Dan Hon imagines what happens when all of a city’s systems are connected, incentivized, gamified, and bureaucratically weaponized:

I was late paying the water bill, so the parking meter refused service until I coughed up.

The meter said I had 30 seconds to pay the water bill until I had to move my car, and… I just froze. Then the meter attendant came. She said she was just doing her job as she booted my car, then looked down at her phone. Reminded me I hadn’t taken out my recycling.

This wasn’t turning out to be a good day.

She told me I was on my second strike: one more, and I’d lose streetlight privileges. I’d heard about that: a social shaming punishment. Streetlights would create a cone of darkness around just you.

(Hon originally published this short fiction as a Twitter thread and shared it again in his email newsletter.)

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