E-CON-IGNOMINOMICS, or The Curmudgeon’s Fantasy

The end of the current economy is coming. Who knows when? I don’t claim to. But when my writing group was given the prompt to write about a secret shopper, my first thought was the demise of the secret shopper. How could anyone afford to pay a secret shopper to check on service at a store, when nobody shops at stores? How could the concept of a secret shopper exist on line? There are no secrets. The merchants don’t even care if we buy their products. They simply hope we’ll window shop so they can sell the record of our window shopping for profit. But sometime, I don’t know when, the prices paid for the record of the trail of clicks of the public shopper will fail to support the lifestyles of the useless leeches of today’s e-con-ignominomics. The phantasm of smoke and mirrors supporting the lifestyles of these leeches will blow away and sublime. The smoke will blow away and the mirrors will sublime. Sublime. That’s a technical term that refers to the process by which the atoms of a solid substance leave their neighbors, one by one. Yes, the smoke will diffuse and so will the mirrors. The leeches of the internet will be revealed in their nakedness for who they are. Some of them might recall some previously learned skills that are actually useful to their fellow humans, like gardening. Maybe they’ll grow a tomato or plant a row of asparagus, to reduce our dependence on factory food that’s full of listeria, hepatitis, and salmonella.

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Engineering consultant by day, science fiction writer in off hours.

2 thoughts on “E-CON-IGNOMINOMICS, or The Curmudgeon’s Fantasy”

  1. I worked in an office where things came to an absolute standstill when the computers went down. There was no manual back up for that situation. Employees were sent home without pay until the system went back online. The greater the complexity of the system the greater the danger of reliance upon that same system. That’s part of the reason we have a furnace, woodstove and propane fireplace. We feel the need to prepare for a potential failure of some kind.. As certain segments of society lose hope that their needs will be met or lose hope for a better future they are apt to be a focus for radical change from the status quo. In the meanwhile, lessening our dependence in many areas seems a prudent course of action.

  2. I like the central idea that mouse clicks are analogous to window shopping – given value by the e-conomy – much the same way currencies are valued. The ephemerality of it all is indeed like the process of sublimation making it ignominious in the end. Hence, I also like the word ignominomics – even though it doesn’t immediately roll off the tongue.
    For the layman, I tend to describe sublimation as the transformation of a solid directly to a gas – e.g. ice to water vapor. Similarly, I tend to think of smoke dissipating rather than diffusing – even though both definitions/descriptions are correct in their respective ways.
    Overall, the kernel or essence of your idea is worthy of further development and refinement in order to make it more concise, powerful, and impactful.
    The curmudgeon’s fantasy is the ignominomist’s reality.

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