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.
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
Texas Freezes. Wind turbines lock up. No water.
Bunk this climate change! Yes it is!
The events of Texas with all the snow and ice, and now the lack of water due to pumps being without electricity, could be signs of a climate in the process of change. But the change into what?
The etymology of the word climate started in the 14th century and was more about the parallel lines to the equator than actual temperature. It wasn’t until the late 14th century that it became more. As time moved on it came to mean the holistic patterns of weather, temperatures, rainfall, etc. in each region or place.
When scientists today speak of climate change, they are referring to the entire Earth’s weather patterns, average temperatures, etc. Which as a concept is hard for any one person to grasp because most people only know their local or regional climate. This could explain why denying climate change is so easy.
For example, the recent events in Texas. How can one say we need green energy to help stop the planet warming up when Texas froze up!
How Things Can Turn Out...
In Rosella Tolfree’s world, the average global temperature is a balmy 89 degrees Fahrenheit. The idea of freezing events doesn’t happen. Snow fall doesn’t happen anywhere on the planet. It’s too warm now for snow and ice to form. Welcome to Planet Florida.
My research into climate and how it works has shown me it’s very complex on the large scale. There are so many inputs involved that the impact of the global thermostat by moving one thing can cause that thermostat to go up or down fast locally.
Humanity plays a role in regulating this global thermostat, like it or not those who want to deny things. But we are not the end all in that thermostat equation. Humanity is only one part.
Because of our orbital position, the Earth can either be a snowball or tropical wet world, with swings in between. The Earth will always try to achieve equilibrium. Therefore, you are seeing now extreme weather events going from heat waves to freezing snows. But if we have one major volcanic event send up a ton of dust into the upper atmosphere, this could send shock waves through the entire global climate cooling things down. And if that volcanic event is a basalt lava flow (like what happened in Rosella’s world), then we will see temperatures rise instead because of the amount of gas venting. These are events outside our control with our human technology right now.
The Real Problem With Climate Change
What national leaders are not grasping that I hope my writings of Rosella’s dystopian world shows is that they are not prepared for what’s coming.
While the Earth’s climate shifts back and forth to maintain equilibrium, localities are going to experience freezing events, heat waves, storm flooding, windstorms, large hurricanes, crop failure, pandemics and diseases, and mass migration. This is on top of human conflicts because of these events.
Governments around the world need to start spending more and more money on infrastructure repairs and construction to keep up with all the changes. This is not to mention economic impacts and military costs. The alternative is to do nothing and let society decay. As you can tell, this is much more than investing in green tech. Climate Change is about investing in both dealing with the global thermostat setting, and the real financial impacts of those changes.
In Rosella’s world, the U.S. federal government let things decay.
One of my friends forwarded a Tweet from a writer, that she knows that lives in the city of Lake Charles, LA.
It’s had “four federally declared disasters in the last six months,” according to the forwarded tweet.
Her friend says its “utterly exhausting to live in a disaster zone.”
The most recent disaster is the same snow disaster that hit Texas, but no one is talking about Lake Charles.
Majority of the declared disasters for 2020 were hurricanes. Nothing new there. The ice storm is the new one for 2021.
But this gets to the heart of the problem I noted above. As the Earth’s climate shifts back and forth to achieve equilibrium, these kinds of disasters are only going to cost more and more.
The reality is turning the thermostat backwards too far is only going to result in a frozen snowball Earth. There’s no concept of a goldilocks zone for Earth’s climate. You’ll always have some amount of local catastrophic weather. But it’s true at certain temperatures the intensities and frequencies diminish. The problem is, I don’t think science has a clear handle on what that temperature is. A reasonable guess is more like it based on previous information. But outcomes have yet to be determined.
The question to our political leaders is how to handle the constant and repeating costs of all these disasters. My suggestion for the U.S. is to move away from FEMA and start looking towards a universal basic income (UBI) theory with FEMA as a backup. If done right, the UBI payments could provide an economic cushion during these events to relieve the need for FEMA cash relief and other kinds of immediate aide.
What Happens When The World Gets Hot?
Image- burning earth heat, by Tumiso, Source pixabay. Processed through Adobe Spark.
Voter Fraud and Election Overturns Becomes Rampant in the U.S.
Voter Confidence Sinks to All Time Lows
The Voter Election Process is Reformed by Congress
During the late First Age, the U.S. faced an election crisis. Voter confidence in the system collapsed. Many voters stopped voting in protest.
This crisis occurred in several states and municipalities where election contests were judicially overturned, or criminal fraud had occurred. The problems were widespread and had become a contentious issue.
The level of fraud burst the narrative bubble “that voter fraud is rare”. An issue that further polarized the nation. Claims of voter fraud or voter suppression divided the people and were echoed by pundits and politicians alike.
Even with the passage of the Voters Right Amendment, it wouldn’t be until the beginning of the Second Age of Humanity, that Congress would take up reforming voting in the U.S.
Voting Process Act
The Voting Process Act standardized the election process for all Federal elections.
The first part of the act created a division within the Secret Service to maintain a database that assigned every child born in the U.S., its territories and to a U.S. citizen abroad, a unique identification number. They then transmitted this number into all other federal databases as a coded index number, including systems used by states for voter verification. When a person died, this number was deleted from the database, and they updated all other systems.
The second part established a government corporation to produce domestically an election machine to meet specified standards. All components had to have a strict level of custody that made the complete process from chip to software to finish product all in-house. Employees had to have top secret clearance to even work in these facilities. The law didn’t permit sub-contractors or contractors. This entity was subject to two annual audits by the GAO. Further, the act required after each election the GAO to conduct a forensic audit to be reported to Congress and released to the public.
These machines, or kiosks, required a voter to place their state identification into a card slot followed by a thumb scan. After the voter verified their ballot choices, they would then approve and cast the ballot by signing their name with their finger on a touch screen. Because of the interconnection, these kiosks allowed a voter to vote in any location in the U.S. as the system would provide them with the ballot for their specific residential address on file.
Additionally, a person could register to vote at these machines, and they came in different configurations allowing agreements with states and municipalities to use them as either ballot drop boxes and/or ballot printing stations.
Some voters were resistant to using these new machines as they were interconnected to the advance Wi-Fi networks and used artificial intelligence for fraud deterrence. These voters preferred paper ballot methods which in the previous age were considered the most secure against any fraud threat.
A handful of states challenged the constitutionality of the act, but the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the federal government citing the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and the federal government’s jurisdiction over federal elections.
In the ruling, the act didn’t stop states and local municipalities from using whatever method for voting for their own elections, but federal elections had to comply with this new technology.
One of the major results were the smaller parties used this ability to divide up municipalities by forcing them to paper ballot systems. This caused these locations to have a smaller pool of voters they took advantage of and resulted in more of their candidates to be elected to power.
By Rosella’s Time
Voting by Rosella’s time had continued at low levels. Despite reforms in place, people continued to distrust the election process. They didn’t bother to take part or even follow up with official registration. As a result, many states and counties had amended their jury selection processes to random citizen lottery systems based on tax returns.
A lot of low-level voting was because of the disruptions caused by the Great Melt and New Madrid Traps. But the previous age’s idea of high levels of voter fraud were still persistent on the social media net. This was true for the local elections, which created in the minds of citizens a sense of constant political corruption. It was re-enforced during the Ross Perot Age Period of U.S. Presidents when Congress elected the President.
The other problem was the Great Vital Records Hack. The database used by the Secret Service relied on state and other vital record information to maintain itself. Now there was a hack of 35.2 million records that went missing and had to be replaced. Aside from the controversy over special treatments because of racial issues, this inflamed arguments on the social media net of potential voter fraud and suppression. Thus, furthering people’s mistrust of voting.
Rosella is not registered to vote. Some jurisdictions prevented clones and androids from voting.
Image- polling station poll election day. By mounsey. Source pixabay. (Processed using Adobe Spark).
While dark and disturbing, the short story, “Dawn Mason’s Extreme Hatred Bias”, shows the realities facing those in the dystopian U.S. deemed seriously mentally ill. It’s not a hope filled future for these individuals.
And despite Uzzia Banks’ attempts to lead a social revolution to overturn things, society was firmly set on its opinions concerning the seriously mentally ill.
By Rosella Tolfree’s time, the U.S. society still harbored a disdain and near hatred for those suffering from serious mental illness.
Those fears were further added to by the continual development of artificial intelligence into autonomous walking machines, known as androids.
Research of the time showed that the android brain was prone to psychological issues like that of a human’s brain. It was from this reality that scientists developed psychological control features for androids, but this didn’t comfort society. People became scared of a robotic rampage.
With the Hollywood Rampage event, in which a few cerebra cybernetic enhanced actors went on a killing spree in downtown Los Angeles, humanity’s fear of full cybernetic interconnection with the digital world would lead to problems were realized.
As a child, Rosella herself almost ended up in a state repression drug program. There was an incident when she was around the age of seven when the state of California did a reassessment on her. This was prompted by one of her online schoolteachers noting fantasy elements in a creative writing assignment that were too detailed. The details were so vivid it was as if she had been there and snapped a photo. The administration suspected Rosella might be suffering from dementia or schizophrenia. Results of the reassessment came back as inconclusive. Without a conclusive result, the state couldn’t place her in the program. The results spared Rosella the trauma Dawn suffered.
Image- mental illness depression mental. By avi_acl, Source pixabay. (Processed using Adobe Spark).
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