A few months ago, in the expo-hall of the Austin Convention Center, I laid my left hand flat on a sheet of sterile paper and let a very tall, friendly man insert an RFID chip into the space between my thumb and index finger. "Oh, you've got thick skin," he said, pressing the needle a little harder. I made a half-hearted joke about being a woman on the internet, and the whole thing was over.
Today, the tiny scab has healed, and the device sits just below the surface of my skin, where it looks like a little pill poking up out of my hand. Often, when I tell people I have an RFID chip, they react with confusion and a tiny drop of horror. "You have a what? Why?" Then they want to touch the little bead through my skin — if I squeeze my thumb and pinky together you can see the bulge and feel its hard exterior.