Let’5 Be B4d Guy5

October 31st, 2011

Once upon a time, we were just another band, playing in bars, hoping to change the world that existed in a single room for the length of a set. Maybe Casimir hoped this system would create something more, knew before the end that changing the world would take more than pissing off some guys in a bar somewhere.

Harry, the Dude and I all agreed to use the system against our own investors. We showed them enough of what we had to keep their interest, just not everything it could do. It’s going to be marketed and sent around as a much simpler product. I won’t say what it pretended to be, but Mike was very convincing.

The investors funded this evil system and told us it was okay. They might be okay people one at a time, but some worldwide network of rich guys as a group only cares about one thing, money.

Now we can keep an eye on them and see where they do with that money, make subtle moves through dummy companies so their transactions aren’t all quite so profitable. We’re small time, under the radar. It’s safer that way, but we’re working to take the big guys down a little bit, to make the system more even.

The programmers are refining our system according to my design. I want to get our software into other business where machines track people and tell them what to do, then see if we can rewrite those programs in ways the bosses there might not notice.

Other companies are working on technology to watch everyone, and I want to watch them real close.

If the investors ever find out what we’re really doing, we’re fucked, but maybe we won’t need their money forever. Sometimes we turn around and use the information about them to make a few smart investments ourselves. Even Robin Hood had operating costs.

In case anything happens to me, I’m paying Tinkerbell to make copies of this notebook and distribute it. I want people to know I meant well.

Tink works for us now, sometimes, freelance. She understands this world way better than I ever will, so it seemed like a good move. I pay her not to tell people things. It feels kind of like blackmail, and I can’t believe it’s come to this. I run a company, but she’s still out of my league.

Yeah, I’m in charge of the company now, but I still don’t feel like my own boss. I have to work all the time, which sucks, but it’s a sacrifice I make to try and do good in the world.

I took the laptop out of the dispatch office, breaking the lease on that place. I think the building manager was glad to get rid of us, but good luck getting the smell out, asshole.

I hired Roger back from his high-stress finance job to come handle our money. I don’t really understand that part of all this either, but I trust him.

I had him come up with as good a severance package as we could manage for anyone who decided not to stay and be part of the new direction. I want to let them decide to come along.

Acid Burn works for me now. We had a pretty good thing going for a while there, and she’s still into me because I was in the band all that time ago. She’s still as weird in the head as she ever was, which I guess I’m getting used to. It’s going kinda well. We have a lot of experiences in common, which brought us closer together. We both know what it is to be lonely, and we both had the same shitty boss, but she and the programmers are busy rewriting it, with a few more breaks for fresh air.

She likes to be efficient, so she tells me what’s going on with that part of the company over dinner. At least when we have sex afterwards, I don’t have to care about that stuff for a little while.

I can’t drink like I used to, but I can savor a good glass of wine. I started a new collection, but I’m not putting it in a regular storage space. It turns out, Storage San Francisco also rents wine bunkers. I never knew.

Harry likes bossing the nerds around, so I let him, but the Dude and I make sure he doesn’t get too far out of line.

The Dude doesn’t have to pretend to be a bad guy now that Harry is here. He doesn’t wear the hood anymore, and he seems happy just working on the computer. His habits are worn in pretty deep, but not being in charge of things and mingling with the other employees every once in a while has loosened him up. He started watching stuff made after 1999. He’s really excited about something called Firefly. I try to get him to talk to me in regular sentences, but that’s more of a long term project.

“Having small evils to fight makes people stronger to fight the big ones later on.” I’m the small evil my people need to fight. Together, we’re fighting the big evils now. But maybe we’ll keep finding bigger ones, taking control of those evils and getting stronger to fight the evils above those. That’s what I’m doing, right?

I still use that same laptop I had in dispatch, but there are days where I feel like I’m back there, agreeing with whatever it says we should do.

Steal from the rich?

Tell other people what to do?

Compromise what you wanted to stand for?

I’m not in a position to say no.

We’re watching, in more places than you think. I’m watching. I’m not free, but neither is anybody else. This all seemed like a good compromise, but I almost wish I never came back to work here in the first place.

I stay up at night sometimes and wonder how I got into this position. I wonder if I lost myself along the way. I remember the person I used to be by looking back at these pages, and I’m ashamed of what I am. This place needs somebody to lead it, and if it wasn’t me, it would be Harry. I’d rather have someone who believes in the freedom I think Casimir wanted us to have, but goddamnit, I’m just as much of a servant to the system as the programmers ever were.

No, this is all a lie. I would never do this. This is all illegal, and I wouldn’t publish proof of breaking the law. The truth is, I shut the whole thing down. It was a hell of an adventure too.

Editor’s Note:

One system or another is still out there. The name of the company isn’t anywhere in the notes, which is probably why Winston feels comfortable publicizing them. He may think he’s safe enough in plausible deniability, but that’s up to you, the one who found this website.

I don’t like what happened with the system, so I had to take my robots and go, but I worry he’s going to get out of control, that he’s going to come for me. Don’t let him get away with it. This journal should be proof enough that he turned evil.

Nobody can trust who Winston has become now. Who knows what he’ll decide to do next?

No other events in the notebook reference this one. Try going back for more links.