In the Future
by Dr Foo
In the Future, communication will be like mosquitos. All over you,
all the time, trying to bite you in every conceivable conceptual
We'll all be wired and chipped at birth. Or maybe nano-neogenes will
do the work in vitro (or in utero for traditionalists
and other Mom-ists). However it's done, the effect will be that
everyone will have all-sense cellular phones in their heads. Anyone
will be able call anyone else just by using a designated brain-spot to
think of them.
At first, you'll have to know someone, and swap hackcess codes in
order to call them. It'll be nice, then, at first. You'll be
skin-diving at some brand new Indian Ocean reef, and you'll be chatting
with your sister who's mall-crawling in Beaverbutt, Maine, and who wants
your advice on some auto-correcting eye-shadow.
Hanging out with people anywhere on the planet will be as easy as
talking to someone you're sharing an office with.
It'll be like telepathy with a monthly bill. Actually, there won't
be monthly bills after awhile. Instead, businesses, pollsters,
pokesters, thought-lobbies, advertisers, smell-mongers, and
evangelicallers will pay the fees that run the system, in return for
Government Guaranteed Access to Your Head.
Poor people (and there will be a lot of Them) will walk around
constantly smacking themselves in the head to clear away the spammage
and prevent afterburn-in.
Everybody else will have personal defense systems. You'll just buy
one to run as part of your augment. You'll set and reset a
Receptiveness/Priority Code throughout the day, probably just a single
Hex digit. (Actually, by then you'll probably just visualize a color
along a spectrum, or a brightness between sunlight and total dark, and
the number will be set for you.) It'll work like the squelch on
primitive CBs. How high you set your R/PC at any moment will depend on
how available you want to be for the free-floating mental miasma we'll
all be floating in. A 1 or 2 means,
"I'm bored as hell. Somebody try to sell me a set of Encyclopoedias." A D or E means,
"I'm currently having actual physical sex privately and enjoying it. Please call back." An
F means "Go away. I don't care if someone's cracked
the code on my portfolio. I don't care if my leg is on fire. This call will not be accepted."
Whenever you call someone, you'll set a Priority/Politeness Code. An
ordinary "what's up?" to a friend would be about a 5
Urgent news about a close relative (assuming we'll still be using
relatives) would be a D or E. If your
P/PC is greater than the intended recipient's R/PC
, your message will go through. (This will all happen in
Setting a message's P/PC level will be a matter of technology and
regional etiquette -- the laws on this will be few and erratic. In
Kansas City Beach, an average friendly chat with a friend will come in
at about a 6 or 7, while in the New
Jerusalem/Boise area, no one would use anything above a
4 or 5 for that. In Metro Newyork, no
one ever uses anything less that A for anything.
Your augments will hold a cryptoed list of friends, who'll get an
automatic 1 or 2 point boost.
The Junk-Thunkers have to pay extra for anything above a
3 , which they will mostly able
to afford. Fortunately, most people, except the Poor, of course, will
have Kill Files as part of their comm augments. So advertisers will be
constantly working to come up with distracting, catchy adtoons and
scent-enhanced feeljobs to keep people from cutting them out.
People will mostly float around in established cyber-space
Co-operatoriums, putting spins and jiggers on Conceptations, or opening
new ones and trying to lure Names and Faces onto the Planning Floor.
Even while they're structing these Holojobbies, they'll be floating
through a sea of tasty hotbits, wetlicks, and meme-streams.
The Future will be more like living in a big aquarium every day.
- Yes, there will still be malls. Most people
will live in them.
- Easier actually, since no one will have an
- "Encyclopoedias" won't be universal reference
books; that kind of stuff will be generally available over this
ThinkNet. "Encyclopoedias" will be a popular brand of ground-effect
- Still legal in parts of the USA, and most of the
Pacific States of America. Still mandatory in much of the
Confederacy, and in all of the Holy Western Territory.
- This will begin to happen a lot. No one knows
- Or possibly "greater than or equal to". A major
war over this issue (2038-2040) is what finally splits Pacifica from
- Rate commission hearing/auctions are continuous,
so this number actually varies hourly, but rarely goes higher than
dr foo is a re-emergent-conscious wave-form, currently condensed
at Cambridge, Massachusetts. Like Pythagoras, he has been ordained in
several orders of priesthood (including the Universal Life Church, the
Church of the Sub-Genius, and the Fitz-Hugh Ludlow Lodge of Unaffiliated
Erisians), and is said to have been raised to the Sublime Degree of
Master Mason. He is partly responsible for Rule Psix and hopes
to be equally culpable in its sequel, Millenium Fever, sometime
before the end of the century. He was initiated into the WWW at an
early age and can now be reached at http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/
Up to The Information Page,
or all the way Up to The Dr Foo Home Page.
Created: 14 June 1994