Like everyone else I know, I live in my car.
Oh, technically right now I live in a room. In a house, with roommates. But really, I live in my car, because that’s where I’m undoubtedly return when this temporary bubble of stability bursts.
I’m a millennial, after all. I graduated high school in 2007, just in time to watch all the money in the world get sucked down a whirlpool and vanish. Spent the next ten years floating between temp jobs and communal living experiments and whatever education I could scrounge without taking on a pile of debt.
Millennials are the first cyberpunk generation. Who needs a house, or a career, or a family, when you can curl up in your car and cuddle the soft blue glow of the internet? Instantaneous information is a hell of a drug.
And since we’re all scattered to the winds of globalization anyway, what’s the point in building community in physical space? We can all stare bleary-eyed at strangers for long enough to acquire a shower and a meal, then return to our Real Friends in cyberspace. Low life, high tech – the cyberpunk motto. Welcome to 2018.
I’ve spent the last year in Seattle, an awkward, gangly, teenage city, still in the midst of growing pains and identity crises. I can’t stand it. This city will probably be cool in a hundred years or so, once the money has stopped sloshing around and the crap has had a chance to sink to the bottom.
For now, I’m gathering my things and preparing to uproot once again. Nothing new for me: I’ve lived in a new place every year or two of my adult life, and spent much of it on the road with no proper home base at all.
###### hahaha oh god you’re serious
In ten years this will be mundane. We’ll all live in our cars. The cars will drive themselves, yes, but they’ll also own themselves, so we’ll pay a monthly fee to continue living in them. We’ll have broadband wireless access, desks instead of dashboards, nice memory-foam beds in the back. Mobile Office and Sleep Units.
Of course, we’ll all have to pay for gym memberships so we can shower, but the new gyms with the personalized AI fitness trainers are pretty cheap, and god knows you have to stay fit if you want to keep up your Tinder score.
And it’ll be easier than ever to buy things from Amazon: just say the word. Alexa will pick the right tier of product for your budget, drive your car to the warehouse, and stick a conveyor belt right in the passenger window. Shipping has never been simpler.
But that’s 2028.
In 2018, I live in my car. It’s not self-driving, but it does have power windows and automatic brakes, so I just have to steer it. I have a global communications device in my pocket. If I want to watch a movie or listen to an album, I steal it – with the complicity of thousands of other casual thieves. I power my systems off a consumer-grade solar panel that folds up so it won’t be stolen at night. I eat hot meals at grocery stores and drink craft beer at the laundromat.
When no one is looking, when I’ve turned off GPS and deleted my social media apps, I practice cogsec: cognitive security. I train my attention span like a martial artist. I study the dark arts of advertising, programming, and cybernetics, seeking gaps in my enemy’s defences, finding ways to use their momentum against them. I share my results where I can – in email and scuttlebutt, where I can be sure they won’t be shadowbanned.
Just one more technomad, living in the mazelike cracks of a crumbling system. Welcome to Volume 2 of SCIOPS. We’re all in this together.
Thanks for reading,
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