Wear Those Braces or Else: Dictatorship Within Democracy
Patent #4,764,111 comes with a magnet on the braces that shut off the alarm. It involves the use of an orthodontic headgear and the wearer is usually a teenager (who has to find space for it with all the walkman and other head paraphernalia kids tote around these days). The headgear is awkward and uncomfortable, not to mention very undemocratic.
The way it works is via an alarm (usually a beeper), which is mounted within the mouthpiece and generates a beep inside the patient's mouth in response to the electric alarm signal. This beeper will continue at a most irritating pace until the user, in an attempt for some peace and quiet, finally succumbs to the demand to put on the damn thing (head gear). The beeper cannot be turned off until the patient dons the headgear. (Dental blackmail? You bet!)
In keeping with the demands of a dictatorship, this invention depend upon the braces-wearer not knowing which end is up in order to do its job. The patient doesn’t know how or why the beeper system works and may even be deliberately misinformed so that he or she cannot defeat the beeper system and will be forced to succumb to the iron (in this case, a softer metal) will of the brace-dictatorship.
The device can also be used as a reminder to take one’s medicine. The magnet involved could be mounted in a medicine container. Whenever the beeper sounds, the magnet in the medicine container must be brought into close proximity with the mouthpiece to deactivate the beeper. Thus, to stop the beeper, the user must bring his medicine container to within inches of his mouth.
It would seem that the inventor of this contraption could use a dose of his own medicine himself.
Wouldn’t you say?