Steps towards the future

When I work on short stories, which is not so often lately, I try to get back to a story called “The Last Hacker Convention”, where a bunch of aging hackers in their 80s meet for one last convention. They are overwhelmed by the modern tech, but they are able to overcome it and dominate. Fun stuff.

One thing that I need is a massive peer based network for all communications. There used to be a BBS system in the 80s called FIDO where you cold connect to another FIDO node that connected to another in a huge mesh so that with only local calls you could communicate to people all around the world. Imagine that FIDO has come to cell phones and you get cell phones that communicate with each other rather than cell towers. No more paying the phone companies, just join the network and you can talk for free with cell phones through this vast peer to peer cell phone network.

Today I saw an article in Technology Review about a FIDO-like network that some larger companies are working on.

Upgrade to LTE Will Let Phones Talk without Cell Towers, Allowing New Forms of Social Apps and Advertising | MIT Technology Review.

In addition to that I saw in Microsoft Prediction Lab that is right out of John Brunner’s Shockwave Rider. Brunner’s work describes the internet in great detail long before it existed and thought that it would be used to unite people by gathering their opinions. Brunner’s protagonist manipulates the results of the opinions using a “Worm” (long before internet worms or viruses). I want to have the attackers manipulate a similar consensual reality of the local networks using the peer to peer network.