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Don’t Fear the Future: A Short Story by Esmé Mossop It had been a miserable day. Thursdays are always the worst, Johnny thought, as he dumped his backpack on the grimy floor of the pokey apartment he shared with 3 other guys. Some one needed to do something about the state of the place, but Johnny was far too exhausted to pull the mop out now. Anyway, it would be back to its usual filthy condition in a few days so he figured what was the point. Peeling off his greasy smelling clothes, he threw them into the “laundry corner”, an ever growing pile of dirty clothes that forever carried the reek of the kitchen on them, no matter how many times he took them to the Laundromat. Turning on the shower, he stepped under the pitiful spray of warm water, trying to wash off the stink of the kitchen that seemed to linger on his skin long after his shift was over. This was not how he imagined life in New Zealand to be. He let his mind wander, recalling the days before he climbed aboard the airplane that was set to take him to “the land of opportunity”. He had had such dreams of what he would accomplish once he arrived - opening his own restaurant, starting a family and, eventually, bringing his own parents from India to live with him. Instead he was stuck washing dishes in the kitchen of a low budget restaurant, working long hours, earning only the minimum wage. Johnny let out a silent scream - he so desperately wanted to quit and go back home - but there was no way he could let his parents down. They had spent all their savings and more to get him here and he knew he could never forgive himself if he disappointed them, not to mention the fact that his parents relied on the money he sent them each week. The jarring ringtone of an incoming Skype call pulled him back to reality. Quickly drying himself, he hurriedly pulled on some clothes before accepting the call on his phone. “Amma? How are you?” “Johnny? Hello? Hello? Are you there? I can’t see you!” “Amma? I can hear you. I tell you every time - you need to turn your camera on.” “I thought I did! Hold on…” Johnny half chuckled, half sighed. This Skype ritual would never grow old. Finally the pixelated face of his mother appeared on his small screen, laggy as usual, but still the best thing he’d seen all day. “How are you, Amma? Are you well?” “Yes Johnny, I’m feeling fine. Your Aunty Charu is staying with me for a few days so I have good company.” “And Achan? Any news from the doctors?” “They still want to keep him in hospital for now. They think the cancer is spreading again but they haven’t said yet whether it’s operable so we just have to wait and pray that it’s not as bad as they’re suggesting.” “I’ll keep praying, Amma. Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll be back on his feet soon. He’s gone into remission once before, he can do it again. Did you get the money I sent you? It should have come through - it’s been 4 days since I transferred it.” “Yes, I got it yesterday and just in time. The hospital sent me the bill for Achan’s treatment so far - it’s criminal how much they charge! He wouldn’t be able to stay there without you.” “Don’t mention it, Amma. You know I would do anything to keep you both well.” Johnny tried to stifle the giant yawn that crept up on him unexpectedly but his mother’s eagle eyes spotted it despite the poor camera quality. “I shouldn’t keep you up, Johnny, I know how hard you work. You sleep now and I’ll call you later this week.” As much as he loved talking to his mother, Johnny was grateful she understood his need to rest. “Ok, Amma, keep me updated on everything and give my love to Achan and Aunty Charu. I love you.” “I will. I love you too, Johnny.” “Śubha rātri.” The call shut off and the home screen displayed the time - 1:00 am. He had 7 hours until he had to be back at work again. Resisting the urge to weep - if he started he didn’t know if he’d be able to stop - he tiptoed into his room, trying not to disturb the 3 other bodies softly snoring away. He stretched out as far as he could on the small mattress that was his bed and fell almost immediately into a deep sleep. It seemed as though only 5 minutes had passed before Johnny’s alarm brought him back to consciousness. Fighting the desire to “rest his eyes” for just a few minutes, he stumbled into the bathroom to get ready for the 15 hour shift he had ahead of him. 20 minutes later he was running past the huddle of smokers outside his apartment complex, praying that he wouldn’t be late for his bus. Panting hard and sweating profusely, he made it to the bus stop just in time to see it turn the corner without him. “Ūmpi!” he whispered under his breath. Johnny weighed up his options. Should he walk the rest of the way and turn up late or should he fork out some of his precious savings to pay for a taxi? Either way, Johnny knew he’d lose out on much-needed money. “Someone needs to hit the gym more often.” Johnny spun around in surprise. His face broke into a smile as he saw who had addressed him. “Speak for yourself,” he retorted, as he wiped his damp forehead with the back of his hand. “What are you doing here, Sam? We’re supposed to be at work in 15 minutes.” “I could ask you the same question although I already know the answer. As sad as it is to see someone miss their bus, it never fails to entertain me.” Sam chuckled. “I was just popping into the dairy to get some breakfast when I saw you run past.” "Breakfast from a dairy?” Johnny shook his head. “I would have thought you’d be too good for that.” It was no secret to Johnny that Sam came from a very wealthy family and was only working at the restaurant to prove to his father he could hold down a legitimate job. “Well, I got lucky last night, if you know what I mean,” Sam said with a wink, “and I didn’t get a chance to run back home before my shift started. So, lucky for you, I’m here and my car is parked just across the road. If we leave now, we should get there in plenty of time.” Johnny grinned appreciatively. A ride in Sam’s car beat the crowded bus any day, even if the interior of Sam’s car was less than optimal. “Thanks, man. You’re a real lifesaver.” Johnny removed some empty food wrappers before sitting down in the passenger seat. “Don’t mention it, mate. Anytime,” Sam replied quickly. “You can put some music on if you like.” Johnny skipped through a few radio stations until he found one that wasn’t blasting advertisements. “It’s your birthday soon isn’t it? You going to have a party?” “Ha, yeah I suppose. Nothing big though. Probably just some drinks after work or something. I’ll message you once I get myself organised.” “Will your family be there? How are they anyway? Wasn’t your dad starting a new business in South America… Brazil or something?” Sam nodded. “Yeah, they’re good. Dad’s really pleased with how it’s going. Recently, he’s been raving about this new method of transferring money internationally. I can’t get him to shut up about it!” Johnny laughed. He knew Sam admired his dad immensely and was only poking fun at him. “So tell me, how does it work?” “I’m not entirely sure of the ins-and-outs of the whole process but I know the main benefit is that he’s able to get money to the team in Brazil in just a few hours. I’m pretty sure he uses something called XRP - it’s a digital asset kinda like Bitcoin but Dad says its better.” “Sounds complicated, to be honest,” Johnny said skeptically. “Nah, it’s fairly easy from what I can see. He buys XRP on a New Zealand exchange, sends the XRP to Raphael - I’m pretty sure that’s the guy who heads the team over there - on a Brazilian exchange and then Raphael sells the XRP for Brazilian reals. I suppose it is kind of a complicated process now that I say it out loud, but Dad reckons that banks will use XRP for cross border payments in the future. He considers himself a pioneer.” Sam rolled his eyes dramatically before an idea hit him. He turned to face Johnny excitedly. “You should think about it for sending money to your family!” “Yeeaah, I suppose…” Johnny sounded unconvinced. Sam pulled into a carpark right outside the restaurant. “Seriously, man, do some research. ‘Don’t fear the future!’ as my dad always says. I know he’d answer any questions you had about it. He can explain it way better than I can.” “Ok, I’ll think about it. Thanks for the ride.” Johnny stepped out of the car and started walking towards the back entrance of the restaurant. “See you at lunch? I’ll try get my break at the same time as you,” Sam called as he headed towards the front. “Sounds good,” Johnny said with a grin. “Have fun chatting up the customers.” The rest of the day passed in a blur of dishes, dishes and more dishes. Although it was tiring, Johnny was glad when it was busy as the hours dragged when there was not much to do. By the time 11:00 pm rolled around, Johnny had almost forgotten about his conversation with Sam and was more than ready for bed. Sam had finished waiting tables hours ago so Johnny caught the bus back to his apartment alone, too tired to shower off the day’s dirt before climbing into bed and falling fast asleep. The week continued in the usual rhythm of work and sleep and Johnny spent his day off on Sunday sleeping, tidying up his apartment and looking for jobs online. Ever since starting work as a dishwasher, Johnny had constantly been on the look out for something better but had never had any luck. With low expectations, he checked up on the status of a chef job he had applied for earlier that week. With nothing new to report, he closed his laptop and checked the time - 7:00 pm. He was worried about his parents. His mother didn’t usually leave it this long between calls and Johnny feared the worst. Pacing the room, he considered calling her now. As if his thoughts had worked magic, his phone started to emit the distinctive sound of an incoming Skype call. Answering it, he was surprised to see his mother’s face appear immediately on the screen, with no prompting from him to turn on the camera. It was obvious that she was upset and had been crying. “Amma! I’ve been worried about you. Are you ok? Is Achan ok?” She started to cry again and Johnny’s heart sank. This was it. The moment he had dreaded. “Amma, please, what’s wrong? Is it Achan?” She exhaled shakily before replying, “Johnny, the cancer is spreading and they want to start him on treatment,” a small sob interrupted her sentence, “but they’re asking for the money before they go ahead. They said if we don’t pay by Monday they’re going to have to place him in the queue.” “And how long is the queue?” The relief Johnny felt after hearing his father was still alive was short-lived as his mother answered, “They said it could be as long as 4 weeks.” She shook her head in despair. “I know it’ll be too late by then. The cancer is much worse this time.” Johnny felt like he had been punched in the guts. Even though he hadn’t seen his father for almost three years now, he still couldn’t imagine a world without him in it. He took a moment to pull himself together before looking back at his mother’s tear-streaked face. “Any money I send you won’t get to you until Wednesday. Amma, is there no one else you can go to for a temporary loan?” “We already tried the bank but they denied our request. i don’t know what to do, Johnny, I think I’m going to lose him.” She started sobbing uncontrollably now, her hands came up to cover her face. Johnny felt completely helpless. He racked his brains for anything to say that would comfort his mother but knew that nothing he came up with would make any difference. As he opened his mouth to speak, a text popped up on his phone. “I’m having birthday drinks next weekend after work. Keen to come?” Johnny reached out to swipe the notification away, almost offended by the inappropriate nature of the message. How could he even think of having fun while his father was on his death bed and his mother left all alone? Just as his finger made contact with the screen, Johnny remembered the last time he had talked with Sam about his birthday. Hadn’t they talked about money too? His brain started to tick over. Sam’s dad… international money transfer… digital assets… “Amma? I think I have a plan. I’m going to hang up now but I’ll call you back in an hour.” “A plan? To do what?” “Just trust me, Amma. I’ll talk to you soon.” He hung up. His mind was buzzing with possibilities. “Please don’t fail me, Sam,” he whispered fervently, as his fingers flew to find Sam’s number in his contacts. Sam answered after two rings. “What’s up, mate? You get my text?” “Yes, yes, but I’m not ringing about that.” Johnny’s voice held an urgency that made Sam hold his phone closer to his ear. “What is it, mate? How can I help?” “My parents urgently need some money. My dad is really sick but the hospital won’t treat him unless they pay upfront. My pay doesn’t usually reach them till Wednesday which will be too late. You remember how you told me your dad would help me out with that XRP thing? Well, I’m in desperate need of his help now.” “Mate, of course! I’m so sorry, I can’t imagine how you must be feeling. One second, I’ll get him on the phone to talk to you.” Johnny jiggled his leg impatiently while he waited for Sam’s dad on the other end of the line. It seemed as though half an hour passed before he heard Sam’s voice again. “Ok, here he is. I’ve explained the situation to him and he said he knows exactly how to help.” “Thanks, man.” Johnny let out a massive sigh of relief. “I owe you big time.” “No worries, mate. Now you can’t say no to my birthday drinks.” Sam chuckled before passing his phone over. Eric Lowell’s deep voice was a contrast to Sam’s joking tone. “Johnny, I hear you’re in a bit of a pickle. Don’t worry though, eh. Your family will get their money in plenty of time. Now, do you have a computer handy? Let’s get started.” Johnny listened carefully to Eric’s instructions as he was led, step by step, through the process of creating an account on his local exchange and a wallet with which to store XRP. As Eric explained each stage of the process to him, Johnny wondered why he’d been so skeptical about the entire concept. This was so simple! Even his technologically challenged Amma would be able to understand it, he thought with a smile. “Now that we’re sorted on this end…” Eric cut into his wandering thoughts. “Do you think you’ll be able to explain the process to your mum and help her set up an account on her local exchange so she can receive your payment?” “I had no idea it was this easy, Mr. Lowell. I’m positive my mother will be able to get this no problem. I can’t thank you enough for your help.” “Anytime, Johnny,” Eric responded genuinely. “It’s always a pleasure introducing people to the wonderful world of XRP. And,” he added, “it’s a bonus to know that at least some of the stuff I tell Sam actually sticks, even with all the flak I get from him.” They both laughed before Johnny thanked him again and hung up the phone, itching to get back to his mother and tell her about his plan. It was going to work! Achan was going to get the treatment he so greatly needed. He opened the Skype app to dial his mother. An email notification popped up on his screen. “Dear Johnny, Thank you for your recent application for the position of chef at Tiger Bar. We would love to talk more with you about…” Johnny smiled. … It was Thursday night and Johnny’s cheeks hurt from the grin that had been plastered on his face for the last couple of hours. He put his phone down and let his mind run over the conversation he had just had with his mother. Two hours had passed without either of them realising - there had been so many things to talk about. It was as if the gods were smiling on him at last. Johnny’s thoughts kept returning to the news he had been praying all week to hear - the news that his mother had given him that evening. Achan was responding well to the treatment! Johnny wanted to shout it out from the 8th floor of his apartment building. However, he knew that this would not be conducive to the next item he had on this evenings agenda. Opening his laptop, he pulled up the notes he had started to jot down earlier that evening. He had a job interview to prepare for. As he started to read over what he had written, Johnny felt the thrill of possibility. It had been a great day. The End
Hello. This is the first time I've posted. Long time lurker... blah blah blah. Hope you enjoy the story. Look forward to reading the others. The Automatic Uto-Calypse: A Satire I don’t keep a Screen in my bedroom. Those that once knew me called me old-fashioned, a curmudgeon, but I didn’t mind. It was good natured enough and I wanted to keep at least one room to myself. The rest of the house can suffer the clutter of surveillance and electricity. My bedroom was where I slept and read. And even occasionally put pen to paper. During those rare moments of… nostalgia or inspiration. I sometimes wondered how many were left that could actually write with their hand. Not many, I’m sure. Paper was expensive now. Not that it was rare, but rather no one used it. It was a special order and those always cost more. A series of drone shipments starting from one backward place that still had a market for the old things to the next and on and on till it arrived here. Apparently where I hid wasn’t backward. Surely, there were no more lumber yards or paper mills as the lumber industry saw to that. I stocked up though. Years ago. Throughout the house were boxes of legal pads and stenographer pads; and the plastic packages filled with plastic ink pens. Of course, they were ink. I loathed the gel pens. I wrote with my left hand and the ink always left a thick smudge on the meaty parts of my hand. At least the Bic pens didn’t leave that much of a trace. Some day I’ll probably start selling them. I don’t write long-hand enough to ever come close to using it all. It’s probably worth a small fortune since I got it all before the Wreckage. Most days I lounge in bed for a bit. When I was younger I never thought that I’d have that sort of lifestyle. Sleeping late. I’d be lying if said I wrestled with any kind of guilt over it. At some point I’ll shuffle my tired, old body into my office den and start my day. And I don’t feel guilty about the ease of it either. My life is easy, though it’s not for everyone. I’m famous, but anonymous. This new world we find ourselves in… I’ve been reassured, both by those who worship or despise me, that my name is known throughout the world. I’ve the distinct pleasure of being simultaneously essential and dangerous. It’s been a long time since I marveled at the delicious reality of how ideology no longer factored, at all. But this morning, somehow, it tickled me once again. My DA spends just like everyone else’s and I’ll wager that I spend substantially more than most. Amazon (I refuse to acknowledge their revisionist rebranding since the Wreckage and call them Phoenix) sends their drones out my way no matter how much I petulantly blemish their benevolent ubiquity. After all, I can afford fresh eggs and it’s still not cheap to ship eggs over hundreds of miles faster than my old morning commute. On most days my post-waking thoughts don’t venture beyond the routine of perusing the responses and comments to my online persona. This morning, however, I did take the time to remember and marvel at the world I inhabited and how it came to be… Later on, I’d find it an odd coincidence, perhaps even a touch of the clairvoyant. When I entered the main room the silent alert on my Screen drew me closer. My eyes weren’t what they were even after the surgeries which guaranteed 20/20 for the rest of my life. I once considered composing something angry and critical of the practice, but then I remembered most medical practitioners were long gone… brought to you by Amazon… er… Phoenix. As I stepped into range my hand signaled and waggled. My pointer finger jerked to and fro like an uninspired and spastic conductor. The Screen, long accustomed to my habits, displayed the usual briefs. The list of views, paid views, responses/comments in descending order of value. People actually bid on the chance for me to interact and even openly scorn them across the Network. What a country… I often hear my father’s sardonic chuckle. Oh, how he’d gape in astonishment and awe at what we’ve become. I know he’d shake his head, with an amused contempt, at my choice of seclusion instead of the luxurious refuge of what I call ‘gated communities’. I wasn’t the only one that amassed XRP when it was dirt cheap. I’ve just a different idea on what I want to do with it. But that was the point, wasn’t it? The freedom to choose the life, be it luxury or self-righteous solitude. Amazon’s stature as the Provider of All the Things is an irony that isn’t lost on me. In fact, it’s part of my bread and butter. The alert still beckoned, though. No matter how much I distracted myself it wasn’t going away. It’s just that at my age, alerts no longer carried the promise of good tidings. By now, the Screen knew my middle finger summoned the alert. And I wasn’t wrong… My brother was dead. The shock of the pain startled me. It wasn’t necessarily the loss of my brother, whom I haven’t spoken to in years. We were never close and he eventually resented my foresight. It boiled down to how I saw what was coming and he didn’t. I failed to convince him and that was that. When the Wreckage hammered the world’s economy over and over, I was fortunate enough to only adjust while he barely survived. Or maybe he didn’t. Maybe, like so many others, the Wreckage poisoned him like radiation from a nuclear blast and after all these years, it finally killed him. I can’t imagine his life since those desperate days of wave after wave of Crashes. Once government was privatized… well… there was no choice but to opt for relocation. The First World had no room for him, along with tens of millions of others like him. Yet I was fine. What was it that Stalin said about the death of millions being a statistic? The latter part of my brother’s life was a tragedy. We weren’t close and we sure as hell didn’t get along, but I knew him. And I knew what relocation likely did to him. What was once a career move that implied opportunity and drew excited chatter from friends and family had been reduced to a symbolic suicide. His life was no longer his. He wasn’t told where to go. He simply learned where he was when he got there. Like the solar panes for my windows that arrived yesterday. Deposited. Installed. And used till they no longer functioned. I have no idea where he was. In the old days they were called ‘emerging markets’. The Wreckage sent many of those markets back into the Stone Age. I’ve read some of the accounts. Corporate fiefdoms or utter wastelands. It would be a while before automation could seep back into those places and those technological vacuums overflowed with desperate humanity. My brother was once a respected tradesman. Metal fabrication. There was a time when we grew horrified at the idea that skill and others like it were disappearing. Then it was suddenly gone. Automatic. A proud man who fed his family with knowledge and skill of the press and some shears. He lost it all. He lost everyone in those horrifying days. The ominous expression ‘there’s no milk in the store’ spiraled from a colloquially academic nightmare to reality in days, not weeks. I offered to help, but he refused. He also refused to accept the end of what I eventually labeled as the Apple Paradigm. I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of guilt in how that turn of phrase helped propel me to Network Elite. It was later when I recognized the source of the real pain. The death of my brother signified something more than the loss of a sibling, as painful as that should already be. I had to face the jolting realization that although he likely died half a world away, penned in a worker’s compound, he was the last person that I’m aware of who knew my face. As I considered what, if anything, I could do regarding my brother’s remains I brought up my default playlist. It was mostly British blues rock or Outlaw Country. I hadn’t heard a new tune in years and wouldn’t bring myself to it. Music, for lack of a better word, wasn’t composed or written at all. It was an algorithm. Just like everything else in this damn world. Imagine a group of androids banded together and produced a sound solely designed to pacify its consumers… Nah. It’s Steve Marriot or Waylon Jennings for me. I used to think I turned into one of those ‘tin foil’ types… I spent a good deal of time and a considerable amount of DA to effectively hide in a world where everything is ‘Chained. My gains and earnings were buried beneath layers upon layers of smart contracts. Perhaps it was reactionary. After the Digitalization I saw so many reports of the Hodl Class fall victim to scams, extortion, and robbery. Desperados with the technical know-how lurked in the corners of Network and lunged at those who carelessly bragged about their portfolios. I even coined the phrase, ‘they got Lamboed’. It was scary for a while, that was for sure, and it pushed me further into my virtual cave. Eventually, I was confident that I was faster than the slowest in the proverbial herd and began to relax. My portfolio was in the Goldilocks Zone. I was rich, but I wasn’t wealthy. I splurged a bit and bought my profile name from someone else on the Network. This was long before XRP reached six figures, but I liked the name. And it was reassuring to assume a new online identity. I grew confident in my suspicions. I let people know what I was thinking… Eventually, I learned how to monetize my thoughts. Sure, I was controversial, but that was part of the business model. Random Users would pay me for the honor to debate or foam underneath my post. My father’s chuckling often followed those moments I stopped to consider my livelihood. My brother’s death was something else entirely, though. While I often railed and ranted, from afar, about the futility and desperation of those we once called ‘normies’, it was always abstract. Hell, my brother sentenced himself to the life of serfdom. For me, in my mid-21st century cabin, it was still abstract. But he’s gone now and with him is the experience and knowledge of someone who made something with his hands. They used to be necessary and thus valued. Then they were admired. No one knew that was the beginning of the end for them. Then they were envied, admired, and demoted to Nostalgia. Now they’re forgotten; replaced by an algorithm and automation and speed. Long ago I reckoned with the remorse of knowledge lost. When the Christians burned the Library of Alexandria, eventually we recovered what was lost. But this was different, obviously. It was my brother and though I often couldn’t stand the sonofabitch, he knew what the hell he was doing and now that skill is lost. Perhaps not forever. I decided to find out. I very well couldn’t broadcast that a relative of mine recently died. Anyone who knew how to work the ‘Chain could conceivably link a death to me. But I’d reach out, somehow, and see who else felt the same way. Who else had the suppressed urge to preserve what was once known? Perhaps it was time I stopped scorning. I grabbed a legal pad and pen.
A Short Story: Don't Miss The Boat Jolted awake and suddenly focused by a sudden violent crack, aware but not quite one hundred percent of my surroundings, my mind attempting to assess the situation. It had been a week now, awake by day, cat naps by night…… I must have fallen into a deep sleep…. The sails now flogging violently, whipping the ropes attached to them in a chaotic manner. The salt spray, fresh and made cold by the wind stung. This coupled with the ocean swell of the Atlantic rising up the continental shelf made for a disorientating and initially nauseating wakeup call in the pitch black. “What is this happening?” The weather had checked out and was predicted to be stably blowing me along. Up until now anyway… Finding a bearing while gazing down at the instruments in the cockpit was proving difficult, not much was making sense. The compass mounted high on its binnacle with its garish green glow was turning through 270°, slowly and continually increasing as the boat turned its self through the wind uncontrolled. Suddenly the answer was apparent! “The autopilot, of course…" The familiar whirring of its motor and bearings was silent. Occasionally the force of big waves on the rudder can cause it to go a bit haywire, loose its grip on reality and most importantly the direction the boat should be heading in. Attempts to reset the autopilot prove futile, whilst wrestling the craft back on track. Something is drastically wrong with it and there’s little to do fixing it in the dark of the very early morning. Now fully awake, I am resigned to hand steering until dawn. I follow the compass whilst chastising myself for falling too deeply into sleep, despite there being very little one can do about the sudden failure of systems out of your control.  Thoughts creep into the mind as the stimuli of the wave motion, the up and down and side to side tilting of the starry horizon, the sensation of full sails pulling the craft along in an ebb and flow as you ride up and down each swell, all act to hypnotize you.… “Sailing…. Is this really what you wanted? It’s hard work, tiring… exhausting in fact, you just proved that… but… it is the small, fleeting moments that make it all worth it, the sun rising and setting, the dolphins swimming along side, the ever changing colors of the sea” In the darkness thoughts turn to how opportunities of a lifetime were made possible by a chance discovery. “$1000! No way am I paying that much.” But steadily as the months passed the phenomenon known as FOMO (fear of missing out) set in, and in hindsight I really did miss out. By the time I finally pulled the trigger on Bitcoin I had a fraction of what I would have had if I had invested the same amount back when I rejected it. I still wouldn’t have want it any other way however, careful research had got me to this point. “Bitcoin Sherpa’s” prophetic and ethical albeit quasi-anarchical teachings had guided me thus far. His well thought out and logical arguments resonated well with my own convictions. The further I delved into the world of cryptocurrencies and digital assets, the more certain things became apparent: 1. Most coins are as they are described; ****coins 2. ALL coins have an essence of cultism, therefore DYOR (do your own research), before joining 3. Banks are not disappearing in my lifetime  In my DYOR stage of finding something undervalued so not to miss the proverbial train again, I stumbled upon XRP, slated by many, held high by few. The potential of the technology seemed incredible as did the potential gains which most of us seeked. The professionalism of the very real company Ripple attempting to utilize the digital token XRP was unlike any other outfit in the cryptosphere, making it quite apparent how far they could go. And so began the rollercoaster ride of an investment I believed in, ups and downs, but more frustratingly the periods of sideways stagnation….. The sun rotated into view, turning the sky flame orange. This takes my full attention and there are no other thoughts other than the appreciation of the moment. The feeling fades as the prospect of manually steering the boat for another few days before pulling into a harbor spurs me into action. Locking the wheel in position gives a bit of time between fine tuning the direction of the boat against wind and swell to scroll through the auto pilot’s user-interface and troubleshoot. Fault code: 5357494654 also known as, the rudder position sender, is showing a fault and a quick clean of the connector contacts fails to bodge the fault. Thankfully the satellite phone on board allows internet connectivity. Due to increasing demand and steadily reduced operating costs, the internet of information is accessible anywhere on the planet at a far better standard than what was on offer just a few years ago; severely limited and expensive data plans with equally expensive set-up costs. The app for the chandlery in the marina I am headed for shows the part required to solve the issue (787270) can be pre-ordered into store. A transparent smart contract in their app, I know runs on a backend application called Codius, allows me to pre-order and secure the part I require just in time for my arrival, in this case, with an unknown and as yet untrusted merchant. Codius gives me confidence. My bank from my home country ensures the payment will be made immediately on my arrival at the chandlery for handover of the component at the going foreign exchange rate with negligible fees, INSTANTLY. No embarrassing waiting at a card machine for your debit card to be accepted or declined, no time wasted contacting your payment provider to query why the transaction has been blocked whist abroad. Again, I know this is thanks to the utilization of Ripple Lab’s xRapid in the backend of the complicated financial machinery that moves money across borders. xRapid grants me accessibility. Accessibility to a worldwide market of vendors with virtually zero wait time. Smiling, I remember thinking about how I could send an email instantly all those years ago, but not money. Content and reassured about an efficient purchase and upcoming repair I continue to helm the craft to harbor, the bow now ploughing through the oncoming waves in the warm morning sunshine, the sea glistening like liquid gold. Despite having liquidated most of my XRP holdings to pursue dreams, I vaguely recall a saying I had seen on forums that seems to ring particularly true in this moment, all without the dollar hyper-inflating and society as we know it collapsing: “Came for the gains, but stayed for the tech” -anon  References  http://www.oryanmarine.com/images/boatsales/2004sunseeker/compass.jpg  https://insdrcdn.com/media/attachments/c/d5/bb4f38d5c.png  https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/69594756716478163/
Short Story Contest Entry: Dreaming
ukkomies posted a topic in Coil Posts and Fan Submissions---
The Fun Factor: Promoting XRP Adoption and Usage
Hodor posted a topic in General DiscussionInvesting in crypto is not like other financial efforts; unlike mainstream investing, each supporter of individual crypto networks can actually make a difference in getting the word out. You may be interested to learn what the massive community behind XRP is doing to help promote its adoption and use through our own marketing efforts. Included in this blog is a list of XRP YouTubers, along with background information on the new XRP Community Blogging site. Hope you enjoy the read! Please feel free to share my blog with a friend - or share it on any other platform or media - and thank you for doing so. Twitter Reddit r/Ripple Reddit r/CryptoCurrency Reddit r/CryptoMarkets Reddit r/xrp Reddit r/RippleTalk Reddit r/alternativecoin Bitcointalk - alt coin sub forum Bitcointalk - XRP speculation thread
The Great XRPChat Contest!!
Mercury posted a topic in General DiscussionIn celebration of March Madness XRPChat will be hosting a month long quiz fest March 5-30! Each week on Monday- Friday a new quiz will be posted here and on this site, results will be tallied on Saturday Quiz answers and results will be posted on XRPChat and on this site every Sunday from the previous week Each weeks quiz will be themed to offer something to everyone To get started the first week will feature some fairly simple questions about a few top forum members; the second week is Ripple related trivia; the third week a intro to cryptography/ codes and forth week is TBA. Each question will show the number of points available for a correct answer with three bonus points for the first person, two for the second and one for the third. Even if it is a day or more late go ahead and submit an answer as long as its prior to Saturday as all points will be calculated for a end of the month CHAMPION. Answers can be submitted wither via a posted google forms (email is required) or via PM.
Hey All, I'm giving away 50 XRP, on Christmas day I gave away 110 XRP. Details can be found in the following video -