If cities were 100% accurately represented by video games, Miami would of
course be *GTA: Vice City*, a story of simplistic corruption garishly lit
and stuck in 2002 forever. It's traditional to hate on Miami, right until
you make some crypto money and decide to move there into a condominium with
a stunning view and an equally stunning lack of maintenance or foresight
around rising water tables.
Seattle, on the other hand, is *Cyberpunk 2077*, a city run by
cybernetically enhanced corpos who get to work by walking past endless
discarded refuse and homeless tent cities heated with literal barrel
campfires - on my way to the airport yesterday we drove through some thick
fog, which the Uber driver explained to me was just "a fire under the
bridge" with the same level of casual interest he would apply to a sale at
a JC Penny's.
Traveling between these two cities imposes arbitrage costs on your
consciousness itself, extracting profit from your inability to look away
from what seems like an obvious oncoming disaster. What happens when the
ocean goes up another foot, and nobody can get flood insurance? you ask
yourself, as people around you wave you off. How come such a progressive
city can't serve its people's needs, or at the very least pick up their
trash? you wonder, while running past a well worn armchair next to the
freeway that, rain or shine, serves as someone's impromptu throne.
While the humanity in you rages against the system, the hacker in you
realizes that knowing the past and processing it to produce the future can
be as useless and predictable as an earthworm's digestion. Hackers live in
a realm between spaces and times, looking at the hidden connections and
occasionally playing a chord on the threads.
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