I just wrote a new Monthly Memento item about the Internet of Shit, here it is.

You hang the personal fan around your neck. Weirdly enough, there's a little screen and camera in the thing. Looks like a hole for a microphone too. Just as you're making a mental note to cover the lens and fill the hole with superglue, the screen lights up.

"Hi, I'm Terry," says a tired-looking twentysomething through a speaker that sounds as good as any speaker that's three millimetres wide and made of plastic, which is shit. "Thanks for choosing FanClan." Terry looks like he's sat at a laptop in a library.

As you're about to ask Terry what the shit is going on, he picks up a sheet of paper and flaps it towards the screen. An anaemic breeze wafts up underneath your chin from the vent in the top of the machine.

"Terry, what the shit is going on?" you ask.

"Terry, what the shit is going on?" you ask.

"I'm your FanClan fan for today," says Terry. "There's a fan under your neck, an air movement sensor synced with my laptop, and the Cloud takes care of the rest."

"A cloud? Do you mean, like, a server?"

"Not a cloud, the Cloud. All FanClan's data is stored in the Cloud."

You're not going to get into the semantic argument of whether The Cloud is some friendly unknowable abstraction or whether it's just a stranger's computer in a dank basement, because you've got other questions.

"Terry, do you work for FanClan?"

"I'm an independent contractor," says Terry. "It's a side hustle."

"Right," you say, noting the dark circles around Terry's eyes, the visible cheekbones. "Are you getting paid for this, dude?"

"Sure," says Terry, brightening up. "I get six FanClanYuan for a five-star review."

"The heck is a FanClanYuan?"

"It's a distributed cryptocurrency stored in the Cloud," says Terry, wafting the paper. The bearings in your fan strain with a cheap plasticky rattle, and a gust of air flops towards your chin. "Just an hour ago, one FanClanYuan was worth eight hundred dollars!"

"Holy shit!"

"I know, right? Last night it was only twelve cents."

Follow

"Where's all this money coming from?"

"Investors and buzz," says Terry, with a grin. "And of course the hardware sales, these air movement sensors ain't cheap."

"You, uh... you paid for the sensor?"

"Well, it comes with the camera and mic," says Terry, "and the heart rate monitor and feedback unit that gives me a little jolt to keep me on track every now and then. I'm on the FanClan Buzz Plan, so I'm held to a higher standard of work but I get in on the ground floor."

"So you're gonna get a bunch of FanClanYuan and cash out, right?"

"I'll probably reinvest some into spreading the good news," says Terry, wafting you remotely. "I get a cut out of the earnings of everyone I refer to FanClan. That's the FanClan "We Can" Plan."

"And then everyone who they refer, they get a cut and I get a cut too, it's exponential. If I refer five friends, and each of them refers five friends, and each of them refers five friends, I'll get FanClanCompanyMan status, and I'll get a bigger cut and access to motivational events and marketing education, which they call the FanClanCramPlan. Hey, you wanna sign up?"

"NO."

"That's okay, you can sleep on it," says Terry. "Anyway, I'm glad to be your personal breeze assistant for the day."

"Thanks, Terry."

"Don't mention it." He grins.

You look awkwardly at Terry for a few seconds, waiting for him to hang up or disconnect or whatever. He waves his sheet of paper and grins back at you.

"Just go about your day," says Terry, "I'll carry on with my fanning."

"This is weird, but okay."

"You get the personal touch here. I'm glad you've signed up with FanClan rather than AirShare, those guys treat their workers horribly. And BlowBros breeze units aren't even made of recycled plastics. And the Gust Trust is basically a cult. And the less said about BreezePlease, the better..."

"Terry," you ask, looking up and letting the fan hang on your neck, "what happened out there in the world, while I've been doing this island thing?"

"Well, fans got a whole lot better, that's for sure."

@ImprobableIsland

If this is the end, you just stuck the landing, FYI. I am in awe. Absolute irony

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Mastodon

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!