The Null Device

The Exterminator's Want-Ad

The Exterminator's Want Ad, a new story by scifi author and design theorist Bruce Sterling, set after an economic/ecological collapse and collectivist revolution, and from the point of view of a particularly despicable corporate tool butting up against the rehabilitation process (the revolutionaries, it seems, are a bit more soft-hearted than the Bolsheviks or Cubans were).
Me, I was more of the geek technician in our effort. My job was to methodically spam and troll the sharing-networks. I would hack around with them, undermine them, and make their daily lives difficult. Threaten IP lawsuits. Spread some Fear Uncertainty and Doubt. Game their reputation systems. Gold-farm their alternative economies. Engage in DDOS attacks. Harass the activist ringleaders with blistering personal insults. The usual.
Claire and I hated the sharing networks, because we were paid to hate them. We hated all social networks, like Facebook, because they destroyed the media that we owned. We certainly hated free software, because it was like some ever-growing anti-commercial fungus. We hated search engines and network aggregators, people like Google -- not because Google was evil, but because they weren't. We really hated "file-sharers" -- the swarming pirates who were chewing up the wealth of our commercial sponsors.
Because the inconvenient truth is that, authentically, about fifteen percent of everybody is no good. We are the nogoodniks. That's the one thing the Right knows, that the Left never understands: that, although fifteen percent of people are saintly and liberal bleeding hearts, and you could play poker with them blindfolded, another fifteen are like me. I'm a troll. I'm a griefer. I'm in it for me, folks. I need to "collaborate" or "share" the way I need to eat a bale of hay and moo.

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