IN THE MAY ISSUE, commentary in "Human Inventory Control" [SA Perspectives] about a California school that made students wear radio identity tags piqued the strongest opinions. Perhaps reflecting the dilemma of freedom versus security we face as a nation, the piece brought out, in roughly equal numbers, readers' authoritarian and libertarian predilections, as well a novel observation on the convenience offered by a surveillance society. As Richard Brunt of Redondo Beach, Calif., writes, "If you are doing what your society has agreed upon, then what do you have to hide? If you are not, then why should that society give you the right to hide that fact? I personally would love an ID-chip implant. It is easier to carry and more difficult to lose than a driver's license or passport--and it would aid in medical emergencies, not to mention ordering drinks while naked in the Jacuzzi." But John Schmitt e-mails a more cautionary note, "In democratic societies, power belongs to the people, and we should parse out only limited powers to the government, or we will face many abuses."

Psychological research has found several reasonably well verified differences between genders ["His Brain, Her Brain," by Larry Cahill]. Aside from differences in reproductive roles, however, these disparities are statistical, meaning that distinctions occur in averages but that the distributions for genders overlap. For example, the accepted generalization that "men are stronger than women" is a statistical difference: some women are stronger than some men.