It’s a sci-fi creation from Cypherpunk pro, Casa co-founder and CTO Jameson Lopp.
“Good morning.” A soothing female voice on your smartwatch gently wakes you up. A little robotic, but with a bit of personality and charm.
Continues with “Today is Monday October 31, 2033.” “Your weekly base income of $3,432 was credited to your account. He was deducted $1,049 to pay his student loans. $2,300 was deducted for your landlord, Blackstone Hathaway.” rice field.”
Fuck. This is a little more than last week. There must have been another inflation adjustment.
Slip out of an underground pod in the suburbs of San Francisco. A cabal of venture capital firms had successfully foiled all efforts to build high-rise housing and had nowhere to go. why am i still living in this hell Because we cannot afford to escape the boundaries of the safety net that allows us to survive.
I used to be a copywriter for the San Francisco Chronicle, but that kind of work has long since been superseded by AI. The Chronicle has become a spokesperson for government propaganda. FedGov says we must seek employment. FedGov pays you to work for it. FedGov sets income floors to help you maintain a basic standard of living. FedGov also caps income so that no one can escape their grand plans. Fed is your friend. The Federal Reserve feeds you. The Federal Reserve cares.
Wearing basic model iGlasses. It’s made out of standard glass, not gorilla glass, so it’s very cheap. While everyone wears iGlasses of some sort, white-collar people often upgrade to iContacts, and one percent opt for permanent eye implants colloquially called iEyes. Each model operates on the same premise. In other words, superimpose your vision with information from the internet so you can learn more about your surroundings wherever you are.
I reluctantly start trekking to the dingy coffee shops on Turk Road, where freelance gigs are occasionally held. Everywhere you look, your vision is expanded with advertisements floating in space. Thankfully, FedGov mandates that the iGlass ad opacity should not exceed 50% of his. This is because it can pose a safety hazard. I wish I could afford an ad blocker upgrade, but the ads are subsidizing the cost of the glasses.
I decided to multitask while walking and check the news. Not from a FedGov spokesperson, of course. I have carefully selected a number of independent journalists to follow on Twitter. I myself don’t tweet anymore, but it’s too risky. I still have First Amendment protections, but that means I won’t be jailed for my tweets. Spreading controversial opinions will get you kicked out of various important services. For example, you are entitled to receive a Universal Basic Income (UBI), but not to open an account with the Federal Reserve Board (FRB). The worse result is Apple discontinuing my iGlasses. It’s the same as crippling me by cutting off one of his limbs!
I only scrolled 12 tweets deep into my timeline and found myself leaning forward. My instincts take over and I catch myself on my knees and palms. With the pain running through my body, my first thought was that the iGlasses weren’t damaged. I look around and see a homeless person lying across the street wrapped in a tattered blanket. Normally I would listen to the guy for sabotaging this priority, but he’s clearly zoned out deep in the metaverse to escape the reality of his situation. I laugh when I remember the parent UBI propaganda of You may have never heard the saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” For some people, open streets are preferable to claustrophobic-inducing pods.
I make my way, taking notes to find replacement pants. In general, my clothes are falling apart. It’s been years since I could afford new clothes. Even second-hand clothing is becoming increasingly unaffordable as demand is outstripping supply due to FedGov’s policy of restricting imports to encourage domestic manufacturing jobs, but has been largely eradicated by automation. .
There aren’t many jobs in this dirty part of town these days. Most employers are shutting down, either because they’ve been absorbed by big companies or because they can’t compete with cloud-based AI that can provide a $1 digitized workforce. But even a little income helps. As long as I fill out applications, submit project proposals on freelance platforms, and keep networking like crazy, one day things might change for me too.
After a long, fruitless day of gig hunting, you have to rush to the corner store to buy some food before your allotted funds are revoked due to inactivity. Big Brother likes to see high economic speed. You can’t just leave your money behind! At least I don’t have enough money to worry about the impact of the negative interest rates that apply to 1% accounts.
Once you’ve collected a week’s worth of highly processed food, it’s time to pay. Gone are the checkout lines of yesteryear. When you put items in your shopping bag, the store’s sensors are already tallying your bill. As I approach a locked, one-way exit turnstile, iGlasses pause while they scan my retinas to authorize payment and pass through the KYC firewall. The Fed had to do this after unscrupulous people stopped reporting family deaths a few years ago.
On my way home through a seedy part of town where there aren’t many FedGov patrols, I hear voices coming down the alley.
“Ugh. Nice groceries. Are you at the egg market?
It is good to take non-synthetic protein once. I take a quick look at the man’s products, but iGlasses doesn’t show prices. You can’t even see his social credit score. Odd. Is this guy using cloaking technology?
“Maybe so,” I reply. “How much by the dozen?”
“I’m looking for 50 sats on give or take,” he says.
Oh boy; the Federal Reserve frowns on the use of unlicensed currency!
“I don’t have a sat. How many dollars?”
“Excuse me, the dollar is too risky. I’m not a licensed merchant. Too many questions from the Fed. They’re just looking for excuses to pull me. Even if they don’t.” , can’t afford the 20% peer-to-peer tax they receive from transactions.Bitcoin is better.It’s not subject to central bank bullshit.”
I turn away to consider my options. The FedGov must want to know about this tax evader… but my iGlasses suddenly alerted me and outlined the face of a woman who had just passed by.
Messages scroll across my field of vision.
“Writ issued: $50,000 reward.
“Carla Jennings is wanted by the Fed for her involvement in black market trading.”
pulse quickens. That amount gives you some financial cushion and might even be enough as a security deposit for a pod with a full kitchen. Carla has not done me any direct harm, but she is acting against the public interest by selfishly ignoring the Fed’s instructions.
“I accept the gig,” I reply with a sigh.
“I’m sorry, ma’am, but you have to come with me,” he said, pulling a few zip ties out of his pocket. She bolts.
“Stop there!” I yell and start the chase. She’s faster than me because I don’t step on her FedGov trail. Every step is logged and microtransaction tolls are deducted from your Fed account in real time.
I nearly lost track of the quarry, so I did some quick mental math and decided the toll was worth the potential reward. I finally caught up with her on Market Street and tackled her. I look around to see if anyone is listening.
“Give up,” I whisper.
“Damn,” she spat back. I had to take control of the situation, so I wrapped a zip tie around her wrist.
“What do we have here?” I yelled as I pulled a thumb-sized circuit board out of her purse.
“Please, don’t. Those are my only savings that are safe from the Fed!”
“Bitcoin? I certainly could have used some sats earlier. Alas, the federal government already knows I detained you. Agents will be here soon.” They are trying to force you to unlock this unauthorized wallet.”
You can see the panic in her eyes — she knows what would happen if the federal government lost access to her private keys. Years of labor in data mining to pay her fines. Oh that’s ironic.
But because of the struggling economy, I have to stay strong. Few other things are important to the Fed, but it’s a sound money move in these difficult times. Although it is against our own interests, we have no choice but to continue accepting the mission to crack down on cryptocurrencies and remove them from circulation.
Muttering to myself, I handed Carla over to the Fed’s agent and saw the winnings in my account. She sobs and struggles as they pull her away. Still, she trains herself by imagining what suffering society would suffer if it tried to operate without a stable, centralized financial system. we are all in this together. There is no place for selfishness.
As I avoid the FedGov sidewalks as much as possible and make my way home through the winding lanes, I reflect on how the world has changed in the last few decades. It’s hard to believe that this area was once the birthplace of the cypherpunk movement that created cryptocurrencies and strong anti-federal sentiment.
The winds of change have left those ideals behind, and federal supporters now dominate every aspect of society. Privacy and sovereignty are but a distant memory. FedGov has anti-privacy mandates and outlaws all software and hardware that facilitates cryptocurrencies and secure messaging. Even those still clinging to the past find it hard to avoid being tracked by a dense mesh of sensors embedded in every tech product, every store, every home, every road. .
Today’s gig isn’t life-changing, but at least I can afford new clothes. I need to be content with the fantasy that my federal lottery wins this month and that my universal base income is upgraded to personal comfort and income…
This is a guest post by Jameson Ropp. Opinions expressed are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect those of his BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.