Utopia (4): The way to Baldoria
October 29, 2006 Leave a comment
I was looking forward to that party – and was afraid of it in the same moment, of course. Anyway, we discussed only the most important things during next half hour. Paul told me about my job – and checked my knowledge in the same time. He also told me about few people I should know – this was the part we were working with computer. I was impressed how much information is available about everything and everyone. Paul also made clear some terminology for me. So computer is computer. Cell phone is much more than that and they call it comdev in most cases. “Mobile” is not important difference for them – most things are mobile when they should be. In this moment it’s clear that I’m really in some other world. It really IS Earth – Paul showed me the maps – and most of the big cities I know are exactly where they should be. The same names, buildings (as far as I’m able to judge it)… it looks like some parallel world. I guess that history lessons will follow some time later.
Paul also revealed to me that I have chip implanted into my hand – and most people have such thing too.
– “Isn’t it problem for you?” I asked him.
– “Why it should be?”
– “I don’t know. You know, that freedom stuff, move control…”
Paul was obviously confused. “Do you mean…”
– “I mean if your government can’t control you?”
– “Ah, that!” Paul’s face cheered up. “Well, no! They may know where I am. They may know with who I am. But nobody would simply dare to exploit it… I guess that your society wasn’t so effective in ways how to control each other. We communicate pretty much with each other, share our thoughts, reasons, opinions – although everybody must make up his mind on his own in the end – of course. You hardly can exploit anything more than twice here. On the other hand I feel safe and it’s very comfortable.”
– “Why comfortable?”
– “Well… this -” he picked up my id card – “is formal thing and everybody has one. But the same information are actually in citizen registry somewhere out there.” Paul waved his hand to the outside. “So there is no need to carry it with you all the time. You just need that chip because the chip contains your id number. Id number itself has no information value – it’s just the key to those information in registry. And not only registry. You can use it for paying, entering objects where entry is controlled, anywhere! Specific organization can access information they need and you still have full control over such things so it’s also pretty safe, don’t worry. Common seller can’t know who you are because there are mechanisms that provide always only those information needed for specific situation.”
– “Oh, really?” it sounded like he’s very confident about all those things said, but I wasn’t really convinced. “And no problems with some unauthorized usage?”
– “It’s hard to exploit it because chip really doesn’t contain important information. You also have to confirm it in most situations – mostly with your finger print. That’s first aspect of the problem. Another aspect is that many entries are simply public already. We have our privacy but I really don’t care about many things that are publicly known about me. And finally – last reason why all this works – nobody wants to mess up with anybody’s trust. It’s very important.”
– “Ah… like telling the truth to everyone. :-)”
– “Well, Gavin, you are not really forced to tell everything to everybody. Just – if you say something, let it be truth.”
– “Aha, so I can conceal something…”
– “Conceal… well, you can have your secrets. Secrets are not bad,” he giggles. “At least sometimes.”
– “Ok, I nearly started to imagine that you all like each other and share all your experiences.”
– “Oh no,” Paul shakes his head. “It’s not like that and it would be sick… maybe. I don’t like many people but there is no reason to lie them. And there is also no reason to tell them everything. And – of course – there is no space to tell them everything because I don’t talk to them because I can’t say I like them. Who would like to chat with people with whom you have no special relation?”
– “Ah,” I agreed, “right, of course.”
Few minutes later we wrapped this lesson up and we were ready for the squad action. I should introduce Paul in this moment just for the sake of completeness. Paul Kashinski works as our squad leader. Using word “squad” for software development team makes me smile. “We use ‘team’ for project teams, not for stable groups of people working in particular area,” explains Paul. “And our squad is designated as ‘Information Systems’ squad.” I guess I will not talk too much about my job per se, however I should meet Paul many times later. Paul is 34 years old, married with 3 children. He lives in Rotherham but not in a flat (like me) but in the house in the outskirts. I wasn’t sure what are the rest of the local people but I was really happy that Paul is my first contact.
The most important things were discussed already and so I dressed myself up and we left the flat. Yeah, locking was controlled by finger print. Well, I really can use to similar features and I was curious a lot about what will be next. Paul drove his car into the city center and we stopped near pub called “Baldoria”.
– “How many is expected?” I asked.
– “18 with us – as far as I know.”
So it’s 16 new faces, new people with completely different mind-sets.
– “Ah, Paul, how is Gavin? You know I don’t really know him!”
– “Oh yes, right. 🙂 Well, first – no stress on this party – Gavin wasn’t a show maker or a focus of interest. Certainly not at such kinds of actions. So relax and watch and infiltrate somehow. You don’t need to tell anyone right from the start. You can be confused and it’s really too much for you. So relax. Now – how I know you… you’re a little bit over-confident about software development and – I guess so – a very little bit less confident in your real life than you could be. That makes you look like modest guy although you told me more than once that modesty is only a side-effect in your case. 😉 And you’re quite comfy. If you can skip some work, you like to. But nothing that hurts really.”
We reached the Baldoria entrance in the meantime and I can here noise and hum from the inside. Paul stopped and now he’s looking at me: “Don’t worry – really. Relax and … merge.” 🙂