The certificates we use to make certain of one another:
Contracts, licenses, ID cards, permits, deeds, certifications, registrations, carry permits, union cards, testimonials, bills, IOUs, temporary permits, letters of consent, income statements, certificates of custody, even proof of pedigree.
Is that all of them? Have I forgotten any?
Men and women are slaves to their fear of being cheated. In turn they dream up new certificates to prove their innocence. No one can say where it will end. They seem endless.
- Excerpt from Kobo Abe's The Woman in the Dunes (1964)