It’s been said that personal data is the “oil of the 21st century.” Well I think that analogy is a vast understatement, because now your data is a digital asset that is collectively worth more than all the oil and gold in the world combined. This “new oil” is creating immense wealth, but at the same time there is growing social and economic inequality. Why? Because the data is owned by a few. The creators of this precious commodity—the people—don’t get a cut of the pie, despite being the ones who supplied all the ingredients. Instead, perhaps ironically, it’s being used to control and exploit us, through more precisely targeted marketing and political campaigns, expertly designed to subtly but effectively influence our attitudes, decisions, and behavior. Sophisticated data profiles exist for each and every one of us, making us all easy targets…
—Bill Bronson, Road to Omega
My name is Bobby Azarian and I’m a cognitive neuroscientist, freelance journalist, Psychology Today blogger, and author of the first novel (forthcoming) about the decentralization movement—an ideological revolution inspired by blockchain technology. ROAD TO OMEGA is also a story about complexity, emergence, and collective computation—features of nature that suggest that such a revolution could be a natural progression of an evolutionary process that favors this particular technological trajectory. In the words of Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly, the course we are on may have been largely inevitable.
Recently I wrote an article for Quartz about how to address what I believe is the biggest threat to our free and open society—the personal data privacy crisis—a problem that is only going to get worse due to advances in A.I., the emergence of the ‘Internet of Things,’ and surveillance powered by machine learning. If we fail to rally around a shared conscious effort to oppose these instruments of data centralization and the powerful forces behind them, we will soon find ourselves in the middle of a Black Mirror-style dystopia that we can’t turn off.
Fortunately, there is a clear path forward thanks to specific technological solutions that threaten to disrupt the old way of business by decentralizing and democratizing personal information so that everyone can participate in this new data-centric economy.
These are (1) DAOs—distributed autonomous organizations running on blockchains that can replace services like Facebook and Google with open source, decentralized versions that protect privacy and/or give users their data (ex: Steemit) (2) decentralized data marketplaces (e.g., IOTA & Enigma) that can someday allow ordinary people to monetize their web browsing and social media data, and (3) a decentralized Internet (commonly referred to as the “Web 3.0”) that will connect all DAOs and dApps, and make them interoperable and accessible to everyone from all devices and operating systems.
For a new technology to be disruptive and ‘go viral,’ it needs to solve a practical problem. The bigger the problem, the more important the technological solution becomes. In light of the scope of the data privacy dilemma, which is just beginning to be realized, blockchain technology, especially when augmented by A.I., is arguably the most important innovation of our time. But we will not see widespread adoption without mainstream awareness and support.
Right now, proponents of cryptocurrency and blockchain exist as a subculture, albeit an impassioned and memetically-contagious one. For a full-on revolution to happen, the masses need to join the fight. Part of the motivation for writing a novel about decentralization is that I believe packaging the message in an entertaining and provocative fictional story could be the best way to get the mainstream informed and excited about the potential of distributed ledger technology and related applications.
Those unsure whether the tech deserves the hype need look no further than all the institutional money beginning to pour in from major investment firms and big banks like Goldman Sachs—not to mention funding from tech giants like IBM and Facebook, who have created company divisions that are focused solely on it. While such news undoubtedly helps crypto and the decentralization movement by adding legitimacy and visibility, we must be vigilant in seeing that the technology is not used for further centralizing data and wealth—a problem that Bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto wanted to mitigate, not contribute to. It is worth remembering that the Internet was originally seen as the great decentralizer, but it turned out to be arguably the greatest centralizing force in history, catapulting many tech lords into billionaire-dom and making Jeff Bezos the richest person in modern history, a man who has been widely accused of not paying workers fair salaries. These are the robber-barons of today, and private blockchains along with data marketplaces could allow them to amass even greater power.
So how do we make sure we go down the right path—the one that leads to Omega? We must be evangelists, passionately spreading the ideology of decentralization without being annoying or pretentious. We must create awareness campaigns which get across the message that emerging peer-to-peer systems can eliminate much of the need for soon-to-be obsolete middlemen—like banks and companies such as Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb. By connecting people directly using ‘trustless’ open-source software, we can strip away power from tech monopolies and traditional power structures, reorganizing the entire economy to make it fairer and more efficient. By helping make these dreams become realities, we can show the world that distributing resources more evenly amongst a nation’s citizens isn’t best done through the Right’s “trickle-down economics,” or even the new Left’s democratic socialism, but with a purer form of capitalism—one vastly improved by cryptography and hyperconnectivity.
ROAD TO OMEGA is not so much a sci-fi story as it is a realistic depiction of where we’re headed in the coming years if we don’t consciously choose to change our trajectory. Bigger data privacy concerns, A.I.-enhanced surveillance, growing economic inequality, an increasingly authoritarian government, and far-right and far-left terror groups, are all salient themes. While the future the book envisions sounds bleak, it also serves as an instruction manual on how to solve these all-but-inevitable problems using virality, cyber-protest, and the tools of decentralization that are emerging today. It is also a story about hope, and faith in humanity’s ability to do what is best for our continued survival and progress.
There are no safe spaces or trigger warnings inside the pages—the content is raw and sometimes brutal, like real life and real people. Although the protagonists’ behavior is often transgressive and their language rarely politically correct, they fight vigorously for social and economic justice, and are defenders of vulnerable populations like LGBT and minorities. The cast is also diverse, with main characters that are white, black, Hispanic, and Middle Eastern, with strong and intelligent female leads who are empowering. It is a story that strives to appeal to (and occasionally offend) everyone, because this battle is one that absolutely requires all of our attention and effort for success. My hope is that it stirs discussion and generates enthusiasm for the technological and philosophical revolution that stands to put us on a new path to privacy, liberty, and enlightenment.
In 2025, the technology used to collect and analyze personal data is more intelligent and invasive than ever. In response to a heightened terror threat, Americans have given up most of their privacy in exchange for safety. AI-based public surveillance systems analyze behavior to determine interests and intentions, which are used to further refine citizens’ data profiles, making everyone easily exploitable by marketers and politicians. Although people have learned that life under a microscope is no kind of life at all, there’s not much anyone can do about it.
But two eccentric MIT dropouts-turned-maverick scientists—Drendon Jackson and his brutal friend Bill—have invented a machine that will revolutionize entertainment technology and ease the privacy crisis. Sensory deprivation, brain imaging, and virtual reality are combined to turn one’s imagination into a surreal perceptual experience. Inside “The Tank,” people can explore their curiosities and fantasies free from surveillance and prying eyes. As the mental and virtual realm meld into one, users embark on a lucid trip that is often as bizarre as it is intellectually illuminating.
However, just before its release, Drendon realizes that their creation could actually help “the powers that be” perfect privacy invasion. By capturing brain data and converting subjective mental worlds into objective video content, The Tank provides a direct window into the minds of the very people seeking solitude.
But it’s too late for them to turn back now, and the world is in dire need of privacy restoration anyway. With the help of Bill’s older brother, a hacktivist and key figure in the ‘decentralization revolution,’ and their two new female love interests—brilliant complexity scientists and spiritual gurus who gradually transform the way the men see the world—they catalyze a viral social movement that quickly sweeps the nation. By arming citizens with a clever and potent new form of cyber protest, they begin a process of data decentralization and democratization that could restore privacy and ultimately redistribute wealth and power in America forever. But with a shadowy nemesis armed with manipulative mental techniques and backed by powerful forces, the odds are stacked against them, and failure could not only mean the end of personal data privacy, but mental privacy as well.
As the story unfolds, Drendon and Bill go from cold-mannered reductionists who see sentient life as an improbable cosmic accident, to spiritual beings who view it as an inevitable cosmic imperative that will ultimately shape the large-scale evolution of the universe. As the men undergo this spiritual awakening, they embrace a new cosmic worldview that emphasizes complexity, emergence, and self-organization in nature.
In 2029, the technology used to collect personal data is more invasive than ever. In response to a heightened terror threat, Americans have given up most of their privacy in exchange for safety. AI-based public surveillance systems track attention via eye movements and analyze behavior to determine interests and intentions, which are used to further refine citizens’ data profiles, making everyone easily exploitable by marketers and politicians. Although people have learned that life under a microscope is no kind of life at all, there’s not much anyone can do about it. Until now.
Two eccentric MIT dropouts-turned-maverick scientists—Drendon Jackson and his brutal friend Bill—have invented a machine that will revolutionize entertainment technology and ease the privacy crisis. Sensory deprivation, brain imaging, and virtual reality are combined to turn one’s imagination into a surreal perceptual experience. Inside “The Tank,” people can explore their curiosities and fantasies free from surveillance and prying eyes. As the mental and virtual realm meld into one, users embark on a lucid trip that is often as bizarre as it is intellectually illuminating.
However, just before its release, Drendon realizes that their creation could actually help “the powers that be” perfect privacy invasion. By capturing brain data and converting subjective mental worlds into objective video content, The Tank provides a direct window into the minds of the very people seeking solitude.
But it’s too late for them to turn back now, and the world is in dire need of privacy restoration anyway. With the help of Bill’s older brother, a hacktivist leader and key figure in the blockchain movement—who is currently serving time nearby in a special federal prison—they come up with a solution to the data privacy crisis.
With the help of their two new female love interests—brilliant complexity scientists and spiritual gurus who gradually transform the way the two men see the world—they pool their resources and launch a viral social movement that quickly sweeps the nation. The team holds a “Rally to Restore Privacy” that features a call-to-action speech sandwiched in between two popular music acts, and the only way to attend is to do so virtually, which requires you to create an account with Rainbow. Rainbow is a new decentralized social media and professional networking platform built on a blockchain, so it cannot be taken down or censored by any central authority. The platform also integrates the world’s existing blockchains and decentralized networks into one supernetwork known as the Rainbow Republic. The protocol was created by Donovan, who managed to give it to Drendon and the gang during a prison visit.
By using the rally to attract tens of millions of Americans to the Rainbow platform, they have built a powerful cyber-army that will be convinced—via the speech—to participate in nationwide cyber-protests. The protests will work like a DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service), which knocks down websites by sending so many page requests that it floods the bandwidth and crashes the network.
But DDoS attacks involve infecting tons of computers with malicious software, allowing the hacker to control a “bot army” consisting of devices owned by an unknowing public. Technically, the protest isn’t breaking any laws, because it involves no malicious code or hacking. Instructions transmitted through the Rainbow platform direct citizens to all go the same website at the same time while continuously hitting refresh over and over for a brief period of time, creating so much traffic that it collapses it, before moving on to the next one.
Just as ordinary protests block entrances or tie up phone lines, DDoS protests disrupt online business and services in ways that cost big banks and tech conglomerates lots of money. The team’s hope is that by demonstrating that these centralized systems are vulnerable to takedown at any time by a sufficiently large group, the protests will create fear amongst international investors that will send stock prices plummeting, creating global panic. And with global panic comes global demand for the protests to cease, which will happen only when the U.S. government passes the Mental Data Protection Act. This law also demands that eye gaze-tracking surveillance systems be dismantled, since attention data is cognitive data. In addition to the new law, the protest will also mass-migrate a big portion of the population over to decentralized services through the Rainbow Republic, which is a portal that includes community-run, blockchain-based versions of companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google. This may even be the bigger victory.
But ‘Obi-Juan,’ a Mexican villain who is the longtime nemesis of Donovan, intends to stop Drendon and Bill from carrying out the protests. Juan is a former high-ranking member of the The Rebellion (an extreme left-wing terror group that is an evolution of ISIS) who now works for the NSA, and is rumored to have psychic abilities because of his amazing interrogation skills, which really detect deception through subtle biological and cognitive cues.
Juan recruits two psychotic former colleagues, Rebel terrorists, to kidnap the two female characters, Rhonda and Sadie, who are used as bargaining power in a negotiation calling for Drendon and Bill to turn themselves in to authorities. This leads to a suspenseful standoff between Drendon’s gang and their opposition, but ultimately Drendon and Bill are forced to cooperate. But when they turn themselves in and are seated in a van with the girls and the Rebels, they spot a suspiciously fast moving drone that is headed straight towards the van, assumed to be carrying explosives. In a daring act, Bill sacrifices his body to save the group, and does so successfully. While the Rebels or Juan are no longer a concern, defeat appears imminent with Bill laying on the street with his limbs blown off, Rhonda knocked unconscious, and the protest prevented from starting on time. But just when all hope seems lost, Bill is saved by the quick and clever collective efforts of the team, and the protest proceeds thanks to an automated script that Rhonda programmed in advance.
The effects of the protest work as planned, and Congress holds an emergency meeting to pass the mental privacy law. While eye-gaze tracking systems are not dismantled, neural privacy is protected, and a third of the U.S. population is now on Rainbow and using all the aggregated decentralized services accessible through its portal.
Despite this success, Bill, a triple amputee stuck in the hospital, is considering assisted-suicide after learning he met the eligibility requirements. He is given the option along with A Guide to Designer Dying, a manual that he wrote himself, ironically.
While Drendon, Rhonda, and Sadie deliver a ‘thank you’ speech to the nation at a celebratory music festival in D.C., under the assumption that Bill is going to opt out of life, Bill suddenly appears, but in bionic form, which causes the crowd to erupt in cheers. Thanks to the psilocybin-laced chocolates Drendon left him, and the ‘NeuRomantic Manifesto’ the ladies gave him—which proposes a new consciousness-centered cosmic model and a natural religion—Bill had a life-inspiring psychedelic experience in his hospital bed. In an epic speech, Bill tells the crowd why the data democratization movement must go global. He also calls for the facilitation of the Manhattan Peace Project, an effort that brings together the world’s brightest minds to create a supernation; a distributed network of globally-expansive ‘online nations’ and crypto-economies that will gradually decentralize power and promote peace and cooperation around the planet.
The scientific, philosophical, and spiritual elements of the story synergize with the political and technological plot elements in a way that strengthens its impact. As it unfolds, Drendon and Bill go from cold-mannered atheists who see life and consciousness as cosmic accidents, to spiritual beings who see them as cosmic imperatives that will ultimately shape the large-scale evolution of the universe. As the story’s narrator, Drendon—who suffers from debilitating existential anxiety—undergoes this spiritual awakening, he brings the reader along for the ride.
CHAPTER ONE: MEET DRENDON
It was so dark I could barely see my dick, but the starlight reflecting off her necklace provided just enough glow for it to find its way to the target. Giant, ancient-looking trees suspiciously surrounded me as I lay on my back in what appeared to be a perfectly circular field of grass. If alien abductions really happen, this would be the place for one. Above the moans, I could faintly hear Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon playing in the distance. How fitting. Somebody sitting in a car likely filled with clouds of skunky-smelling smoke must be blaring it from not far off. I should probably be more worried about being discovered while indisposed, but all I’m really concerned with at the moment is the girl on top of me.
I couldn’t catch a glimpse of her face but could make out her silhouette from the moonlight. I noticed her abnormally pointy ears, and for a moment my love of Tolkien made me wonder whether I had somehow stumbled into Middle Earth—now encircled by idle Ents and straddled by a forest elf. This spritely creature was facing away, reverse cowgirl style, although “backwards unicorn rider” seemed like a more fitting description.
As she slowly raised and lowered her hips I gradually began to feel a kind of euphoria I never knew existed, apparently so intense that I couldn’t remember how I got there or who she could be. While I continued to lightly thrust upward I noticed that I seemed to be more of a passive observer of my actions rather than a causal force, and I wondered if this particular moment was a result of inescapable deterministic processes following a fixed trajectory toward some singular goal—something someone else might call ‘destiny.’
This thought was interrupted as she turned around and ripped her lace top to expose her breasts in a way that silently instructed me to taste. It was still too dark to make out her facial features but I followed her lead—more so instinctually than intentionally—and began sucking without mercy. As warm milk hit the back of my throat I felt totally satiated, like someone who had been famished and was at last receiving sustenance.
“Breathe,” she gently whispered into my ear, her lips brushing lightly against my lobe. I followed her instructions, mirroring her pace, which was slow and controlled. After just a few cycles, a calmness came over me, and all the shitty anxiety that normally plagued my being subsided. I felt safe, and for a moment I began to wonder if this was how a newborn felt. Maybe I had activated an ancient memory—possibly my first. That initial emotional event, now stored across tiny regions of my synaptic circuitry, only resurfacing upon activation of a very specific and old region of my amygdala. For a second I forgot how to speak, and I began to panic over the thought that my mental time travel was a one-way trip. But as she continued to pump up and down in synchrony with my breathing, the handicap passed.
“Plant your seed in me,” she said softly and seductively. “My wetness will make it grow.” As I felt her juices run down the inside of my thighs I noticed that her breathy and slightly melodic words matched the key of the music, which had grown louder and become unrecognizable. I had no fucking idea what type of bizzaro world I had stepped into, but I wasn’t afraid at all. I just tuned in to the fuzzy-sounding stoner guitar riffs that were swirling around inside my mental space and massaging my cochlea. Piercing through the distortion was organic percussion in strange grooves and unpredictable rhythms. Crickets chirped in dizzying time signatures and snare drums were replaced by the sounds of woodpeckers at work.
I hadn’t experienced anything remotely this surreal since that time I found myself sitting front row at a Cirque Du Soleil show in The Bellagio on peyote. Could this all be just a hallucination? I thought to myself. No. Definitely not. It was much too clear. I felt cognitively sharp as Bill’s box cutter and my senses were heightened. Trips are hazier. This was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. As I began to climax, I lost full control of my body, and as my eyes crossed and went up towards my eyebrows, I worried that she’d see me while I looked like I’d suddenly acquired cerebral palsy. It was a whole new level of sensation for me, and now I understood how heroin could be so addictive. “Transcendent” may be the best, although utterly superficial, way of describing the experience.
As the euphoria subsided, the forest I was in steadily took on the appearance of a carefully constructed theatrical set that was on the brink of falling over. This instant, my life, reality—all seemed to be one elaborate metaphysical drama awaiting some mysterious cosmic culmination that was happening right now. I felt that all my favorite scientists, philosophers, and great minds from history were just out of sight, waiting around the mental bend to congratulate me on finally waking up. At any second now, in celebration of my great discovery, they would suddenly appear, merrily parading towards me to greet me in these final moments. “We always knew you’d figure it out,” they’d say. “We’re all so proud of you.”
But before they arrived I wanted to say goodbye to the voluptuous enigma that still hovered over me. She had been my guide on this journey, and something told me that she had some greater role to play in the story of Drendon Jackson. As the moon appeared to gradually descend towards Earth, her necklace shimmered more brightly, and I could see the large silver cross as it swung toward my chest in what seemed like slow motion. When it touched my skin, it burned, and the pain had a sobering effect. It finally hit me. I was inside The Tank. Our tank. The one Bill and I had been slaving over for the past four years. It was our crowning achievement but also the cause of my recent concerns. At least now we can be sure it consistently works. And goddamn, does it work.
With this realization, I tasted Epsom salts as water splashed against my face, meeting the condensation that had assembled on my brow. I was naked and floating belly up in pitch black and silence—a void where not a wavelength of light or sound existed other than the streaming images that had been beamed directly on to my retina, the contents of which were conjured up by my own mind. Were the pleasure centers of my brain less stimulated, I might have realized it all much sooner. But that’s how The Tank works. The sensations evoked were so lush, so raw, and so indulgent that one becomes too mentally immersed to think analytically. And now my brain felt like it was a toy top spinning inside my skull. Was my subconscious trying to tell me something? Of course it was. It’s saying, “Man, you have some issues.”
Suddenly the lid lifted and I saw Bill laughing uncontrollably with an expression of disgust. Its inner panel was dripping with semen. During the experience, I had shot it all over and was now essentially floating in a cum bath. It’s times like this that I wonder how my life got so weird. Believe it or not, incidents like this weren’t at all uncommon in The Tank, and easy cleanup is one issue that we have yet to work out.
“Holy shit, Drendon. If your mother could see you right now she’d stop loving you. You’ve got to clean this thing up before we leave. Tomorrow Max is coming, and if we don’t want a senior editor for Wired writing about your jizz instead of our pièce de résistance, you better grab the cleaning supplies from the closet and make this go away. And hurry the fuck up, brunch at Taco Bamba ends in an hour.
While I begrudgingly scrubbed the tank’s walls, my gag reflex was triggered when I unwillingly imagined the life of a peep show custodian as he wiped down countless booth windows throughout the night. On the bright side, at least this jizz was my own.
CHAPTER 13: RALLY TO RESTORE PRIVACY (EXCERPT)
Rhonda walked onto stage in a gorgeous white dress that looked like something a Mayan virgin would be made to wear before she was sacrificed to the Gods. Her jet-black hair hung down below her shoulders, partially covering the pearl necklace that shimmered under the virtual sunlight. She looked so sexy I couldn’t help but imagine me over her, replacing that pearl necklace with a visually-similar but stickier one.
Gradually, the iconic Washington setting morphed into the Mayan Ruin known as Calakmul, an archeological site deep in the jungle of the Mexican state of Campeche, dubbed “The Kingdom of the Snake.” It was some real Indiana Jones shit, and if you listened close you could hear the jaguars and monkeys in the surrounding bush. Rhonda stood atop the massive pyramid-like structure, towering over the lower platforms, which were all connected by what looked like almost never-ending sets of stairs, that now held all the people previously seated in virtual bleachers. As triumphant music composed of jungle sounds sank to a quiet level, Rhonda began her talk.
“It’s no secret that Bill Bronson is an outspoken atheist, and many of you out there are religious, or at least consider yourselves ‘spiritual.’ Because of that, you might feel like Bill’s message is for someone else. That you’re just here for the show. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s not the case.
This revolution is for everyone, especially those who feel a sense of purpose in life. Who feel there is a higher calling. Who believe there are objective morals and ethics that should guide humanity. It doesn’t matter if you’re Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, secular, or something else—right now we must forget our differences, and think of ourselves only as humans, engaged in a common moral struggle. You see, this isn’t just a fight for personal privacy and data ownership; this is a battle for humanity’s continued survival and progress. Please allow me to woman-splain why.
Nature has a new narrative. One that will completely change the way we think about our place in the cosmos. Complexity science is revealing that we live in a self-organizing universe in which the emergence of life, minds, and civilizations is not improbable, but inevitable. Conscious creatures are no longer seen as cosmic accidents that came into existence by chance. They are natural manifestations of matter, written into the cosmic code. In other words, nature is programmed to generate greater complexity over time, and with sufficient complexity comes sentient, intelligent life. But self-organization doesn’t stop there. Due to physical laws, life is, in a very real and literal sense, destined to spread throughout the universe. Such an evolution is built into the fabric of reality, which illustrates that, contrary to past scientific consensus, we do in fact live in a universe with a “goal,” if you will. Intelligent life, the prime driver of complexity, has purpose, and that purpose is to thrive and expand. It is not inaccurate to call intelligent life the most significant phenomenon in the universe, given its ability to dominate matter in ways that will ultimately shape the large-scale evolution of the cosmos in millennia to come.
Upon hearing this, you may be asking yourself, “If nature is going in a direction of greater complexity, greater information integration, and greater experience and awareness, what does this mean for humanity on Earth?” Well…essentially, it means that the universe is on our side.
But this doesn’t mean that we can sit back and let physics do the work for us. Nature’s self-organizing principles don’t guarantee the survival of any one civilization. Existential outcomes are a result of both inevitability and chance. For humankind on Earth, nothing is promised. And that’s why we must make a conscious decision to fight for our continued existence and progression—for our place in cosmic history. To what degree it is “free” is a matter of debate, but we do have will. Philosophers call it downward causation, cognitive neuroscientists call it top-down control, and how it emerges has recently been explained mathematically and informationally. As agents of change, with causal power, we control the future, and we are responsible for our actions and the fate of humanity.
So what do we do to help ensure that humanity succeeds? Well, since humanity is a network of individuals that depend on each other for survival, as a society, we should strive to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people. But we can’t do that if vital resources aren’t more evenly distributed. Right now, data, wealth, and power are concentrated at unprecedented levels, putting our fate in the hands of a self-serving minority. Thanks to big tech monopolies and a borderline-authoritarian regime, resources don’t flow through the network, causing systemic deficiencies. America has festering appendages due to poor circulation. The common person is cut off from the lifeblood that powers the network. If we continue down this path of increasing centralization, the overall economic system will become unsustainable and unstable, crime and terror will rise to new levels, chaos will ensue, and eventually, this once-great nation will fall.
But we can stop that from happening by putting us on a new trajectory. We can help clear the congestion so that resources can flow throughout the human network, revitalizing it. And we can begin that process by democratizing data.
Right now, valuable personal information is stored in massive, corporate-owned data silos, instead of being given to its rightful owners. That’s where Rainbow comes in, the application that you are all using to be here tonight. You may have noticed that it combines the features of many of today’s most popular social media and professional networking platforms. But there’s a crucial difference between Rainbow and the old ones. It is autonomous and decentralized, meaning your personal data will not be aggregated, analyzed, sold, and used to exploit you. Instead, the distributed system stores your data securely and only shares it with you, the creator, who may choose to destroy it or sell filtered chunks of it to interested parties. If marketers, research labs, think tanks, law firms, and our government want to know more about its citizens, they can pay them a fair price for it. By connecting you to decentralized data marketplaces through the Rainbow portal—where data and original content can be monetized—now everyone can be part of the new economy.
And with Rainbow, you have full control over what information you share and with who. Like your social profile, you have a tab for your professional profile, where qualifications and services can be listed, which are then validated by others in your network. With Rainbow, you can do business with other people directly using cryptocurrency. You’ll no longer need middlemen companies of the past like AirBnB, Uber, and Ebay, and you don’t need to give your data away just for participating in the sharing economy.
Most importantly, the Rainbow platform can integrate all the existing blockchain projects and DAOs into one ultimate distributed ecosystem. Many have already joined the network—the Rainbow Republic—and many more are sure to after this rally. If you’re worried about not having access to certain services during the protest, due to sites being knocked down, know that just about every business we hit has a decentralized version accessible through Rainbow. Banking, search engines, browsers, shopping—all will be available through the portal. While you may encounter some bugs as new sidechains are added, know that they’ll soon be fixed by error-correcting codes and a passionate, hard-working open-source community. Through encouraging the use of these decentralized services, we can connect everyone in dozens of new ways while bypassing tech monopolies and traditional power structures, reorganizing the entire data economy to make it fairer and more efficient. Through promoting peer-to-peer systems, Rainbow opens up the piping, which nourishes the human network. This new blockchain superhighway will show the world that distributing resources more evenly amongst a nation’s citizens isn’t best done through “trickle-down economics,” or through government force, like with socialism, but with a purer form of capitalism—one vastly improved by cryptography and hyperconnectivity.
Every step we take towards total connection is a step in the right direction. It’s a mathematical fact that increasing the number of nodes and the number of connections between those nodes increases the value of the network exponentially. In other words, greater connection and more people participating in the data economy will produce greater benefits for the whole society. By fully utilizing Rainbow and its partners’ services, you can turn a movement into a revolution.
However, a decentralized Internet won’t solve all our problems. For example, it won’t stop gaze tracking, or mental data collection. For that, we need legal protection. We must get Bill’s bill passed because when privacy is at stake, so is human individuality. It may be hard to see, but mass surveillance slowly makes people instinctively normalize their behavior and curb their curiosity. When put under a spotlight, no one wants to stand out as different or weird, out of fear of being judged unfairly now or sometime in the future. Gaze tracking has taught us all to censor where we look, which restricts freedom of thought. Because of our natural human desire for privacy, we begin to behave in ways that make us less discernible. This leads to widespread conformity and groupthink, which in turn slows human innovation and progress. And while becoming more connected is a great thing overall, it also requires us to work harder to preserve individuality. The Mental Data Protection Act will help us win the fight. If we succeed in getting it passed, we will be protected from future technologies that can actually peer into the conscious mind, the most private and sacred thing of all.
They use fear to divide us, because they know it promotes tribalism, but our shared cosmic struggle can unify us, by showing us that we’re all on the same side, fighting for humanity’s continued progression. We can really do this if we all just decide right now to be heroes in this story. We can all be total badasses who save the day, and we can truly change the course of history by doing so.
Tonight, we begin the protest. We must stay engaged best we can throughout the week, and we must encourage others to do the same. Use every standing information channel the Internet has to offer to spread the message. Participating is an ethical imperative. Overlooking the urgency of this moment could doom us to a dark path that we can’t recover from. But we can do this. We have to. And it must happen now. Are you ready America? Ready to make the future ours?”