Anaconda (Part 1) by Pheelan McPhalen

ANACONDA by Pheelan McPhelan.  

All rights reserved by author.

I.  A Note On Blueprint’s “Anaconda.”

Most people are aware that 2029 saw rapid developments in public policing software.  But is the public ready for all that it entails?  

Conservative right-wing groups have alleged that sites like “Anaconda” actually violate human and civil rights.  But Jeremy Fendhurst, CEO of Blueprint, claims otherwise.  “What we’re doing is promoting social responsibility.  If someone’s actions pose a potential risk, we are minimizing that risk by allowing others to report that individual anonymously, and in a safe environment.” 

 Others have claimed that it leads to abuse.  The site’s motto “We employ millions” has been cited as opportunistic and deceptive.  Gary A. Smith, senior researcher at the Hampton Institute For Social Justice Reform, reports that there is no way to assess the actual number of Anaconda users, since user data is protected from disclosure by the Safe Neighborhoods Act.  “However,” he says, “the public earnings data shows that 30-40% of users list Anaconda as their main source of income.”  Social health quarantining is also on a rise in major cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. 

 “Every time someone gets social health quarantined,” says Smith, “they are really getting arrested without any warrant.  You can’t constitutionally arrest someone without due process.”  The Supreme Court is set to consider the constitutionality of “preventive detainment” statutes later this month.  In Weller vs. United States, plaintiff alleges that he was unlawfully arrested by social health agents after someone reported him as ‘high risk’ via the Anaconda website.  

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II.  Szopa College advertisement, as it appeared on “NewsLion.mag., archived on  June 19th, 2030:

“Become a social health evaluator in only 6 months!  Make up to $70,000 a year. PLE-8 vouchers accepted!”

After clicking on the “learn more” link at the bottom of the advertisement, reader is brought to a page containing the following statement: 

“How to make money in a faster [sic] growing field!  Social health evaluators and officers needed in your area.  At Szopa College (pronounced SHO-pah), we want you to be the best at what you can be.  Our 6-month curriculum is guaranteed to land you a good paying job as a social health evaluator.  Make decisions that are right for your community.    Enroll today.”

After clicking on the “enroll” link, a window pops up which prompts the visitor to enter a PLE-8 voucher code.  This code must be entered in order to continue to registration page.  At bottom-right portion of window, in minuscule text, is another link that says “I do not have a PLE-8 voucher.  Continue to enrollment.”  When the visitor clicks on this link, the page takes several seconds to load and then a white screen appears showing a cartoon image of a construction worker perplexedly rubbing his chin.  Underneath the image it says: “Yikes!  Something went wrong and your request could not be processed.  We’ll work overtime to fix this.  Please try again later.”

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III.  Excerpts of recent debate between Grant Gierson and Tony Pirella.  Debate was held at Sandpiper Church (ARO), Phoenix, AZ on June 7, 2029.

 Gierson is the founder and president of Take Back America, a Christian-based social justice organization.  Pirella, a college lecturer and author, earned his Ph.D in economics from Queens University, and has debated extensively in support of socially-preventive legislation.  His recent book is entitled: “If God’s A Myth, Who’s In Charge?”

Gierson: “We know what it all boils down to.  It’s how you educate people to view the world.  The construct of history tells us one thing.  The construct of present human needs tells us something else.  But there isn’t any real contradiction.  I can say ‘my think tank is bigger than your think tank.’ But that kind of dialogue never works.  Historically, both sides have built from the top down.  People need the facts to get a fully-informed view of society.  But they need a fully-informed view to assimilate the facts.  It is right here that Tony’s thesis breaks down.  He assumes that the public already have a paradigm for their opinions.  In reality, the paradigm, if it exists at all, is unformed, and in most cases, incoherent.  We have to build a foundation before we can start laying brickwork.”

Pirella: “The system—or foundation, rather—that Grant uses to defend Western Centrism, is a system he believes can still work today.  My opponent is trying to re-invent a failure, and that’s what we are arguing about tonight.  His ethical certainties are really a cause for concern, considering they gave rise to movements like Blue Haze.  These people claim to be cutting edge, but are using outdated software.  Actually, they’re repackaging older software and telling consumers it’s the 9.0 version.  It’s dangerous to sell expired software to the public.  It should be illegal. If Gierson wants to talk about integrity, let’s start right there.  We need to remember the thirteen innocent lives that were sacrificed because people holding his views were not socially quarantined when they should have been.”

Note: The entire debate can be downloaded by registered users at Christianethicscoalition.bru.

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IV.  In her sellout performance at Dolphin Casino in Las Vegas on 7/4/30, standup comedian Heidi Rolf had the following to say about the “ever-endangered right.”

“Detainment camps.. did anybody hear of such a thing?  It like, how the f— do you know if there are camps, when  you say the people that got detained never came back to tell their story??  How the f— does that work??  I wanna know what kind of crystal balls these people have.  The best part is when they say ‘now they’re coming to get me, so if anything happens tell my wife she can f— the pool guy, cuz I ain’t coming back! 

“I know Ima probably get booed for this.  But some of these people need to vanish, so that they shut the f— up!  Just cuz they no-zoned your home or required you get a health checkup every year.  Hey, who doesn’t want a checkup?  Single-payer health is getting you what you need, when it’s needed.  That’s why we voted for it!

“Folks, there’s no such thing as detainment camps.  They’re not on satellite, they are not visible anywhere.  And if you think you can break into a national forest and find it there, nestled among the trees, you deserve to f— disappear!”

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V.  The following article appeared on the Rusher Gazette website, August 8, 2030.

Local Man Arrested For Fraud.

James J. Wallis, 36, of Bent Ridge, was arrested Tuesday and charged with Falsification Of Digital Records, after authorities found that he used his computer and a mobile device to misrepresent his name and age on a dating app.  Authorities state they received a tip from Anaconda, which allowed them to trace the false profile back to the suspect.  Authorities may also charge Wallis with 3rd degree intent to commit sexual assault, since he allegedly sent nude pictures of himself to another app member without their consent.  Judge Roger H. Berinsky ordered Wallis held on a $200,000 bond.

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VI.  Excerpt from the 2035 bestselling book “The Shavon Era,” by Harry Schuler and Bert Meddick.  

“During Emu Shavon’s administration as POTUS, Environmental Zoning laws saw rapid development—so much so, that her detractors claimed she was stealing from the poor to give to the rich.  It would be truer to say she was stealing from the rich to give to the poor.  In actuality, though, the new laws were only keyed to appropriating what was necessary for the maintenance of global protocols. 

“Some argued that if capitalists could use eminent domain to seize private property for the benefit of the wealthy, environmentalists had every right to issue property directives meant to benefit all humanity.  If this required shutting down buildings that were unsafe due to public health or environmental reasons, the act was recognized by Shavon’s administration as part of ‘that greater good.’

“‘Just because you could burn wood in a fireplace a hundred years ago, doesn’t mean you can—or should—do it today,” she said in her March 13, 2029 address to Congress.  “In fact, we’re giving the American people something better than smoke-filled chimneys.  We’re about to bring fresh air and sunlight into the program as part of our long-term plan for America’s future.’

“While some argued that the fresh air was inaccessible due to burgeoning energy conservation laws, those who thought ahead knew better.  With the increased demolition of high-risk housing, and the wave of eco-friendly construction that followed, people began to see that Shavon’s vision was bigger than they had even guessed—almost larger than life.  History would prove them right.”

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VII.  Excerpt of transcript from the Todd Frankel Show, a popular conservative broadcast, which aired on September 9, 2030.

“Taxpayers want to know what’s happening, and they have a right to know.  Just be transparent!  You can’t keep people in the dark forever.  To say we have a gun crisis in our cities is an understatement.  But our politicians say there’s no way to identify or apprehend the criminals bringing them in?  There are reports of people getting arrested for no reason at all! But what about the criminals? Sites like Anaconda and Snooper are a real threat—but only to law abiding citizens.  The left can censor me for saying that, but it’s the truth. Public Law Enforcement can only work if we know who the criminals are.

 “We want to see the real bad guys arrested. And we want Christy DeVino to remember she was not elected by the people.  She needs to do something about the situation, or President Hamas should appoint someone else, immediately. America’s Long Hot Summer has lasted over a year.  We want a return to normal.  We want our country back.”

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VIII.  From Pastor Rick Kasobe’s 9/22/30 sermon entitled “Salt and Light,” preached at Lakeshore Church (ARO), San Diego.

“Our parents gave us values, but we can’t keep them to ourselves.  The church gives us values too.  But what do we do with them?  I can say if you’re rich, you probably need to let go of some of your wealth so you can help those in need.  I can say if you’re poor, you probably are not doing something right.  But how do I know what you’re doing?  I don’t.  But I can see who you are and what you’re about by how you act and how you interact.. and how you react.  Those are the fruits that identify us.

“We know more about faith now than we ever did in the past, due to breakthroughs in neuroscience.  But neuroscience doesn’t tell us what works and what doesn’t work.  The only way we can tell if something works is how we see it applied in society today.

  “How about being a good citizen?  Does your faith take it that far?  Even though you may be tithing; even though you may be going to church every week; even though you may be raising your kids in a Faith-Based home with Faith-Based values,—how does your life fit in with society at large?  You can’t just benefit yourself.  You have to benefit society.  That’s how you become salt and light.  

“It’s not asking what would Buddha do, or Confucius do, or what the Man would do.  It’s what a human being who cares about others would do.  That shows a true heart for God.  That’s why we’re here.  That’s what makes us who we are as People Of Faith.”

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IX.  From NewsLion.mag; article entitled “Princess Tiffany Calls Ed Phelps a ‘Sorry Wanker.’”  Archived on February 17, 2032.

“At a recent charity fundraising event in Morocco, Princess Tiffany had a few scathing remarks to make about Republican presidential nominee Ed Phelps.  The Princess, known for her outspoken and often caustic criticism of American politics, said:

‘He’s a sorry wanker and.. ya know, I feel a bit sorry for those who support him.  It’s like they’re trying to put a Cro-Magnon at the top of the f— food chain.  People like that say dangerous things, and we need to minimize public risk.’  

“When asked to expand on her remarks, the Princess declined further comment.  Tiffany, who married EBA star Levar Schultz in a highly publicized marriage last March, has been accused by detractors of ‘living it up’ while most of the world suffers economic unrest. 

“The Royal Family has also been accused of secretly funding public policing software.  The King has denied any involvement in this.  However, Jeremy Fendhurst, CEO of Blueprint, was recently spotted on Princess Tiffany’s super-yacht enjoying a suspiciously regal hospitality.”

The High Cost Of Social Media

Now that popular trends are starting to backlash against the big social media platforms, one begins to wonder where it all will end. I mean, it seems that social media, as we know it, is living on borrowed time. There is something to be said for the almost-outmoded concept of “consumer trust.” When your users start distrusting you, it’s time for an effort to bring them back to the fold. But will that happen?

Of course, the big guns of the social networking world know that retention is the key goal. And that means that they must keep their services free. Back in 2008-2009, when the has-been “Ning” platform took off, there was a huge wave of interest, and tens of thousands flocked over and began joining and launching “Ning social networks.” Facebook was just beginning to tap the market. Had Ning played it smart, one can only imagine where they would have been now. Instead, they got greedy, began charging for their services, and the platform quickly fizzled out.

Facebook and Twitter have kept it smart because they’ve kept it free. But think of what that has cost the consumer. With more and more invasive advertising, and constantly evolving “changes of terms” to the already-Draconian privacy policy, users are in for a very bumpy ride as social networking adjusts itself to shifts in public perception and increasing legislative review of their policies and practices. Besides the need to better sugarcoat what they are offering their users, there is a financial drain which must be counter-weighed. The cost of all this hoopla is skyrocketing.

Meanwhile, the social media giants are doing their very best to make the user experience as unfriendly as possible, with ugly and confusing changes of layout, constantly juggling algorithms which hide content, and ads that seem to know exactly what you’ve been up when you’re not on their platform. But because of the innate vanity of us all, people refuse to close their accounts and move on. Well, I did. But I am an exception, and not the rule.

Judging by what is happening within the social networking jungle, one longs for an inhalation of clean mountain air; and one may well look wistfully back on the days of an ad-free, drama free internet, when users didn’t feel like they were being herded into an e-slaughterhouse for eventual disembowelment. True, the internet was slower back then. But was it really that much slower? There was less adware, less junkware, and less spyware, and social media was a mere dot on the horizon. But as it loomed larger, things changed for the worse.

Now there is a burgeoning cost that must be paid by you the consumer. How that cost will be levied is uncertain. But it won’t take long before you find out. We think that more aggressive advertising, and possibly subscription or “premium membership” services, will play a part. But the end result will be bad for the consumer. And it’s already bad enough.

Even Bozos Can Advertise

In the early days of Internet, before Norton and McAfee took over your systems, customers could enjoy a relatively ad-free browsing experience. Back then, the internet seemed like a new frontier that was laden with hope and promise. True, the connections were slower. But systems and software developers made things work.

Now that those days are long behind us, we can sit back on our virtual porch-swings and reminisce about the good old days. The days that are gone forever.

Today’s media landscape is shockingly different from how it was then. For instance, it is harder now to create and run your own website. The tools are less accessible and harder to use. The need for “middle men” has increased. Then, too, you have to reckon on search engines which are profit-driven and could make your site harder to find. The “relevant” results are usually more generic and less search-specific than you’d like, and getting yourself to the top of the charts can be an uphill battle.

Did I mention profit? When people actually read newspapers, the advertising could be ignored by simply skimming or flipping past them. Now, however, ads must be as obtrusive as possible to get the browser’s attention. Most webmasters are savvy to the fact that ads equal revenue. And so part of your browsing experience must now include being bombarded with advertising.

Remember that site you used to enjoy browsing a few years back? You’ll know that the administrator got greedy when you start seeing cluster ads. Popups are more annoying, but generate more money. So they become increasingly common. And ad-designers know how to hide the ‘close’ function, so that time spent trying to clear the page equates to time spent viewing (and potentially considering the merits or demerits of) the aforesaid ad.

What is even more galling is when site owners refuse to sufficiently screen ads before they are allowed to appear on their website. The news outlets are most at fault in this department. In attempting to read an article, you may not only have to close out one or two annoying popups. You will likely have to view a poorly-taken image of a booger on someone’s finger, with the caption “Clean Your Nose In 60 Seconds With This Amazing Trick.”

Whatever this tells us, one thing is clear. It doesn’t matter how bad you are at designing an ad, provided you meet the threshold requirements and cough up the green. I mean, even if your ad merely shows a glass of water on a table with the caption “Reduced Interest Mortgages Start Now,” you can make it in today’s media world without even faking it. That’s saying something.

This means that even bozos can advertise and make money with minimal talent and (what is more amazing) minimal effort. And if they can do it, you and I can do it too. What it really takes is advertising that grabs people’s attention. What it takes is an idea that may or may not work, but which is sufficiently backed by advertising on any high-traffic website. You will make it work. All you need is enough money to launch your project. And ad money well spent will soon beget profit money, as anyone with market-sense already knows.