Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ My Dystopian Future

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Dec 15, 2010

Borrowing liberally from Jack Uldrich...

Herewith, the sad state of affairs in the year 2025, clipped from the major newspaper of the time (* I'd tell you its name, but in 2010 that combination of words is still considered a profanity).

Regulators admit defeat: now no practical means to license lawyers and physicians. Government regulators admitted today that no test exists to distinguish between 'licensed' and 'unlicensed' practitioners of law. This development occurs as the government continues to reel from scandal following revelations of widespread hacking and alterations of the government central data bank. Imposters without credentials are able to acquire enough knowledge online that they cannot be detected, said a top hospital official. "Frankly, if they hadn't also hacked into our payroll system, we'd be happy to have them," he said.

Robot police kill great-great-grandmother, 124. Robots originally used in the successful deployment of drones in war-torn regions of south Florida have fired randomly into a crowd of anti-illicitist demonstrators in Providence, killing one and injuring 25. The woman, a 124 year old great-great-grandmother, was passing by the demonstration and not involved. FOM news sources, however, reported that she was wearing a shield-set and ibursting a message reading, "No IBON murder board appointed mayors". Free Vote representatives called her death an assassination and demanded that the corporate-appointed municipal official resign.

Three blinded in targeted messaging error. Panic struck for the second time this week as an automated billboard was left at the wrong setting and beamed high-powered lasers into the eyes of passers-by, blinding three. The billboards were programmed to aim low-power laser messages directly to the eyeball, scrolling local advertising messages at the base of the visual field. The used power couplings, obtained from returned laser scanners, were left at a macro setting, however, and cut into the flesh, rather than merely beaming an innocuous message. A spokesperson for Google said the advertising campaign will continue.

Demobilize health risks gradually, argue free-street advocates. Elderly people demobilized by their clothing are a hazard on streets and sidewalks and should be given a way to gradually move out of the way, argue proponents of 'free street' laws. "We support the use of health monitoring applications in clothing, and nobody would deny that people in imminent risk of stroke or heart attack should be immobilized immediately, but you can't just freeze them where they stand, " said Jake McKer, president of the lobby group for personal mobile devices. Elderly citizens frozen by their clothes have also complained that the suits replace their punk music selections with soothing trance and lower their bodily temperatures too much. "I'm too cold and I can't stand the music," said one woman, locked down by her velour suit at the corner of MmcCain and Crystal.

Ship manufacturing jobs overseas, demand protesters. "Manufacturing facilities are driving up power and water rates," argued Lint-Free Economy supporters at a rooftop meeting last night. Production plants and the jobs they produce should be returned to China and India, where they came from. "We recognize that some place has to be the industrial heartland," they said, "but why us?" Protesters are arguing that since the factories only employ five people for each square mile they occupy, they are a net drain on the community and should be moved to a regions with a strong enough economy to support them. "Put them in Delhi," yelled one angry protester. "They can afford it. Chicago can't!"

Party all night, lose your insurance. Texas residents have been warned that their health insurance could be suspended if their tracker chips report them out of the house overnight. "Those without valid night-work permits will be presumed to be abusing their health and will have their policies re-examined," said an insurance industry spokesperson yesterday. Consumer advocate groups opposed to the measure blame the corporate profit acts of 2019. "Corporates may have a right to a certain level of earnings, and we support that," said Judy McDonald, "but at the same time, these rights must be balanced with the rights of individuals to personal enjoyment."

Extra limbs an unnecessary expense. With the exception of tails, extra limbs cause undue strain on the biohealth system and should not be requested unless needed for employment purposes, said representatives from the American Biohealth Association Tuesday. "Ever since we began reattaching limbs, there has been a tendency to abuse this privilege," said spokesperson Victoria Merhorn. "We cannot condone the attachment of additional limbs purely for entertainment purposes." Representatives from the 4-Handed Piano Players' Association challenged the doctors in a statement of their own. "What's the definition of entertainment," they asked. "What's fun for you is work for us."

Phaser incident sparks calls for VR reform. "You have to take care. Not everybody shares your reality," warned police after a phaser-sparked melee sent 15 to hospital in Richmond Hill. The incident began when 27 year old Gunther Hall poked a pool cue into the midsection of an opposing player during a MacTrek tournament Saturday. "His VR displayed it as a mild phaser," explained the tournament operator, "but the other player had flipped zones and received it as a '38 calibre slug." Given a substantial jolt by his stimbelt, the man reacted, beginning a fight that matched Vulcan against Wookie, droid against dabo girl.

"To every season, turn, turn, turn." A new game has spung up in scorched earth areas involving used hospital equipment. Operating exoskeleton 'waldos', opponents try to execute a "lift-and-turn' maneuver on each other. Local residents have complained about the noise as the heavy-duty steel skeletons clash against each other. But everybody agrees that 'turning' is good healthy fun. "My muscles get a workout," said 'turner' player Pat Thompson. Others, though, are calling for the activity to be relocated to grass fields or stadiums, as dust from the former subdivisions, reduced to ashes in the reconciliation of 2015, might be harmful if inhaled.

Genetic advertising trials to begin Sunday. Genetic testing and modification services are joining forces with advertisers in an exciting new trial next week to begin work on genetic modifications that create psychological needs for consumer products. Children inheriting the genes will be required to pay an annual fee for the improvement, which ensures that they will seek out the best in nutrition and entertainment products throughout their long life. A spokesperson from Fox Opinion Modification services suggested that attitudes and opinions might be next. "We want them to believe what's right," he said, "and a genetic predisposition to certain pitches will ensure that."

That's all from the * today. On behalf of Prexy Palin, good night, and God(tm) bless.

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

Copyright 2024
Last Updated: Jul 13, 2024 11:19 a.m.

Canadian Flag Creative Commons License.