Critical mass, as applies to uranium 235, is the necessary combination of volume and density to detonate an explosion. Muscle car guys will say, “there’s no displacement for cubic inches”, which is true, but density of compressed cooled air for a turbo charger, combined with lighter cars that are more aerodynamic, are also contributing factors to speed.
To connect this to theft and crime, and a high-tech way to solve the problem, chips that are larger than that on your debit/credit card with more levels of encryption because of volume are essential to thwarting those with skimmers who won’t have enough time to encrypt. Soon chips will be carbonate and higher density as well. In the future, with technology we have now, everyone will be on some form of house and health arrest with these chips going inside the body, to measure vital signs, extend your life span cheaper and better than being in a hospital, and the insurance companies will gladly pay for it, including the surgery. You can find missing people and keep them proactively a certain distance away from those who are child predators. While you cannot force a sex offender to have an implant, their chips, even if outside the body to buy things, will send an alert to others’ smart phones, warning us of a history of theft, child molestation, etc.
Nobody wants to have their possessions stolen, and a small, but increasing number of thieves are still outnumbered and have an inferior state of mind. Collapsing government means privatization, so it’s not Big Brother, it’s done with consent, and the private sector competes for your privacy, else loses market share.