winterene (winterene) wrote,

Sweet Sweet Fantasy Baby

Dr. Ruth Westheimer said in multiple articles that fantasizing is healthy, and if you google "fantasizing healthy", you will find many other experts who agree, although not necessarily without concern.

A completely different question is whether or not public fantasizing, via a social network, is healthy, and I'll have to leave that up to you to decide, if you dare venture forth...







So at Pine State Biscuits there is this cashier who is young, 20-something maybe, petite, and super-cute. With looks like that, and a full life ahead of her, you'd think she'd have no worries, but whenever I order my biscuit and eggs I can sort of see in her eyes that she's struggling.

As successful as Pine State is--new location on the way even--that job can't pay much, and I always wonder whether I should tip for that takeout order, whether it would even make a difference for Amber and however many kids--one, two, who knows--she has already.

So I look into her eyes and fantasize, about sweeping her off her feet and into a whole new world of my making.

Literally. Of... my... making.

As in, I wish I had the discipline and sense of asceticism and altruism to drop everything--the Scrabble, the Starbucking, the movies, the quest for a 5-minute mile and flat abs--and just start coding, day and night, until I completed a brand new social network that would be focused solely on helping people lift themselves up in a society that is seeing increasing inequality between the rich and the poor.

Key elements of this new service...

A - Transparency. Users would be encouraged and obligated, to the most feasible extent, to share every piece of information about themselves.

B - Data-driven. The service would not just collect data like Facebook and Google, but present that to the users, with the intent of analyzing weaknesses in users' decision-making, especially spending patterns, and allowing other users to suggest improvement.

C - Altruism. Users with more resources would be encouraged to donate to those in need.

D - Personal responsibility. Users receiving aid would not be able to simply take money, or other aid, with no strings attached. There would be a huge string, in that users would be required to track all their spending, every penny, transparently, both as a way of encouraging better spending habits, but also as way to allow suggestions for improvement from other users.

E - Radical new payment system. To work best, the payment would have to utilize a radical new payment system, like Square maybe, that would automatically track users' spending and make that data available on the service. Transparency is great in principle, but in actuality, tracking every penny by hand can be time-consuming, maybe infeasible, so if the payment system itself can do it, a tremendous advantage is achieved.

Rough examples of how the service could be used...

1 - Mary signs up for the service and begins to use the payment system for all her purchases. Alice does the same. Bob, another user, and eventually the service itself, notices that Mary and Alice are both paying more for certain items, and that they live close enough to each other that they could save by cooperating and buying in bulk.

2 - Richard's car breaks down, and he needs to repair it in order to get to work. He considers going to a local payday lender and posts his intent on the site. Alfred, another user, notices that Richard's route to work is close enough to his own that they can carpool until Alfred saves enough money to have the car fixed without paying exorbitant payday lender fees.

3 - Regina has is struggling to make ends meet, but she also has a bad habit of spending too much money on cigarettes and alcohol. Nancy, an altruistic user, wants to help Regina, but does not want aid spent foolishly. With the new transparent payment system, as well as the location tracking that would eventually be built into the system, Regina will have to cut back on alcohol/tobacco expenditures if she wants to continue receiving aid.

Wow, fantasizing does work. I feel rather satisfied.
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