03. Dec 2018
ŠUM#10.2 / PJ Ennis: Bleakchain
P. J. Ennis
Visual: Guy Birkin
The following is source material drawn from Tropical by PJ Ennis, a novel about the collapse of a post-cryptocurrency society in the thirty-first century.
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Ross-RR’s questions relayed through last known human-instantiation Rachel-Rose O’Leary (chi~. 8*6899b / records/nym varies? /).
The events described here reflect a reality parallel to this one. While the events occurred in the future they have been retroactively re-constructed using LeenVV’s Sipascript smart contract platform (repo activity: blekk , peep , dexf , nnik ).
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// 04-01-3055 PTE // Rose-RR, a reporter for the Daily Coin, was granted access to Xang-Jiapo Prison, Xang-Jiapo in the northeast of the Wuhan Protectorate Territories. Rose-RR interviewed three of the most notorious prisoners in “the Black Pool”:
Barlowe, W.W. (case hash: 0x88704).
Conviction: intent to supply; possession; counter-economic activity; kingpin multiplier.
Sentence: life without the possibility of parole.
Jio-Jiing, X. (case hash: 1×13909 – privF).
Conviction: murder in the first degree; membership of a restricted organization [Mir-Taaki Liberation Front]; kidnapping; torture.
Sentence: life without the possibility of parole.
Alexei, Ž. (case hash: 0x99334).
Conviction: ransomware; unauthorised access to government servers; blackmail; perverting the court of justice; witness intimidation.
Sentence: 17 years.
Rose-RR: For the benefit of our readers, what are your crimes and convictions? And, tell me, do you consider your sentences just?
Alexei: It depends, in Zikraine I would be just another worker, but to the Horba state or Wuhan I am a criminal. I suppose if you ask someone who lost their Ledger points to me they would say my sentence is just. But in my culture bad security is considered immoral. Of course, we don’t have jails in Zikraine, those are definitely immoral. My crime, well that’s well known, I disseminated the Petri/notPetri ransomware and was responsible for coordinating the Wanakri botnet. I may also have attempted to blackmail witnesses, but I don’t talk about that. There is no evidence, but I had a public defender and she was basically retarded.
Barlowe: I would stress that in my country we do not consider counter-economic activity to be illegal, we just see it as economic activity. That being said, I admit that house Agora did flout the laws of Horba, but only to feed the demand for narcotics that pervades your society. Your citizens believe in nothing, it’s pitiful.
Jio-Jiing: I was convicted in a show-trial undertaken by the illegitimate state of L3-Horba. I have been jailed, for ideological motivations I believe, for murder, kidnap, and torture. No prescription has been made for my status as a prisoner of war and I do not recognize my status as a petty or common criminal. I maintain no interest in the propaganda perpetuated by the Daily Coin and the media-industrial complex of the Horba-Wuhan alliance. I consider nothing existing just and am focused only on the eventual and inevitable construction of the Mir-Taaki nation.
Ross-RR: OK, so, your stories are pretty much the main attraction every day at the Daily Coin, can you tell me why you think that is, what is so fascinating about a bunch of prisoners?
Alexei: They live boring lives in the city, trying to win Ledger points or score MDS5. They have to pass the time somehow. Crime sells, more than it pays, I guess.
Barlowe: Many of them have never left Horba and think everything outside it more exciting than it is. We are exotic animals, trotted out to entertain every idiot in this city. I didn’t even know I was famous until a backpacker from Hearn showed me a picture of myself in the Daily Coin. I want your readers to know, especially the women, that I am more handsome in person.
Jio-Jiing: No comment.
Rose-RR: What is it like to live in the Black Pool?
Alexei: Actually, it is kind of OK. If you have Ledger points or contraband you can afford a small fire in your cell. I am also a volunteer in with the “Wuhan BSec Rehabilitation Program (WBRP)”, helping the state defend against, well, people like me. Last week I helped set up a firewall for a school in the local district. I don’t care about the kids, but I have been told I can earn enough credits to earn early release. I even showed the guards how to pirate NK eSports shows. Now I am their best friend.
Barlowe: It’s tedious but I am pursuing a postgraduate degree in literature. It focuses on glitcheys as a form of neo-pagan spirituality in late twenty-fifth century Ethereal cultures. We even have glitcheys in the prison and I have noticed that they are drawn toward fires. I recently tried to befriend one, but for some reason they do not like to inhabit criminals. I am certain they toy with the guards from time to time. Sometimes you can hear them crying. Perhaps they are trapped here too.
Jio-Jiing: No comment.
Rose-RR: In all your trials the judges stressed that you are guilty of ideological crimes and the CEO of the prison insisted I talk to you three instead of common prisoners. Why do you think that is and what are your ideologies?
Jio-Jiing: I believe it is to embarrass us, revealing how ineffectual our ideologies are. Perhaps also to warn off the youth. I am a Mir-Taaki nationalist. We follow a mutualist philosophy that promotes the communal ownership of the means of production and a restoration of the black metallist ecologism of our ancestors. I am influenced most by II-Burz-Iyam, the thirty-first century poet-warrior, but we have no hierarchy of ideas outside the core system. However, we have been at war for so long I am unsure what our current political philosophy is. I suppose you could call it endless black war. For now, our mission is deterritorial, to erase all the borders on the Block, and from the debris reconstruct this fallen world. My only regret is that I will not live to see its fruition and I must spend most of my life avoiding Barlowe’s glitcheys.
Alexei: Most certainly he means to scare off the kids from dangerous ideas. A Wuhan company man knows only black and white. I don’t have an ideology. I believe, however, the good life means to profit as much as possible, as fast as possible, and I cannot even imagine what else is worth pursuing. I think half the men in here are mad with ideas and they forget none of it matters in the end.
Barlowe: I was raised Monerist by my father, but my mother leaned a little to heterodox UASF Satoshiism. They would discuss quite a lot about the time before the Fall and how the only proper economic system was a deflationary one. They held to the old ideas about the sins of fiat currency and would never stop talking about how life was better under decentralization. Personally, I believe that agorism is a sounder system because it makes more sense to have a monetary pluralism, but I recognize that altcoin revivalism has made life more complicated. In my early teens I went through a tokenism phase, but I got burned too many times by the older speculators. I did read The Wisdom of Satoshi as a kid, but I find it hard to believe that one man brought down the system of the Ancients, I mean it sounds to me like they were on course to destroy everything anyway. And my father told me that for the first hundred years there were purer visions that got crowded out by the hardliner Satoshiism, so the truth is probably lost to history, assuming that there is any truth to life at all.
Rose-RR: So, I can give you guys the last word, what do you want to tell the citizens of Ledger City?
Alexei: Never hack state infrastructure. Stick to non-political victims and you could retire to the South Sea islands and find a local girl.
Jio-Jiing: We will slaughter your families, as the Emir, reward be upon Him, wills.
Barlowe: Kill yourselves.