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"If I had to get a new Ph.D. now, I'd get it in polymer engineering - the manipulation of matter."
- Bart Kosko

Housefly Monitor  
  A living fly that is outfitted with sensors for surveillance work.  

"I'm Bill Behren... Operator of fly 33408. Now, as you may or may not remember fly 33408 is a real winner. I mean it really gets in there and tackles its job and really gathers up the stuff, the real hot stuff. I've personally been operator for, say, fifty flies... but in all this time, none has really performed true blue like this little fella. I think he - or it, or whatever they are these days - deserves a vote of thanks from all of us involved in this delicate work we do. Right, Herr von Einem?" operator of Housefly 33048 Bill Behren paused hopefully.

"There are just plain virtually no houseflies as intelligent as this..."

From Lies, Inc., by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Fantastic in 1964
Additional resources -

Behren's supervisor is somewhat unhappy with his work; he has an interesting idea for a replacement:

Time for a replacement of both Behren and his dipterous insect, both of them with one arboreal, American orthopterous katydid; it would carry twice the minned receptors and recording spools of 33048 and probably would possess the brain convolutions of Behren and his housefly put together.

Followers of this technology know that this sfnal idea has been actively pursued by DARPA; see these articles on the HI-MEMS: Cyborg Beetle Microsystem and Control Circuits Embedded In Pupal Stage Successfully . One reason for the choice of insect for this and other programs is that the size of the insect allows the developer to add more features to embedded electronics.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Lies, Inc.
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to Lies, Inc.
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Housefly Monitor-related news articles:
  - DARPA Cyborg Insects With Nuclear-Powered Transponders
  - Is Noam Chomsky As Paranoid As Philip K. Dick?
  - Bee Narcs To Perform Drug 'Stings'

Articles related to Surveillance
New Train Station Offers Minority Report-Style Signs
'Ring Nation' Show Predicted By William Gibson In 1999
The Wanderer: Eyebot From Fallout, Eye From Zelazny
Small Town Wants 60 License Plate Readers

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