What if ... revenue-starved public services are taken over by the mega platforms?
The quantified welfare recipient; How Majuscule is nudging the unemployed towards independence
“I’m a Majuscule person”, Nick says, referring to the global information company and speaking quickly as he twists the wearable on his ring finger. “Sorry, Nudge. I’m a Nudge person.”
I ask Nick what it means to him to be part of Nudge, a Majuscule-owned and operated program, and the biggest experiment in behaviour modification ever created.
“I’m a better version of myself every day”, he says. “The best person I’ve got it in me to be. Can we walk and talk? I need to hit my steps by noon”.
“Sure”, I say. “How are your targets going”?
“Terrific”, Nick says. “I keep hitting my targets and they keep setting them higher. There literally is no limit to what I can achieve".
Nick is one of half-a-million people trialling a partnership between Majuscule and the Department of Public Health. Now that so many jobs have disappeared and government welfare provision for those under age thirty is gone, Majuscule provides Income Boost (IB) to the un- and underemployed. IB provides a basic minimum income, training and the promise of eventual employment; the program gives Majuscule control of their personal data, now and in the future. In the Nudge program, IB recipients are tracked 24/7 with wearables monitoring their health. If they miss targets, they lose income. They must buy Majuscule -approved healthcare products and services. Many IB recipients are participating in numerous such Majuscule programs, removing the burden of welfare provision from the state.
Nick’s daily targets include walking 20,000 steps, and fifteen minutes each of high-intensity aerobic exercise and mindful gratitude. He must initiate two meaningful conversations per day, with bonus calories awarded for talking to new people, and promote the benefits of Nudge and Majuscule products and services.
The unemployed can become depressed and overweight from lack of stimulation and exercise, but isn’t this invasive?
“Before”, Nick says, “I just couchsurfed and played games online. Went to the food bank or to protests. Now, someone cares what I do and holds me accountable. I don’t have a job yet, but I’m getting closer. I’ve got to stay grateful and positive. I’ll get there”.
This story shows us how the Internet might evolve. But the path we take is up to us.