Sovereign Sky - Excerpt 5 - Dystopian Universes
"They're not burning books in this multiverse Marty, they're burning entrepreneurs" - Doc Brown
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't.
What Orwell [and Bradbury] feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that our fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us. - Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
Doc: This is strange, Marty.
Marty What's that, Doc?
Doc: No matter which universe probe I listen to I keep getting these same readings on my Dystopograph.
Marty: Your what?
Doc: Oh, I hooked up an old seismometer plotter to the output of a filter that processes incoming telemetry from our probes and synthesizes a composite metric for how dystopian a particular universe has become.
Marty: Are your sure "dystopian" is a real word, Doc?
Doc: Look it up. Hey Siri, Define Dystopian.
Siri: Beep. Here's what I found, check it out...
Doc: Well, that definition wasn't very useful, so I went to three classic SciFi novels by Bradbury, Huxley, and Orwell. I boiled everything dystopian about those books into a search algorithm that analyzes the web content coming in from each universe. Every time something Dystopian is encountered on the feed it gets integrated up like a seismic disturbance and comes out on this strip chart recorder right here!
Marty: Yeah, Doc, Dystopian stuff like what?
Doc: Oh it mostly comes down to governments growing too big and abusing their power to keep the population under absolute control. Methods vary, but the results are always the same. Governments are populated by misfits who are attracted to power and they inevitably engineer a situation where they can abuse it while hiding behind the color of authority. The key is to deceive the general public into believing that the deep state is acting in their interest. That way, they can use misplaced public trust to suppress their enemy which, by definition, is anyone who rocks the boat or won't submit to their authoritarian control. It the end, the public is turned into mind-numbed robots who are quite happy with their cages and willing to oppose anyone who might be able to set them free. Like crabs pulling other crabs back into the bucket.
Marty: So what's all that got to do with our search for a non-dystopian universe, Doc?
Doc: That's the problem, Marty, I'm not finding any! I expected it to be about half and half out there and that we'd have a nice selection of parallel universes to choose from. But bupkis! Out of all the universes our probes found worth reporting on there is not a single one that isn't sending the same tremors through my Dystopograph. Pegging the needle at over 9.0 on the Browniean Scale! And the closest peaks to the parameters we're seeking all seem to swirl about the same three nexus points!
Marty: Sheesh, Doc, are you talking like three concurrent 9/11 attacks or three simultaneous interplanetary wars or what?
Doc: No! Marty! It seems to be all swirling around just three maverick individuals! All the universes like ours are somehow out to crush three seemingly innocent entrepreneurs! Every single parallel instance of these guys must be in some way threatening to all the Dystopian Forces of the entire local Multiverse! As near as I can tell, all they have done is build disruptive businesses and talk enthusiastically about them. The fact that they are getting this much ruthless attention from those Dystopian Forces must mean they are up to something vitally important
Marty: You mean these are, like, three Doc Browns or something?
Doc: I don't even wiggle the needle Marty. The Forces of Dystopia all think I'm just a fictional character. But these are real flesh and blood people that are somehow of critical importance to The Fate of the Civilized Multiverse. And we can feel the tremors coming in from all over right here at the center of our n-dimensional spider web. The Dystopians are not even trying to hide the dirty tricks that they're doing to these guys! We must be approaching some kind of singularity...
They're not burning books in this multiverse Marty, they're burning entrepreneurs!
Doc: That's pretty heavy, Doc. Is there anything we can do about it?
Marty: We've got to get that hybrid blockchain up throughout the multiverse right away Marty. We need fine grained information about the differences in universes filtered on these three disruptors. One does not simply flux into Mordor without a detailed map!
Grab a console and lets start answering some universal questions!
Posts in the Sovereign Sky Series
All My Free Speech is Fiction
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 1 - A Proliferation of Parallels
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 2 - Specialization is for Insects
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 3 - The Fall of Empire
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 4 - Doc's Darwin Awards
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 5 - Dystopian Universes
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 6 - Jailbait Jeopardy
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 7 - A New Hope
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"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil;
that put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah