More opportunities to watch you

The billboard eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, watching the bad behavior in The Great Gatsby.  The novel's author,  F. Scott Fitzgerald, wrote of the fictional optician: ''{H}is eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days, under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground'' through which the book's characters drive to and fro between Long Island and New York City.

The billboard eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, watching the bad behavior in The Great Gatsby.  The novel's author,  F. Scott Fitzgerald, wrote of the fictional optician: ''{H}is eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days, under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground'' through which the book's characters drive to and fro between Long Island and New York City.

Adapted from Robert Whitcomb's Nov. 3 ''Digital Diary'' column in GoLocal24.

And so EZ Pass has replaced the toll booths with humans (remember them?) on the Massachusetts Turnpike. This will presumably reduce congestion, speed up traffic, save the state money and reduce air pollution (from idling vehicles). It will also give law-enforcement personnel the opportunity to monitor the travel of suspicious people but, also,  when EZ Pass is hacked (which of course it will be), it will let  bad actors obtain what honest drivers might think is personal information about their activities.

For convenience and security's (of a sort)  sake, we’ve signed into an ever more pervasive surveillance society.

Of course, one aim in all this is to lay off people. I wonder if some of the laid-off toll collectors might be rehired by the state to work at those turnpike rest stops with restaurants and gas stations to provide guidance for lost or curious travelers. Few people know a region’s roads and interesting sites  and services as well as  turnpike toll collectors.