Rosella Tolfree Installment Stories
A series set in a politically dark and dystopian future of the U.S.A.
Featuring blogs that explains Rosella's World
Rosella Tolfree's World is a fictional world.
Elon Musk Jokes About Dogecoin on SNL
Cryptocurrencies Fall Apart
The U.S. Develops a Digital USD
Central Bank Digital Currencies Help Power an A.I. Arms Race
On SNL, Elon Musk joked that Dogecoin was a hustle. This was followed a couple days later, as reported on Bloomberg, that Mr. Musk tweeted Tesla would no longer accept the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as payment for his cars. He cited green energy issues. This sent the prices of Bitcoin tumbling.
Following all this, the Economist had a piece on the idea of central banks issuing digital money and if banks could survive. The piece noted that in October 2020 the central bank of the Bahamas became the first group to issue a digital currency. China has since followed with the e-yuan. Other central banks are now looking into the idea.
The U.S. Federal Reserve has had a dual mandate [price stability (i.e., the rate of inflation) and maximum sustainable employment] for a long time. They do this through the control of monetary flows through the various areas of the economy. This is not the same throughout the world with other central banks. But could this change with digital currencies? Digital currencies allow for greater control features not part of the current fiat money supply.
So, What Happened?
As the First Age of Humanity continued to unfold, cryptocurrencies kept having issues. There were problems with the mining aspects from how block chains worked. An ever-increasing number of anti-trust lawsuits were launched by miners against other miners, to increasing social concerns over power and resource consumption. There was also the ever-increasing pressure by the SEC against various U.S. entities launching cryptocurrencies in violation of trade and security acts. Then came a big Federal crackdown effort on cybercriminal activity involving not only general hacking, but also the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering and other criminal activities. Arrests of crypto crimes were becoming news click bait as people became increasingly reluctant to use the digital currencies for trade. Then Wall Street became unwilling to deal with the space until the government developed greater oversight. This is when the ride stopped with the current known cryptocurrencies as the market collapsed.
It was at this point the U.S. federal government reasserted its authority under Section 31 U.S.C. 5103 and Title 18, Section 471 to issue any currency for trade, debt, and any obligation by creating its own digital version of the US dollar. It then relegated the remaining cryptocurrencies to a variant of tradable security like stocks, bonds, and futures. These moves reassured Wall Street allowing the reopening of trading in the cryptocurrency space, but in doing so subjected the transfers to greater scrutiny. Such as removing off book transactions, the public announcement of certain transactions by insiders, and subjecting domestic cryptocurrency exchanges to the same rules as all other security exchanges.
The Digital USD Technology
The adoption of a digital USD, or d-USD, caused a consolidation of the US banking industry. Left were shadow bankers, investment bankers, credit unions, and saving & loans associations. Gone were retail bankers, commercial bankers, and cooperative bankers. The accounts from lost banks were redistributed and merged into either the remaining bankers or under the new division of the Federal Reserve handling the d-USD working with the Treasury Department, the Commerce Department and Small Business Administration.
The US Treasury continued to print coin denominations but discontinued the printing of paper bills. Except now all coins had Nano-chips imbedded in them, making them digital and traceable.
By Rosella’s time, d-USD transactions were tracked through an A.I. reinforced Byzantine consensus mechanism instead of older block chain technology. People kept all their d-USD transactions online in a “g-wallet” maintained by the Federal Reserve. The “g” isn’t for government but is for gene. This is because it granted access through a gene scan from a person’s finger. Some people employed a second layer of security using a “key chip”. Key chips could be imbedded in the hand or kept in something physical, like a card. They used a special form of algorithmic encryption that required both parties to know the formula. Each key chip formula is unique and registered with the g-wallet that there is one.
A g-wallet ties in all aspects of the finances of a person into one digital location allowing individuals to get loans, buy stocks, or conduct any wide range of financial transactions. The downside was the government now monitors all transactions.
Cord Cutters & Criminals
There are hold outs who’ve cut the cord from digital money. This is common for poorer or remote areas of the United States. It’s also found in the communities of Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, and parts of San Francisco, California. These areas have returned to basic bartering or use of any precious commodity, like jewels or gold for trade.
Many criminals have also moved to physical gold and silver for transactions finding it has a lower digital footprint. More clever criminals have multiple fake g-wallets using 3-D printed DNA fingers to do money laundering. These criminals act as the go between for transacting gold and silver for goods and weapons then passing the metals on to other people for d-USD. Allowing them to purchase more supplies for gangs.
Local, State and Federal law enforcement are constantly investigating links between the cord cutting communities and the criminal networks. In Seattle and Portland there are street protests, even in Rosella’s time, by those who support the people’s right to barter and not deal in the new digital currencies.
The Rest of the World
As for the rest of the world, by Rosella’s time you see other central banks with digital currencies and government monitored digital wallets. Some places removed all their banks while others kept private banking systems in place. With the digitization of currency came a precise control over the economy by nation states that rivaled all previous control measures. For the first time nation states could stop certain sales of products because of illegal activity or safety issues with the push of a button. But it also made central banks an increasing target for cyberwarfare and espionage creating a security tech race among the nations. This alone helped to power the increasing development of more powerful A.I. systems for both defense and attack.
No More Doxing
No More Unlawful Assembly
You Are Now A Public Nuisance
In the early 21st Century, the Governor of the former State of Florida signed into law an ‘anti-riot’ bill. It wouldn’t be until the Presidency of Gilbert Sheppard, during the Ross Perot Period of U.S. Presidents of the Second Age of Humanity, that we would sign a similar act into law at the Federal level.
FACV came into being because of the extensive amount of uncontrolled violent acts against people and property prior to the ratification of the Minority Race Economic Adjustment Amendment. Afterwards there were continual minor acts of vigilante violence, especially as the governments dealt with the natural disaster of the Great Melt and the forced displacement of people. The ultimate catalyst was the Battle in Warrenton that proceeded the ratification of the Naturalization Amendment (a.k.a. Immigration Amendment) under President Veronica Simmons. This battle and how President Simmons dealt with it, destroyed all confidence in a civil society for America.
All this violence was claimed to be legitimate under the hospice of the citizen’s arrest code of conduct, and the rights of assembly and free speech. This wasn’t true in many jurisdictions based on the criminal arrests, but lenient judges created a situation that gave license to this behavior.
The Act's Creation
FACV spelled out what made up a person(s) as a vigilante under the Federal code and differentiated it from that of a terrorist. Senator Hobbs and Representative Bridges modeled FACV after the Federal laws dealing with criminal street gangs, but they made changes. During the filibuster on the Senate floor, lengthy speeches were given showing how many of the “vigilante groups” were nothing more than street thugs acting out a “conspiracy to commit an offense” such as “violence or physical force against the person of another.” Other Senators invoked the words of past revolutionaries, and historical figures who had to fight for change against mounting odds. Emphasizing that sometimes that required violence to do so.
This time the nation was not ideologically split on this issue. An overwhelming majority knew of the violence that proceeded the passing of the Minority Race Economic Adjustment Amendment, as well as the violence with the passing of the Naturalization Amendment. They thought American society had gone too far and something new was needed to help quell this problem. FACV in the end was best legal solution too many. It was because of this broad support, and too many key Senate seats were up for reelection, that the filibuster attempt in the Senate failed.
What the Act Did
FACV made it illegal for an individual member of a vigilante group, or a vigilante group itself to gather intelligence on a business, government, or individual. Only those states which provided those powers to perform citizen’s arrests could perform what used to be known as “doxing.” Other crimes included “tagging” or the use of graffiti; Flash mobbing or illegally assembling in the name of a protest; Verbally abusing or insulting individuals with incendiary speech to provoke a violent reaction; and creating a public nuisance in a community through any form of property destruction, harassment, or even the use of the social media net to berate a community or specific person or entity in a community.
FACV also included more grave acts dealing with exploitation, money laundering, and other violent crimes such as murder or conspiracy to commit murder. FACV was all in compassing in describing any possible attributable crimes to vigilantes and their organizations. The act required in all states that standards be adopted for making individuals licensed to perform what was under the behaviors of a citizen’s arrest. No longer could any person detain another. Exceptions were made for bonafide news media covered under the freedom of press, as well as certain forms of free speech covered by previous Supreme Court decisions.
The initial penalties for FACV were considered a felony with an automatic penalty of 50 years in prison with no chance of parole and no chance of bail. Supreme Court struck the last two provisions down, and Congress changed the act to include a parole procedure and a minimum bail set at $1 million USD. Otherwise, all other provisions were upheld by the Supreme Court allowing states to develop a new class of citizen-based policing.
FACV provided the Ranger Marshals, and other Federal policing agencies, a greater number of legal abilities in bringing up charges against those they suspected were vigilantes. It would be from the FACV that Pattyroller licensing was adopted in all other states to retrieve rogue androids. This was despite four Southern states (GA, AL, LA, and TX) and the northern states of Ohio and Pennsylvania having a Pattyroller-like license on the books since the creation of the A-3 androids.
Ross Perot Period of U.S. Presidents–This period was named after Henry Ross Perot by historians because his 1992 campaign had at one point created a three-way split in the polls. In theory, if he had won enough electoral votes, it would have been the first time since 1877 that Congress would had to decide on a president. For it’s during this period that 10 sequential presidential electoral cycles would have to be determined by Congress. This was because of the amount of political party division in the U.S.
Death Equals Meat
Only The Emotional Bury The Dead
Rumors Say The Rich Are Eating Corpse Meat
On March 29, 2021, Gallup reported that church membership in 2020 fell below 50% for U.S. adults.
By the Second Age of Humanity, this decline continued until it hovered around 15 to 20%. This was despite years of attempts to lure generations back into the pews.
With the changes in the 501(c)3 laws allowing religions to actively participate in the political process in the U.S., we see the decline in religious membership stabilize to it's 15 to 20% level.
The View on Death
Those following religious beliefs were given a sense of immortality rooted in an afterlife. Usually, the religion or belief attached the outcome of this afterlife to a set of morals.
For Rosella, she professes no religious belief. She sees the universe, like many, in the light of the standard scientific model of the time, and socially accepted ethics.
In Rosella’s line of work, she’s seen death. Her world view gives her a concept of death that when you die nothing happens except the body decays as a piece of meat.
Burial of the Dead
Each religious community had its own form of burial ritual common to their faith. This even includes those faith groups who see the androids as living, with some burying the “dead” androids in coffins in cemeteries. It would not be uncommon for Pattyroller agents, working for the leasing groups, to be seen late at night digging up these “dead” androids to recover the leased property.
Rosella loved her father so much that she wanted to give him a burial. She wasn’t able due circumstances of her being in the Ranger Marshals, and the speed at which the medical examiner processed her father’s body. This desire for a burial happens with individuals who are strongly attached to their loved ones.
Even with cemeteries present, there are many who don’t even bother and walk away from their loved ones. Leaving them for the state to dispose of their body. This may seem incomprehensible, but a cultural belief of the dead body has no meaning and is no longer your loved one has become a norm. The view held is your loved one is only your loved one while alive. But if dead, they are no longer who they were. They’ve become meat.
This view of death being nothing more than bodies becoming decaying meat has resulted in people pursuing ways to avoid this end. This has translated into pushing genetics into causing humans to living longer, curing diseases, or building technologies to avoid certain environmental issues.
In the parts of society where death is more of a daily reality, these people still hold the general view that death results in a person is only a piece of meat. As mentioned with Rosella, if a person has an emotional attachment to the individual, only then will they try to seek a burial ritual.
Cannibalism of the Dead
Since the Great Melt and losing large meat animal husbandry, fresh meat supplies have dwindled. On outlier Social Media Net shows there are stories that the rich have used fresh corpses as sources of meat. These stories are nothing more than unsubstantiated rumors and hearsay. The reality is closer to the fact the rich can afford 3-D printed steaks, and other similar cuts of meat. From sources grown in orbital stations dedicated to supplying food to Mars.
Note To The Readers- The term Pattyroller is not to glorify this job. Or make it akin to Decker in PKD’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep“. And my use of it is not equal to that of the horrible brutalities inflicted upon those who these “bounty hunters” retrieved in the past (see below). It is to bring to light a historical word in a similar context to allow the reader to explore the true meaning. Androids are nothing more than property in Rosella’s world. Property that has emotions and can think, but is not alive by human standards. Androids are not even a close analog to a human slave, except in the sense of being property. Like a car or a house. Androids are the essence of how people saw those known as slaves. Not fully human, despite whatever legal document said of them. Something to ponder as we move forward technologically.
Pattyrollers- In the early days of android leasing, there were no Pattyrollers. Only your standard repo-men working for leasing agents. It wasn’t until androids had Emo-Ware installed did the Pattyroller come into existence. The problem was androids with Emo-Ware had a tendency to walk away from their work. The phrase Pattyroller resurfaced in the American lexicon during the Second Age of Humanity because of the level of cruelty these men used (and they were mostly men, typically unfit for mining on Mars). The word’s origin comes from a black slave descendent term used for the slave patrols, groups of licensed men who brutally hunted down escaped slaves. The name stuck despite its original meaning and became incorporated in many legal documents. Many states granting these men a host of rights, such as the ability to kill any person standing in their way to recover a bounty. Socially, many considered Pattyrollers scum and maladjusted.
Rosella was at her desk at the Washington, DC Headquarters of the U.S. Ranger Marshals. She was finishing up paperwork on a recent case when an email came from Maurice in Accounting.
“What now? Is there something wrong with my budget submission?”
Rosella opened the email.
“What the fuck?! There’s no message. What’s this vid attachment?”
Rosella played the short vid.
“Maurice, this is a pathetic joke.”
Rosella leaned back in her chair. “Wait? I hope this isn’t an accounting troll way of asking for a date. Although, he keeps hanging around my cubical, like some lost puppy. But he’s not that attractive. And I must patch up things with Coda so we can still work together.”
Rosella sat up and turned to her goldfish. “Hubert, I hate office romances.”
Rosella then deleted the email.
To see what Rosella saw... click on the red link above called vid.
Link to listing of other USRM-ISB Installments published or yet to be published.
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To Surrender Personal Privacy
For The Wonders Of Technology
To some in the early 21st Century, China is one of the most monitored and connected societies. As an example, during the COVID-19 pandemic they had developed phone apps as passes to gate people into certain areas depending on COVID-19 status.
Some have suggested that when POTUS45 was removed from social media, that Big Tech was flexing its muscles that even the U.S. could become tech controlled like China.
Development of Smart Cities
It would be during the late First Age of Humanity that governments developed Smart Cities. By this point the Big Tech giants had long been broken up, but this didn’t stop the CEOs from cooperating together. It was during this time that Jon Greene’s family would make its fortunes in the wiring of road sensors and other infrastructure for smart car technology. His family corporation became the global leader in retrofitting entire cities and nations to smart roads for the new car technology. This period would become another Gilded Age.
But not all people were content with the developments of these Smart Cities. In the U.S., these protestors tried political unrest and to vote out politicians, but these tactics failed. These disgruntled city folks didn’t like how the courts were allowing the intrusion of data stealing corporations into their lives. In frustration, many fled the developing Smart Cities to the wild parts of America. To live like pioneers once more. Many of these would be wilderness settlers perished because of inadequate understanding of how to live off the land.
By the time of the Second Age of Humanity, the idea of Smart Cities with a woven web of interconnected infrastructure, like how human nerves run throughout the body, became a reality. Various computerized systems from dumb A.I. systems too more sophisticated A.I. systems were used to control everything. It kept the interconnected parts of the human world efficiently working, even with the ecological disasters going about it. So necessary was this infrastructure in the U.S. that even basic Wi-Fi couldn’t be turned off by the government because of a U.S. Supreme Court case granting Constitutional Net Privilege Rights. Only under extreme cases of acts of terrorism were exceptions allowed.
The Difference and The Price
The big difference of Rosella’s World is humanity is not fully wired into this electronic network. The development of cybernetics to the point of full integration of the human mind into cyberspace ceased with the LA Cyber Riots. The LA Cyber Riots represented the tipping point where people realized that if things continued, a new super race was about to become a reality. Globally humanity turned its back against the idea of human-machine integration after that point. Humanity felt more comfortable with the control it had over artificial intelligence controlling parts of its world than wanting full integration.
All this integration came with a price. One’s privacy is surrendered to get a constant flow of data. For example, Rosella’s apartment toilet is an integrated smart toilet which monitors her health from her use. Many public and private toilets are this way by her time. They considered this a major medical advancement. Now real-time data could be fed into A.I. medical systems to alert a human doctor of any problem or medication change. Other real time health devices are available for individuals from implants, to integrated home systems, and to walk-up kiosks. Thanks to U.S. social changes in health care, integrating health data collection in a person’s everyday life was increased by Rosella’s time. No one felt their privacy was compromised because they were getting so many technological benefits in exchange.
The exception were the Great Melt refugees put into ‘the stacks.’ They were cut off from any benefit but had to surrender their privacy for the wellbeing of society. Many were American citizens. Kept in camps made from cargo containers while the US government figured out what to do. By the time of many of the Rosella Tolfree stories, a second generation has already been born in the camps.
YouTube Talks In Part About Smart Cities Problems
Seth Underwood writes hard science fiction and political dystopian science fiction. His future political dystopian U.S. world features decades of despot presidents, a flooded world, and new para-military force known as the Ranger Marshals. He has freemium stories at www. sethunderwoodstories.com