Here’s part 16 of Soapbox (unedited, as usual). If you are new here and want to know what’s going on, this is a serialized story that I’m posting as I write, 250 or so words at a time added each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can skip back to part one, or read the entire thing as one page. Enjoy.
After they had all decided, Bridget went over to the bar to order while the rest of them searched for a place to sit. They eventually settled on two Pac-man arcade tables that had been pulled together. With the game demo going on underneath the beer glasses, it looked like Pac man was trying to eat power pellets that were ten times his size and the ghosts were merely guards chasing him around.
“So what did you think of working in the garden?” Jess asked from across the table.
“I didn’t think that I’d like it, but it wasn’t bad,” Ethan said. “Beats not working.” He had been thinking about it as they had walked to the bar. At first he thought that maybe it just felt good to be useful, to be doing something, anything. But then he had flashed back to memories of his last job, working as seasonal holiday help in a big electronics store. Working in the garden was better, much better.
“Glad to hear it,” Bridget said.
“I do have a question, though,” he said. “I was under the impression that the Bazaars were trying to decouple themselves from the global economy, but here we are, drinking beer in a pub. Is the pub part of the system, or what?”
Jess answered. “You’re right about trying to decouple from the global economy, but it’s not something that can happen overnight. A few years ago, the Bazaars were mostly people selling handmade illegal or semi-legal technology, anti-surveillance stuff. Now we grow enough food to feed a thousand people or so, and there’s exciting stuff coming with 3D printers and cheap CNC machines. It’s a process.”
“There’s more to it than that,” Bridget said. “Really, what we’re trying to do is get rid of our reliance on the global economy. Ultimately, we still want to be part of it, but we want it to work for us and not the other way around. As for the pub, the owner has similar thinking, but he isn’t part of the Bazaar. He does accept bitcoins, though, because of his semi-legal status.”
“That helps, thanks,” Ethan said.
“There’s more about it on the BazOS, if you’re interested,” David said.
“I get the feeling that I’ll be hearing that a lot,” Ethan said.
I feel bad that I haven’t mentioned CNC (Computer Numerical Control machines are things that can take a set of digital plans and mill or machine a piece of wood, plastic, or metal into the shape described) or 3D printing yet, as these technologies look like they will be hugely disruptive, and probably to the benefit of the people rather than the corporations.