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The Three Laws

The Three Laws

In a dystopian future, an omnipotent AI judges citizens of The City based on how healthy, popular, and creative they are. Those who rank highest reap the rewards, but beneath the surface, things are never quite as black and white as they may seem...

Jono Alderson

April 15, 2022
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  1. Orientation 101
    Welcome, new citizens!

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  2. This is the city
    It stretches to infinity

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  3. The city is a governed by an
    all-powerful AI

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  4. The AI decides how the city’s
    finite resources are distributed

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  5. The core of its approach
    is to reward ‘wellness’

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  6. A high level of physical
    and mental fitness.
    “Wellness

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  7. A “well” society is happier,
    healthier, and more productive

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  8. Each day, the AI grades you
    and places you in a list

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  9. The people at the top of the list
    get the most rewards

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  10. How do I rank higher
    in the results?

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  11. The AI defines ‘wellness’ in
    the form of 3 laws

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  12. 1
    You must be healthy
    You must eat a balanced diet.
    You must exercise regularly.
    You must be strong, fast and flexible.
    You must be fit, in mind and body.
    “THE FIRST LAW

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  13. 2
    You must be creative
    You must be innovative, stand out, surprise and delight.
    You must write, play music, or create beautiful art.
    You must challenge how people think and behave.
    You must create a legacy.
    “THE SECOND LAW

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  14. 3
    You must be popular
    You must be well-known, and well-liked.
    You must meet new people.
    You must maintain a healthy and diverse network.
    You must be talked about, wanted, loved.
    “THE THIRD LAW

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  15. Excelling in all of these areas
    requires a lot of hard work!

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  16. ...and we don’t know how well we’re
    doing in each category.

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  17. This is a perfect system

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  18. And it adapts to change

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  19. It’s even starting to be able to
    predict the future

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  20. We are imperfect

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  21. Some people spend all their time trying
    to reverse-engineer their grades

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  22. Some try to cheat,
    and to trick the machine

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  23. ...and many people cheat a little bit

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  24. Some spend all of their energy campaigning
    about how the system is unfair.

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  25. Some say that the system is evil

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  26. Do not worry, good citizens!

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  27. But not everybody is as
    well-behaved as you are...

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  28. So the system introduced a
    fourth law

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  29. ERROR
    ERROR
    4
    “THE FOURTH LAW
    You must act with integrity
    You must be completely honest and transparent in all of
    your dealings with The System.
    You must not attempt to deceive The System.
    Trust that The System knows best.
    Deceiving the system may lead to punishment.

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  30. I know what you’re thinking

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  31. Anyway, the system prefers
    rehabilitation to punishment

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  32. It even provides us with
    envoy droids to advise us

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  33. If you have any questions, you can ask
    them - there are some here today!

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  34. Okay - let’s explore a case study

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  35. We’re privileged to be joined by
    a very special guest today

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  36. Stand up, Taco!

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  37. This is a story about Taco’s journey

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  38. Many you know that Taco contributes to
    society through stand-up comedy

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  39. I’m sure you know that, Taco contributes
    to society through stand-up comedy

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  40. His problem was, he’d just kept doing
    what he’d always done

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  41. He didn’t want to change the way he’d
    always done things.

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  42. But to improve his position, he realised
    he’d have to change

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  43. 1
    You must be healthy
    You must eat a balanced diet.
    You must exercise regularly.
    You must be strong, fast and flexible.
    You must be fit, in mind and body.
    “THE FIRST LAW

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  44. So, he audited his health

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  45. But there was no magic bullet

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  46. He had loads of small bugs

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  47. And, nobody’s perfect, right?

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  48. But it wasn’t just his health which was
    impacted by all of these bugs

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  49. 1
    “THE FIRST LAW
    You must be healthy
    You must eat a balanced diet.
    You must exercise regularly.
    You must be strong, fast and flexible.
    You must be fit, in mind and body.

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  50. One night, a man approached him, and
    introduced himself as Mr Grey

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  51. 2
    You must be creative
    You must be innovative, stand out, surprise and delight.
    You must write, play music, or create beautiful art.
    You must challenge how people think and behave.
    You must create a legacy.
    “THE SECOND LAW

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  52. So he paid Mr Grey to
    write him some new content

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  53. But then, things went wrong

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  54. His rankings dropped even further

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  55. 2
    You must be creative
    You must be innovative, stand out, surprise and delight.
    You must write, play music, or create beautiful art.
    You must challenge how people think and behave.
    You must create a legacy.
    “THE SECOND LAW

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  56. But Mr Grey insisted that the
    problem wasn’t the content...

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  57. He said that he could get him
    more industry links & coverage

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  58. He said that, it was normal to use
    an agent to build links

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  59. 3
    You must be popular
    You must be well-known, and well-liked.
    You must meet new people.
    You must maintain a healthy and diverse network.
    You must be talked about, wanted, loved.
    “THE THIRD LAW

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  60. He got introductions to influential
    journalists, peers and influencers

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  61. Mr Grey told him not to worry, and
    that they should do something bigger

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  62. So he invested a fortune in producing
    content for big PR campaign

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  63. Taco was starting to wonder if
    he’d been getting bad advice

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  64. 3
    You must be popular
    You must be well-known, and well-liked.
    You must meet new people.
    You must maintain a healthy and diverse network.
    You must be talked about, wanted, loved.
    “THE THIRD LAW

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  65. So when Mr Grey approached him again...

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  66. He said that, were rumours of
    other places, beyond the wastelands

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  67. Obviously, this is nonsense

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  68. Things were looking bad for Taco

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  69. Then, he had a
    moment of realisation

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  70. His problem was that he’d only been
    thinking about himself.

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  71. The secret to getting all of this right, is
    to think about your impact on others

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  72. He went on a diet, and started
    exercising more regularly

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  73. He started writing new content, which
    was designed to appeal to his audience

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  74. He changed how he was talking to influencers,
    and made sure he was adding value

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  75. Now, Taco is on the road to recovery

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  76. That’s the end of our story

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  77. You have access to a life coach

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  78. It’s time for you to go out into the city

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  79. Good luck, new citizens!

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