Visions Of Utopia

Entry by: DyedDeadRed

21st March 2022
Time, that's what it boiled down to in the end.

Are you making notes? Good.

So, time. The perfect window. Enough to get past the initial awe, the shock, but not so much it became familiar. It might seem odd, now it's so everyday, so much a part of everyone's routine. But at the start, when we were testing it, when it was nothing but possibility...

Look. I'm sure you know what you're doing, but this, this will change things, do you understand? It's important people know the truth and I am trusting you with it. This isn't for me.


I think the idea was raised twenty years or so ago. After the initial riots. After the tribunals had ended, after the unions were squashed. You could feel it, do you remember? The resentment and the anger just floating in the air like a swarm of bees. Everybody a twitch away from getting stung.
I hadn't worked at the company for long. I was so grateful. Before, I'd been a driver, like most. But I had my degree, like most too I suppose, and had been applying daily here and there, to anyone I thought might take me. So to get a foot in the door there? It was a dream come true. A miracle. I was assigned to 'development'. Even then nobody knew what the company did, exactly. They just were. You saw the logo on office blocks, on vans. And obviously you were aware that they had shares in this or that. Most of the movies. Even publishing, back before that ended. I suppose I thought I'd be part of a team developing a new tablet or implant. They'd just started those. So it was a surprise, that first day. When they had dimmed the lights and started the presentation.

'Visions of Utopia'

In the most perfect font. I'm sure they had whole teams just working on that. The 'V' and 'U' locking together in that lovely red. Looking back, I would have liked to be part of that. It would have made things easier. That's what they did, you see. Entertainment was just the sugar on the pill. Population control, that was their bread and butter. Sorry, I'm mixing my metaphors. It's been a long time since I've spoken to someone for this long. I used to be better.

You've worked out the idea by now? Of course, why else talk to me? You just want confirmation don't you. How to keep the working man quiet, happy with his lot! How to stop his mind drifting back to how close he came to tearing it all down.

Show him paradise. Distract him with perfection.

When they explained it to us, we were silent. The programmers looked terrified I suppose back then they thought they'd be coding it all. A paradise per person. It was so simple though. With the amount of data we had, the amount we'd all signed away, it was the easiest of things. To connect us with what we yearned for.

As I said earlier, time was the hardest thing. It was addictive, you see. People got hooked. You couldn't tear them away some of the early testers almost starved. And there were other issues. Risks.

People are so wonderfully complicated and yet we're so easily tricked. Those mirrors, hung in every home by the end of the first year, a 98% take up! People went without to get them, as soon as they heard from a friend about theirs. I remember reading all the think pieces, the op eds, the exposes. All so fantastical. So wide of the mark. Writing that we'd tapped into parallel universes, had an alien on ice with wires in their heads so we could broadcast its dreams. That we'd built the worlds most powerful AI and it watched out for us all. Because word got out quick each scene was different. Each unique. Sort of. What will they do, do you think? When they read this? When they find out the future was just the past repackaged?

A two way stream. A link from one place to another. Nobody thought to ask, when the mirrors were installed, about the external boxes. Just cameras, of course. So when you sat in your flat, staring at the paradise of open fields a man or woman there stared back. Marveled at a world where life was easier. Things more plentiful. There were no people shown, there were issues early on with that people recognizing others. So we tweaked it, put in facial recognition software so the cameras only ever showed landscapes. Cityscapes.

'Greener Grass' that's what they should have called it. Much more appropriate. It's all it was after all. But it's kept everyone quiet. Happy. Content. It's a trick. Nothing more. A placebo.

I've got the paperwork here, all the raw data. I'm going to try and get to...look this is embarrassing, after all I've said! But I had one too, a mirror, even knowing what it was and I want to go. To my paradise. I looked at the code I know where it is. It's not even that far. By the sea. I hope when you tell people they can find theirs. Or something close. The world is full of wonder and we've been denied it. Paradise is what we make of it, not what we're told it could be.

Do you know, I keep thinking of an old joke I head, on a radio show from years ago. My father liked it. A character is explaining to another about a world, a city he visited that is perfect in every way and when he's done his friend looks at him and says.

Gosh, that sounds like utopia.

Yes, the other replies, but it's spelt differently.