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The author was in China, where a lot of gold farming occurs.
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BaitCoIn farming by Brendan ZaChary AllIson
“Bonnie! Two more pigshuts behind me. That makes 9 on my ass. What’s taking so long?”
“Sorry, sweetie. I can’t identify the specific police shuttles chasing you. You’re too fast.”
“Then shut ‘em all down, ya clueless cunt! We got more neuricles than the whole Shanghai cop network!”
The ten shuttles kept speeding over, under, around, and through midair obstacles. Clyde saw red and blue everywhere and assumed he’d hear police sirens if they’d been going slower. His armored shuttle dinged a moped that then hit one of the pigshuts behind him, and two other cops broke off pursuit to help them. Aside from more neuricles, his shuttle’s AI was unimpeded by safety protocols. “Woo hoo!” he whooped. Then six more pigshuts zoomed in from his left. This was getting too close. He thought a few commands. “Bonnie, I’m gonna overclock all of BaitCoin Farm One, should give us about 20 percent more neuricles.”
“And then kill half our bitches there. Didn’t we want less police attention?”
“I don’t think we can get any more.” He punched the air as his autopilot dropped flak that got 2 shuttles. “Woo hoo! Hey, don’t feel bad. They’ll get a nice dopamine rush as they burn out.”
About 60 miles away, in a warehouse that really did look abandoned, 400 peasants jerked and whooped and – more importantly to their master – thought a little harder. None of them individually knew what their brains were doing, like always. Before they signed up to be human processors at Bonnie and Clyde’s BaitCoin Farm, they were told it could entail a myriad of murky goals: market prediction, bitcoin mining, AImbots, microtargeting algorithms, captcha capping, even high-speed autopiloting and hacking. Their contracts did in fact mention “occasional” stimulation to bolster neuricle production. Honest criminals.
“Clyde.” Pause. “Sweetheart.” Deep breath. “You realize we get less neuricles as they start dying, right?”
“Depends on the cause. They’ll fire off neuricles for a while after a heart attack. Seizure actually helps.”
“How did you take the Hippocratic Oath with a straight face?”
The lights, sirens, and police shuttles all suddenly slowed and descended, white lights showing “parker” mode, as the Shanghai police network went down. “Woo hoo!” Clyde shouted to the sudden silence. He quickly thought a few more commands that streamed Fab-92H2 through the IVs plugged into his bitches, killing their overclock highs. “Same way I wooed you with a straight face. Thought of you without makeup.” Clyde, still high from his natural dopamine rush, did a few victory laps around the closest police station, knowing they’d be offline for at least ten minutes. He was thus quite slow in noticing the ongoing silence. “C’mon, honey, I know we had our troubles, but I was just kidding.” The silence got louder. “Aww, you just don’t know what’s funny.” One one thousand. Two one thousand. Three one thousand. “Woo! Woo….” Six. Ten. He thought he could hear one of his techs laugh in the background. Then kissing. Fuck.
The police sirens started wooing again as Clyde’s shuttle slowed and descended in “parker” mode.
Gold farms have been around for quite a while. People work, often for little money, to earn virtual gold or other items to sell online for real money. These farms are similar, but they mine “neuricles” that are neural processing units, created by human brains, that process external data. This presumes “neuricles” will become commodities like electricity, bitcoin or virtual gold.
“Over, under, around, and through” is a song by Sesame Street to teach prepositions.
Fab-92H2 is a cocaine antagonist. I never specified how they “overclocked” humans, so who knows whether this would help bring them down.
“Parker” was the last name of Bonnie (from the legendary criminal couple named Bonnie and Clyde).
This isn’t realistic in the near-term for many reasons. Further in the future, farms like these assume there’s a demand for using human brains in this quite inhuman fashion. There’s no better way to use human brains to solve problems such as talking. Law enforcement isn’t able to stop all of it, doesn’t care, doesn’t exist, is involved, etc. Technically, there would have to be some way to interface brain communication (Fodor’s Language of Thought) with external data streams with much higher bandwidth and fidelity than currently possible.
This example is pretty bleak in the technology and its applications. On the bright side, at least these farms are illegal and cops do try to stop them.
I wrote this in December 2022.
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