maugorn (maugorn) wrote,

The "Mootrix"

So there I was, sitting on the toilet this morning, chatting away with Sonya (as you do) sharing details and observations about TV we've been watching lately, in this case, _Black Mirror_. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it's an heir to _The Twilight Zone_ style of storytelling where each episode is a self-standing vignette. The episodes are set in variously plausible near futures and all of them figure technology that is pretty plausible extensions of things we have now. The overarching recurring theme is the exploration of how these new technologies; technologies we're working towards presently, will open up new and innovative ways for humans to be... (to put it nicely) the same as we always have been. Rod Serling would be so proud.

So as I was sitting, Sonya reports that all of a sudden, my eyes rolled up into my head, which then flopped to one side. As I sat there drooling, I had a vision:

I saw a near future where someone had this bright idea that instead of free ranging all the cows- that to save money and land (and decrease their carbon footprint), but to also reduce cruelty, this company would create special technology (implanted, of course, because it's *always* implanted) that would allow the cows to inhabit a virtual reality where they would *perceive* themselves to be in a pasture, with the other cows, of course.

A hacker hacked into this VR to check it out, and at first the company was all pissed off about it, but in the publicity around the lawsuits and stuff, they figured out that it would be not only profitable, but good PR to make this available to the public. You'd pay a fee and then you could put on some VR gear, log into their virtual pasture and visit with the cows as stimulation for them, and to see that they were happy. Some forms of interaction were forbidden, of course. They were not about to let customers traumatise the livestock. But they were all over having their visitors be in (virtual) human form or even cow form to hang out with and be friendly with their cows. Premium packages to be other animals in the millieu were set up. The most popular were birds.

So soon enough, people stampeded to try this out. Detractors tried to derisively call it "The Mootrix", but the company totally ran with that. They set up global franchises of The Mootrix, anywhere there was internet access, and even started leasing their services to other cattle farmers. After a little trouble to litigate and establish their brand, they became a global conglomerate and made billions.

Then, people started visiting these virtual pastures just to relax. As that became more popular, therapists started setting up special stress relief sites, hiring specific cows to keep their clients company, which led to people "adopting" specific cows as pets. The company claimed that the fees paid for these cows kept them from being slaughtered. Animal rights activists would buy up entire herds.

Rumours (none ever proven) surfaced of Dark Web sites where you could take the role of a predator killing a cow as it was being slaughtered. Or experience the cow's death in the first person.

A best selling biographical novel from those years is titled _My Life As A Cow_. It was made into a miniseries.

Some folks would, of course, get hooked on it and wouldn't want to leave.
A whole new subclass of psychological disorders evolved and were put into the DSM.

Some people were starting to get worried that the Mootrix was creating this herd mentality and was beginning to degrade society as we knew it.

That realisation was where I came out of the trance.

I know in my heart that this was a real vision of the Future.
I know in my heart that this is "found wisdom" and can't be questioned or challenged.

I was granted my vision so that I could warn you all.
I pray that my warning is herd.
Tags: moo, prognostication
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