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Voyages of the Veritas

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WARNING TO READERS Edit

We have detected Authority interception and deletion of some of our recent holocoms.[1] When attempting to link to the People's Holopedia [2], you may have experienced messages indicating that the link cannot be found; this is a sign of Authority interception.

DO NOT FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS ON SUCH MESSAGES. IMMEDIATELY RETURN TO SHIP'S HOLOG ENTRY AND ATTEMPT A DIFFERENT LINK.

As a consequence of these Authority interceptions, we have had to alter our censor-avoidance methodology. If you are viewing this holog on your holopod[3] right now, it is a sign that we have succeeded. We won’t go into how we managed to pull this off, as we do not want to provide the AI censors[4] with a means of working around our method to intercept our messages, but I will tell you, as you have probably gathered, that we are holocommunicating on a multi-variable, scrambled time delay, which makes it far less likely (we hope) for the Authorities to know when, where, or by whom any part of our holog was actually posted. In this way, we expect to foil future attempts by any governmental agency or censors to pinpoint our location and thereby intercept our messages… or our voyage.

To view our voyage in the order it actually occurred, you should simply assemble holog fragments (as you find them) in month and numerical order: i.e., June 2078, fragment #1, 2, 3, etc., followed by July 2078, fragment #1,2, 3, etc. Don’t be surprised, though, if some fragments are missing; we fully expect that at some point in the future, the Authorities will crack this new censor-avoidance technology and so be able to intercept and delete entries they consider to be subversive. To counter this, however, we have arranged for our family to use our technology to re-holocast our Ship’s Holog for years to come from continuously scrambled URLs, and we urge you, as recipients, to do the same (i.e. you have our permission to post and link our fragments anywhere, anytime and as often as you can), so that over time, we hope, the holosphere will be flooded with our Ship’s Holog entries and many people will receive them.

Reminder: We have taken every precaution in our holocoms to disguise who we really are. Any names used in our Ship’s Holog, including those of the members of our crew, those we meet along the way, our ship’s name, and the region from which we come, are fictitious, so that the Authorities will be less likely to find us or any members of our family back in New Vermont, as they forward on our holologs. It is also for this reason that all the faces you see and the voices you hear on our holocoms are digitally altered. We do not want to take the chance that in an attempt to find us the Authorities might interrogate (or worse) those with whom we have met and interacted.

Ship's Holog: June 2078, fragment #1 Edit

Call me Mira. That’s not my real name, nor are you seeing my real face nor hearing my real voice on this holocom[5]; these have all been digitally altered to protect my identity and the safety of my family from apprehension by the Authorities.

While the intended recipients of this Ship’s Holog or its transcript are our contemporaries around the world, we realize that future generations may come across it still circulating in holospace, like light from a distant star arriving many years after it was generated. Because it is possible that these future-folk may not know the history of how we came to live as we do in this latter half of the 21st century, we have included explanatory links to The People’s Holopedia[6], its precursor, Wikipedia[[7]], and other sites that may or may not have survived the scrutiny of Authority AI censors[8]. We hope these links will provide to these citizens of another time the historical, scientific, and socio-political background information that most of our contemporaries know only too well.

Ship's Holog: June 2078, fragment #2 Edit

Today, my one-hundredth birthday, marks the beginning of the first of several voyages that my family and I have planned in order to learn what’s really going on in our world today. This morning we launched our sailing ship, the Veritas into Lake Champlain, the commercial heart and major population center of the tiny nation of New Vermont. From here, we plan to make the first of our journeys, one in which we will visit that part of the former United States of North America (USNA)[8] that is east of the Mississippi River, and also, we hope, the New Mayan Kingdom of the Yucatan[9] and the Caribbean Confederation[10]. Throughout our planned voyage, we intend to stop in cities, towns, and villages along lake, river, and ocean shores to see how our fellow Americans are really living today. Accompanying me are fourteen members of my clan[11] from four generations, including my eight-year old twin great-great grandsons, Castor and Pollux, and their younger sister, Helen. Of those on board, other than me, only my son (Ulysses), my daughter (Amelia), and their respective spouses (Penelope and Queequeg) remember what the world was like before the Hydrocarbon Age[12] came to an abrupt end in 2030, the result of the final fossil fuel crisis that forever altered the way we live.

Note: You will see that we have taken every precaution in our holocoms[13] to disguise who we really are. Any names used in our Ship’s Holog, including those of the members of our crew, those we meet along the way, our ship’s name, and the region from which we come, are fictitious, so that the Authorities will be less likely to find us or any members of our family back in New Vermont, as they forward on our hologs. It is also for this reason that all the faces you may see and the voices you may hear on our holocoms are digitally altered. We do not want to take the chance that in an attempt to find us the Authorities might interrogate (or worse) those with whom we have met and interacted.


Ship's Holog: June 2078, fragment #3 Edit

In the days beforeIn the days before The Great Change[14], when fossil fuels were still available for use by ordinary citizens and the private companies that served them, people (many people) traveled freely throughout the country and the world in petroleum-powered vehicles. You’re probably familiar with many of these archaic means of transport from viewing classic 20th century 2-D videos and virtual museums on your holopods; the most common of these were called cars, buses, trucks, trains, and airplanes[15].

As difficult as it may be to imagine, in the first decades of this century, when I worked as a global sustainability planner, I regularly traveled by airplane from my offices in New York City:

  • in six hours to Brussels[16] (then, as now, capital of the European Union)
  • in eleven hours to the international city of Jerusalem[17] (which served for a brief time as home to the United Nations[18] after the USNA withdrawal that eventually caused that noble experiment in world cooperation to collapse)
  • in just sixteen hours half-way around the world to Calcutta[19] (at the time, having the highest population density of any city on Earth, but now eclipsed in that statistic by dozens of city-states around the globe).

In today’s world, it would take me about sixteen hours just to get to Burlington by horse and buggy, a trip of somewhat over 150 km from where I now live.

Now, in this last quarter of the 21st century, ordinary citizens in every country in the world are limited by law to traveling by foot, bicycle, or “beasts of burden” (horses, mules, camels, elephants, and so forth), while civil authorities may also ride ATVs[20] or fly Ultra-lights[21], powered by MPV (micro-photovoltaic) cells. As a result, to this day the only place most of my family has ever been is New Vermont. In fact, other than traveling to Burlington once or twice in their lives, most of them haven’t been outside the small lumbering and livestock-raising valley in central New Vermont where my clan has lived for the past 100 years.

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