Tuesday, February 13, 2007


In the future, people are convicted on TV.

Cameras secreted about streets, workplaces, even homes, monitor everyone.

It's not done by a special agency: it's entertainment.

Computer algorithms search the video streams for good programming.

Viewers do the same.

When enough people watch a stream, it moves up in the listings and hence draws yet more attention and viewers.

Almost everything entertaining to watch has been criminalized--except execution.

Happily, everyone's remote control has a thumb's up/thumb's down button.

Being watched is tantamount to conviction.

Execution takes some time: not for legal appeals--there are none--but to build up a sufficient audience.

Ratings have never been higher.

The only problem is: the most entertaining people, instead of becoming 'stars,' are all killed.

This has its upsides, too.

--E. R. O'Neill

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