Sunday!

The other day on twitter, I stumbled across a thread in which there was some free-form speculation on the future of propaganda and disinformation campaigns.

No politics. This isn’t about that.

In the thread, I was pointed to a short story that explored a future that occurs about fifteen minutes from now in which there is “a large distributed and heavily automated architecture that parcels out jobs to operatives that barely know who or what they are interacting with”.

That story sounded interesting to me, so I clicked on it and… well, if you love yourself some Phillip K Dick but wish that his explorations into Horror were a little less existential and a little broader in scope?

Check this out. (Trigger Warning: Existential Horror. If PKD makes you kinda freak out and feel paranoid, this story will do that to you too.)

Here’s the excerpt where I was hooked:

Among dayjobbers (ironically, a group of people with no day jobs), there is a story which reminds me of this kind of folklore. A man gets a dayjob to drive to an office park in a suburb in Southern California. For the sake of the story, call him Theseus. It’s one of those flat, sprawling, stucco and glass type parks, full of dentists and ad agencies, and he’s supposed to go to an empty suite on the second floor.

When he gets there, there’s a wifi network, and he gets another job to connect to it, using a password which is specified in the job, and then wait for another job that will tell him to leave. And like that sounds sketchy as hell to me but at the same time I could easily see myself going along with it. You can get into the rhythm of just doing whatever the voice in the cloud tells you to do.

So Theseus joins the network on his phone, and he waits, and a little while later he gets a message telling him he can leave. It seemed innocuous enough, but when he joined that network, he saw the Minotaur.

It goes into some very interesting places after that.

But if you don’t like PKD? Don’t read it.

So… what are you reading and/or watching?


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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16 thoughts on “Sunday!

  1. I had read that a couple days ago, loved it(!) but even though I wanted to write about it, I could not figure an angle. So, kudos to Jaybird!

    I am near the end of a major work project where I am making a series of large changes to my product, so not much time for reading anything serious. But, I picked up a nice copy of Dagon on my last business trip, so combining that with some James Ellroy for comfort food.

    Oh, the Beavers are going to the college world series, which is nice.

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  2. Should have taken that content warning seriously. It’s been a while since I’ve read a horror story that’s inspired that physical “skin crawling” sensation.

    (I’m a big horror fan and it’s great to find something genuinely frightening to read.)

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  3. I’m anxious to get a move on and relocate to Portland.

    Single-family home escrows in my area are traditionally set at 45 days.

    Beer typically takes six weeks, or 42 days, to complete from brew to bottling.

    At long last, I have what looks like not one but three live prospects for house purchase offers in play. One’s a counter-offer to a lowball offer that got put in front of me last week, another is a young couple looking to buy my home who would pay my asking price (!) and are right on the edge of qualifying for the financing, and one is a broker looking to buy for himself who wants to do a non-traditional structure that he says effectively meets my asking price (!) and I’m waiting for my own broker to give me advice about that.

    Also at long last, I am healthy enough and at home enough to brew the raspberry hefeweizen ingredients I bought several weeks ago. Much has happened in my life between then and now.

    The best way I can think of to induce one of those potential buyers to open escrow is to jinx myself by brewing that beer and committing to a 42-day fermentation. So that’s what I’m doing today: brewing raspberry hefeweizen.

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