Notes from the Future Fabulators Scenario workshop in October 2013, based on the question “What will happen to fear in 2033?”
(A)Maze Islands thrive in 2033. Its ruling class of promotes it as a place of “ultra-fluid opportunities”, while the lower strata suffer under what they see as “ultra-fluid exploitation”. (A)Maze is dominated by a tyranny of experts, trained in expensive universities to become translators between everything and everything else. They are able communicators, marketeers and knowledge brokers, partnered with a guild of copyright lawyers, the high priests and the all pervasive religious power in (A)Maze. They have crafted an extremely complicated and highly digital rights and property management systems, impossible to navigate without one of the certified arbitrators. The lawyers are paid by a myriad of companies thriving in this tax haven, forming larger and larger interdisciplinary conglomerates, spewing massive amounts of advertising aimed at their multistakeholder consumer bases. Both the companies and the consumers live in a tense fear of filter failure, when the overload of information would engulf and suffocate this high paced society. To keep their head above the muck of information, they hire the filter mafia to help them sift through oceans of irrelevant sound bites. The mafia provides knowledge loans - well packaged, superbly translated chunks of knowledge, devoid of information junk.
In this extremely stratified society, where the multitasking, interdisciplinary, well translated experts rule, on the bottom side of the large social gap are the mono-translated proletariat and the untranslated outcasts. Terrified of being untranslatable and incomprehensible, they live in an existential fear of drowning in insignificance and marginality. Monotasking, vagueness and specialisation are considered disabilities and treated in vast office cum resort complexes. The illiterates are the untouchables of (A)Maze. The underclasses are exploited by the filter mafia and the expert tyrants, used as lab-rats to test information filters, bombarded with irrelevant information, but kept docile through exquisite marketing that makes (A)Maze seem a paradise on Earth.
This scenario is one of four Fear scenarios: