Making the impractical practical

2010-12-09 00:06

There was some cyberpunk novel I read some years back involving a character who had the phrase “poor impulse control” tattooed on his forehead, as a warning to people who encountered him. This strikes me as a great idea, but there would be serious problems with trying to impose such a thing as a penalty through the court system.

However, this is the sort of thing where, with a little nudge from the government, the free market could take care of it:

Subsidize facial tattoos which read “POOR IMPULSE CONTROL”. Subsidize them to the point where, in fact, they are absolutely free to the recipient.

Problem solved.

Peter Seebach



  1. Until the become some sort of fashion statement and loose all their meaning.

    (The novel was ‘Snow Crash’ by Neil Stephenson, by the way.)

    christian · 2010-12-10 09:27 · #

  2. The character with the “Poor Impulse Control” is in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash.

    — Dave in Tucson · 2010-12-10 11:41 · #

  3. Hi Peter! I have read several articles that you have written and I have been trying to send you an email, the only email I have found no long exists. I am working on a project and need someone a great deal smarter than me to help me understand some of the details. If you would, can you send me an email so I can ask you the questions?

    Thank you!


    Emily · 2010-12-12 00:46 · #

  4. We already have tattoos like this.

    They’re called tattoos.

    — uyuy · 2011-01-26 09:25 · #

  5. Don’t be bashing people with tattoos… That’s judging a book by it’s cover (I got here by way of the Rift forums, I also have a rather large tattoo on the back of my head)…

    — thisismydecoy · 2011-05-24 15:06 · #