Friday, December 18, 2009

The White Ages Dr. 1.0

The White Ages

Draft 1

In the latter years of the 23rd century, the executive congress finally ratified the Information Conservation Act of 2210 amidst the protests of the press people and other info-activists.

The Act, enforced by the invention of the sensory cortex implant, started the so-called "Information Martial Law".

In a study conducted a few years before the bill's ratification, it was learned that an average person consumes roughly 36 GB of data daily. These may come from any source, a picture, a TV Show, a song played on the radio, a book. The government, wanting to regulate the data being 'consumed' by each person, mandated each citizen to have sensory cortex implants (aka. The Mindway). The primary function of Mindway is to monitor how much information a person is receiving at each instance of time. Its secondary function, and more sinister, is to shutdown the sensory perception of a person when a particular data limit has been reached.

In the year 2190, a Mindway prototype which only attaches to the aural perception was forcefully deployed to all the citizens of New Mexico City even without proper testing. It wasn't expected that on the first 2 hours, the limit will be passed already. Thus the aural perceptions of all citizens were shutdown. That day would be known all over the continent as the "Silent Hour".

The technology would be perfected just a few months later. In a short span, the Mindway's creators have intertwined the implant with the DNA of the individual ensuring absolutely no tampering or removal of the device. Soon, all citizens became implanted with Mindway. The people's lives were changed drastically after that. But they were able to cope up efficiently.

With this new lifestyle, the citizens have minimized their dependence to information. Newspapers became adjunct and replaced with leaflets containing thoroughly condensed daily news. Television shows were revamped completely. They would now only include 1 to 2 minute shows in their programming. Likewise, the music industry was rebuilt from scratch and embraced the MIDI technology wholeheartedly as the main medium for the songs.

These handicaps brought about another step in the evolution of human society. Disgruntled people began to specialize. They realized that since every sensory perception receives data every time, they could maximize the information received by each sense by blocking the reception of others.

Thus arose the Seers -- people who blocked all senses except their eyes; the Feelers -- people who focused on their sense of touch; the Listeners, the Sniffers and the Gluttons. These people would have much wider knowledge and information on their specialized senses and were treated as elders and sources of knowledge.

Still, there are those who overcome the barriers with other means. The Overclockers are a group of people who find ways of overcoming the data limit through technological, biological or psychological techniques. One faction uses a technique called Hardwiring to embed a similar implant in their cortex which diverts the data sent to Mindway thus decreasing the data that it measured.

Another faction uses Filtering, where they alter sense organs biologically and genetically to filter unnecessary data or noise. They would perhaps modify their ears to filter the static sound of a humming computer or a rotating fan. Or the eyes may filter pixels smaller than 1 millimeter in width etc.

Yet another faction are those who optimize their minds to pass the limit. The “Plotters” trained themselves to perceive only fragments of data. They would then reconstruct the whole data packet from these bits and pieces. This means only a small fragment of information will be measured by the Mindway and yet they would get a lot of useful knowledge from it.

[End of Draft 1]


Average person consumes 34GB of data daily