Active Apathy

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching too much Mr Robot, but I got thinking about our responsibility for our personal happiness. The show takes place in a world very similar to ours, in America. Everything is run by a giant corporation called E-corp. A group of hackers called F Society try to take them down by deleting everyone’s debts.

The real-life hacker group Anonymous had a hand in creating the series. As much as I like the show, it’s beginning to feel like they’re making excuses for not having actually deleted everyone’s debt yet. The main protagonist is crazy. He sees his dead father who represents an anarchic and proactive aspect of his personality. This personality takes over and triggers the cyber-attack. This implies that only an archive crazy person would do such a thing.

Then there’s the fact that the big evil corporation is still going even after the attack, and the regular people suffer for it instead, implies that such an attack would ultimately be futile.  What I expected to be a rallying cry for the masses, a call to arms if you will, actually comes across as a cautionary tale against revolution.

In real life the big evil corporation is not so easy to identify. The Rockefellers and Rothschilds don’t give us one unified target. It would be so much easier to do nothing. In fact we’ve been taught to be actively apathetic since childhood. We only do what we’re told to do, and even if we can see that something needs doing, we turn a blind eye. If we do otherwise we risk getting in trouble.

There’s a patch of grass at the end of my street. It badly needs to be mowed. I ha en no idea what would happen if I took it upon myself to mow it. Would I be arrested? Fined? Or would nothing happen? Would people just assume I worked for the council? Would people be angry at me? I doubt I’d receive any compliments or appreciation for it. Last night I even imagined a ridiculous scenario in which I would be arrested and sentenced to public service, which would involve mowing the exact same grassy area. If I had my own lawn-mower, I might have been curious enough to try it. I have been known to learn what my limits are by testing them, from time to time.

I’m not a hacker. If I was maybe I could have convinced the credit card company’s computers that I was making regular payments and got my mortgage zeroed out while I was at it. Done the same thing for a few random people so if it was discovered that there was a hack, it wouldn’t be obvious it was me. However,  maybe such a thing would be impossible without a team of hackers working together. I don’t know, since I’m not a hacker. So instead of being able to trick the American  computers into thinking I was wealthy, I had to sell enough of my stuff to buy a ticket home to the UK.

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I can’t do anything personally to upset the electronic financial applecart, but I can write about it. In fact I’m thinking of adding a character to the rewrite of Hermes925. I won’t try to squeeze him into the current version of the story, he’d have to have been there from the beginning. A friend that loudly speaks out against the N•Viron system, but doesn’t actually do anything about it. Actively ignores the pile of dog shit that would get him Arpies for picking it up, and rant about how we’re all being used. He considers himself enlightened, earns his Arpies by convincing others to be charitable and selling the occasional hand crafted item.

Jaime likes this guy, but feels sorry for him. Thinks he’s bought into too many conspiracy theories. The N•Viron identifies his condition as bipolar disorder, which he believes is a part of the conspiracy to keep him oppressed. I haven’t thought of a name for him yet. Feel free to suggest one that sounds like it might be a hippy conspiracy theorist in the future. Someone who claims to want to undermine the system and tear it all down, but actually takes advantage of it to live and lacks the courage to disconnect entirely.

Adding this character will allow Jaime to explain why certain aspects of the N•Viron based society is important. He can therefore explain these same ideas to the audience without it seeming odd. It may help clarify a few aspects of the story that I’ve had to leave as subtext until now. I want the orwellian undertones to be a little clearer. It would also provide a sharper contrast to Psy-Man, a programming genius who likes to exploit the N•Viron system for everything he can get.

All comments are appreciated, especially name suggestions for the new character. I’m currently thinking I may call him “Rook”.

Have a great day. 🙂

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