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"[Science fiction is] anything that turns you and your social context, the social you, inside out."
- Gregory Benford

Identification Ring  
  An apparently ordinary ring, which minutely describes and identifies its wearer.  

“You will accept the commission?” pressed Colonel Leamington.

“Yes, yes, of course!” answyed Graham. He studied the letter with a thrill of pride that was not lessened by Wohl’s open envy. To be one of the United States government’s most tried and trusted band! To be one of Uncle Sam’s most privileged operators.

He took his ring from Leamington, put it on the third finger of his left hand. It fitted perfectly, and he knew that it must have been prepared in anticipation of his acceptance. He also knew that upon its super-hard iridium inner surface were inscriptions too small to be seen with the naked eye; microscopic data giving his name, height, weight, Bertillon measurements, and fingerprint formulas, as well as his Service number, and a faithful though infinitely small copy of his own signature.

This modest ornament was his only badge, his only evidence of authority, its meaning concealed from all but those equipped to read. It was the open sesame to officialdom everywhere.

Technovelgy from Sinister Barrier, by Eric Frank Russell.
Published by Unknown in 1939
Additional resources -

Compare to the trip-type record from The Houses of Iszm (1954) by Jack Vance and the personal metallic record disk from The Ancient Brain (1929) by A.G. Stangland.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Sinister Barrier
  More Ideas and Technology by Eric Frank Russell
  Tech news articles related to Sinister Barrier
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