Posted on Monday, July 25 2011 @ 15:48:47 PST
Far away in the kingdom of Pire-at-Sea the evil ruler Arfor concocted a diabolical plan. He would create cloned citizens to infiltrate the kingdoms of Ninmar, Migat and Sogi. These clones would work for the citizens of the kingdoms for free providing the sorts of home help services the kingdoms’ citizens ordinarily paid for regularly. Anyone who wanted to could simply import a clone and avoid paying fees to the huge home help companies of Ela, Blizz and Capla.
This continued for a while until the kingdoms’ rulers began to fear not only reprisal from powerful lobbyists who wanted a monopoly on the helper industry but also an economic downturn if such large companies were to fail. They all countered in their own ways: Ninmar developed equipment only registered helpers could use, Sogi locked down the kingdom in an effort to block the clones from entering at all and Migat decided to use the threat of destruction of the clone labs. A threat which Arfor laughed off knowing his land was well protected against military invaders and the clone labs were well hidden. None of these measures had any effect and the clones continued delivering free service to anyone who requested it. Some continued to respect the basic economic principle of paying for goods and services received but the situation was becoming dire.
To keep generating profit the companies increased their rates, thus punishing legitimate customers while having no effect on Pire supporters, nor on Pire itself. The companies introduced their own anti-clone measures. They issued each helper with unique codes to call ‘home’ every hour and withheld required services if this did not happen. The measures they introduced only succeeded in further inconveniencing the legitimate user when Pire-at-Sea residents broke the code phrases.
The three kingdoms and three companies refused to bow down and made the most of any minor victory by creating examples of whatever Pire-at-Sea resident they managed to catch. The unfortunate few were rounded up and held in the stockades to be humiliated but their admirers were as numerous as their detractors. When they were released they were faced with financial ruin after the various fines and fees had been levied. This hard ass approach garnered support from no-one but the most ardent of Pire-at-Sea detractor. After all, helper fees were so high and helpers who had been trained and registered before going into business for themselves were hamstrung and inconvenienced wherever possible. How could anyone see the Pires as true bad guys rather than people standing up to unjust corporations? It did, however, lead to revenge attacks.
The offices of the companies would be infiltrated to cause disruption and gather information. Even the sovereign palace of Sogi was entered and the commotion kicked up as a result ground the kingdom to a halt for weeks. We now exist in a curious universe where followers of Arfor and Pire-at-Sea can easily circumvent any protective systems the kingdoms or companies create and where non-registered helpers are subject to so many rules that it is impossible for them to work to the same level as those registered to the companies. To ‘unlock’ these ‘second hand’ workers an extra fee must be paid to the relevant company. The worst thing? These so called extras used to be considered part and parcel of proper service!
Our connected planet has become a noose around our neck when helpers cannot function independently, instead needing a constant connection to base. And what if that connection is severed? The fully paid helper can only do half a job.