Friday, February 29, 2008

My incomplete completely unrefined draft.


Adam Johns said...

I don't have access to this document - maybe you forgot to publish it?

erika mcclintock said...

I just sent a request for access. I'll be interested in reading your draft.

balford said...

I was able to read the document and it was definitely different and interesting to read. I like the whole idea of how the entire world is run by corporations in 2150, because it does seem highly likely at this point in time. Corporations play a major role in politics and act as the connectors between the business world and the government world. Here in the U.S. many board members and CEO's of the top corporations also serve on local, state and national government bodies. It makes sense that by 2150 corporations will actually become the government and ruling power. The only thing that is keeping the corporations of today from completely controlling every aspect of their employees' lives is government regulation and compromise with the corporations. However, some could argue that corporations like Wal-Mart do in some ways control and regulate the lives of their employees to a certain extent. I want to say that for the draft I think it is quite good as you describe how most of the systems work, especially in Implantation where you describe all of the different parts of the brain that it will connect to. However I think maybe you could also go into some detail about why certain parts of the brain are included and what purpose they will serve. For example is there a specific reason why the E-lab IV model 203.56 is implanted in the frontal lobe? Does it have to do with the fact that this part of the brain is still developing until around the age of 21 and so it is the freshest part in which to insert the implant? Does it have to do with the fact that this is the part of the brain that controls your decision making and risk taking? Based on the answer to the above questions, maybe you could in some way include why the frontal lobe is being targeted. I also like how you included the aspect of how these citizens will be programmed as children and the main subjects that they will be required to know. Most of the subjects were related to the science and social science fields, which would be the main area in a "robotic" society like this one. There are no creative expressions, or arts fields, which makes sense because creativity, originality and a nonconformist attitude are the last things that one would find in this Omega Corporation. I think that you also do a good job at making sure that it this comes across as a system where there is absolute control and no room for error, also known as human nature. The citizens won't even be allowed to drive themselves around; they will have an automated driver to take them where they need to go; no need to worry about speeding, aggressive driving, etc. Overall, I think you have at least touched on some of the most important points that you want to make.

Adam Johns said...

Brittnee's comments are all insightful, and I had some of the same questions myself. Let me extend them and go in a couple different directions at the same time.

I, too, was genuinely interested by this regimented society and in the mechanisms that make it work (mostly the implants - I won't bother repeating Brittnee's questions about them). I do have a couple "big concept" questions, though, about how this all works.

1) Who is in control? The corporation, obviously - but we typically think of corporations themselves as being controlled by individuals - although PKD has that interesting moment early in DADES where he discusses corporations as "group minds." Or to put it another way, whose interests are served here? Do you see this as a logical development of capitalism? I suspect so - if so, how are the interests of capital being served by this system?

2) Why use people at all? If the society is this regimented, couldn't the people just be "removed" and replaced with robots. Quite possibly not - but it's not clear _why_, which relates back to #1.

3) My biggest comment is that you are trying to cover a great deal of ground here. That's not a bad thing, but from my point of view your greatest need is to clarify, for instance, the history of the corporation and how it came to power. The form you're using (the employee handbook) is fascinating, but it's also limiting - you need to find some way within that form (or supplement with a Shareholder's report or something?). Some of these enigmas need to be detailed, and how this makes some kind of historical sense (possibly within the history of capitalism) should be clarified some.

I enjoy it a lot, by the way - but I also want it to make somewhat more _sense_. How did we get there?

One Last Caress said...
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One Last Caress said...

Balford -- I haven't really gotten to the meat of things... neural devices will be explained a bit more in depth when i get the the employee's part of the manual. I want to create something where... it looks like a Utopian society. Thanks for reminding me... art will be taught at school. Creative expression will be promoted and facilitated BY WORKING. It's interesting how I bring this up. Being that this is a "Corporate manual" it's obviously sugar coating things... but I want finish constructing this in a manner where it challenges the reader to find a way that this is a Dystopia society. I really want the reader to have a moral dilemma. It's not going to be big brother like.... that will be explained later in the manual... and the neural implants will be (in detail) explained in like Appendix 1 or something. Citizens will be free to leave at any time. A section of the world 1% has been designated as an agrarian society. All corporations will have agreed not to tamper with this 1% and not to take it over. It's 100% freedom, but at the loss of what the corporations have to offer. :-D Raising a whole slew of questions the reader will be baffled by.

Dr. Johns -- who's in control is something i didn't really want to unveil. Why use people? A social evolution has happened. Through this neural network of people (I haven't gotten this far but Human beings are essentially used as nodes and processors in a computer network... we've figured out how to utilize 100% of our brains) everything is done. Algorithms are created, problems are solved, researched is thought through (two heads are better than one)... so what if we can effectively network everyone together... you get where I'm going? Machines cannot take place of this. Corporations realize that humanity, the essence of human thought, is necessary. Also, the neural implants will block out any "human" distractions.

To address your third question... whoa... I have no clue... that's been my biggest struggle how to incorporate all of that into a "manual". But doesn't that go with the technique? There are no stock holders. There is an unnamed family at the top, but the economical evolution (that took place) leads to questions as to what their motives are

Adam Johns said...

I like your answers a lot and, in fact, they are certainly more interesting than the generic answers I envisioned (I thought you'd have something more interesting in mind, actually). The challenge is getting this core material across.

I'd suggest doing a lot of this material in the mission statement, actually, unless you think of something better. For my part, I always find corporate mission statement hilariously funny, which you leverage (to use some corporate-speak of my own) to good effect. You could have the mission statement be about "social evolution," as I think you put it.

Anyway, the mission statement is useful because that's where the corporation has a chance to articulate its identity and ideology; the difference with this one is they could do it more or less honestly.