Thoughts from the front lines

We Are What Our IDs Says


From what we have gathered from the lives of Toby, Adam, and Zeb, we learn that they have lived under different identities, and it was for all the same reasons: to hide from the authority. Though they have been quite MIA from the Compounds, they still managed to find jobs and they travel around quite easily, which involves showing some kind of identity. This got me thinking of how easy it is to make a pretend to be someone else or to hide from one’s self.

In Maddaddam, Adam and Zeb constructs identities out of cardboard. Then, they replace them with improved IDs by piecing together information of different people, and Zeb even steals one from a man. Though Zeb does say that these cards are not secure, they can still move around safely at some extent. Therefore, it is not that hard to live without a solid identity in their world.

If you google “Fake ID”, the first website it leads to actually sells fake IDs! I have a feeling that this website is a scam, but if it is real, then you can see how accessible it is to get a new age, name, or even citizenship. Although we can’t do much with that kind of uncertified pieces of plastic, the numbers that our country gives us (social insurance number, bank account, etc) can do you much harm if someone gets hold of it. In fact, as our lives becomes more electronically involved, the risks of theft or cybercrimes are rising. Through the works of hackers, millions of data can become accessible for everyone. For example, there was a case in the Swedish Medical Center at Seattle where data of many employees got exposed meaning that anyone could have wrote down their Social Security number, a form of identity. Thus, becoming someone else is pretty tangible, for identity is a physical thing.

This is a record of the amount of cybercrimes in just the United States

As Zeb and Adam are running around the continent with different identities, Toby hides in the Pleeblands avoiding spilling information about her own. She throws away her ID because she does not want to be discovered alive by the Corps, and her resources come from sketchy paying places that do not consult anything from her. Then, to be safe from Blanco and the Pleeblands, Toby is arranged to go back to the Compounds as Tobiatha, a new identity. The last time she needs to be this new girl is when the waterless flood wipes out everyone.

How does changing one’s identity so easy in a world where technology is said to be on the edge of being invincible and where security is apparently so well built up? Is make me think about how we are identified: are we just a piece of paper that proves our existence?



4 thoughts on “We Are What Our IDs Says

  1. Thought provoking post!
    Makes you wonder if people are who they say they are. If the guy standing beside you in the subway station is a fugitive running from the law. You are extremely right you can buy almost anything online these days from fake passport to fake driver’s license and even valid credit card numbers. I hope I never have to run away from my life but it’s good to know that there are options for those who have too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post makes me think of a scene in V for Vendetta, when V asks Evey how she has hidden from the authorities for a little less than a year, and she says that it is easier to get a fake ID than to actively try hiding for that long. And it seems like that is really true. The facility with which you can become someone else completely is a little frightening actually. With the internet, we can all become whoever we want to be, just put in a name and some information and bam, you have created a person who, for all intents and purposes is real and can be used for many different purposes. The internet allows for us to create identities and then different people can assume them at their convenience. It’s pretty scary when you think about it.
    The line from Zootopia: “Where anyone can be anything”, takes one a whole new context when looked at through the lens of identity theft and online identities. It’s so easy to change who you are…. no wonder Atwood has a thing for name changing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was a very interesting post to read! It is true that with the advancement of technology, it has become increasingly easier to create new identities and fake who you are. It is very scary when you think about it because, for all you know, the person living right next to you might not be who they say they are. It is easy to create a new identity, but there are also so many cases of people stealing other people’s identities. It makes you wonder if such thing could ever happen to you..and it could, we are all as vulnerable. What can you do to prevent such thing from happening? I guess not much, except being careful what you share on the Net. At the end of the day, it can be pretty easy for someone to steal your identity no matter how careful yo are, and this is extremely scary to think about.


  4. I totally agree with you. It is so crazy to see en easily we can create ourselves a new identity. I remember when I was younger, all of my friends were getting fake IDs and it was only 20 or 30$. It is crazy to believe that people can buy an identity for 20$ especially if it is only to go in bars or other. I feel like it can be very dangerous if it is in the hands of “dangerous” people if I can say, because they could travel with those fake ID’s or create credit cards on someone’s name which is mostly common these days.


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