the “internet of all things” means that surveillance is getting easier. For example the State Government knows where Obadiah travels using his plastic transport card, or if I use Uber – that’s if they know my credit card number and they probably can find that easily enough. The Panama Papers tell us there are fewer secrets in this world.

Faceless Facebook: the story about public Christian John Dickson having a Facebook post deleted, and then restored after MP Andrew Hastie and the former Commissioner for Human Rights, Tim Wilson, intervened, gave us a new picture of Facebook – revealing an army of largely third world people filtering posts by hand. (It’s a serious issue, some people have been badly affected by viewing porn all day). On the other hand, conservative campaigners Family Voice Australia reported that Facebook refused to “boost” some of their posts and gave their money back, according to an account by Angela Shanahan in The Australian. The thought of Facebook handing back money does make Obadiah wonder if we need to worry about the social media mogul’s commitment to free speech.

Clickest thou not: Eternity the newspaper goes to press as Obadiah writes this column. At the last moment some key files were found to have been encrypted. Someone in the wider Bible Society (no names, no pack drill) had clicked on an attachment that unloaded an encryption virus that locks up files so you can’t use them. Bible Society’s crack IT team was on to it fast. But it is still worth a warning. Don’t click on any email attachment until you are quite sure it is legit.

Pressies: Another crack team featured in Obadiah’s week when a relief team of Scripture (Special religious education/instruction) teachers organised by the local Presbyterians came to the school where the world’s worst Scripture teacher (Obadiah) tells Bible stories to innocent children. So three cheers for all Scripture teachers, especially new ones.

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