14 October 2022

Ep. 3 –  “We know we are being monitored and yet…” — Disconnected in 2050

Driving deeper into the rabbit hole, Ezra begins to understand who exactly is behind the mystery. While Ezra tries to find answers, she finds new information that disrupts everything she’s ever known.

Author: Europod

Listen on your favorite platform:

Scene 1

EZRA (studio-voice)
Welcome back.

Your Infinity account is still blocked.

At this stage I’d like to precise that Grounded doesn’t monitor nor record your
reactions during this listening – At the difference of Infinity.

But you knew that already, right?

You know that Infinity scrutinises every single movement of your pupils to determine –
what excites you, what saddens you, what angers you.

We know we are being monitored and yet… we don’t really care.

Why should you?

Let me make you listen to another recording from the past. The 2020s to be more
precise.

This is Emma Kraak, head of communication at NUBO, an alternative online service
cooperative respectful of users’ privacy.

[00:03:26.890] – EMMA KRAAK
Lorsqu'on dit, par exemple, que l'on n'est pas intéressé par la vie privée parce qu'on

2
n'a rien à cacher, c'est un peu comme dire qu'on se fiche de la liberté d'expression
parce qu'on n'a rien à dire.

[00:03:28.890] – EMMA K
C'est une citation d'Edward Snowden. Il s'agit vraiment de faire respecter des droits
qui vont, d'une certaine manière, au-delà de nos inclinaisons personnelles ou
individuelles, mais qui sont aussi de l'ordre du collectif.

You’ll soon understand where those recordings come from.

For now, they are meant to make you better understand what we stand for.

So… where did we leave things? Oh yeah, that’s right.

We hear in the background the panic message from Episode 02

I had just finished listening to this odd message on the recorder.

It turned out it was the last of many.

So, I rewound to the very first one.
Scene 2
ADRIEN (voice on recorder)
Thursday April 14 th , 2022.

First time on this new recorder, I hope the quality's good.

Debriefing of the press conference with a member of the European Commission
who’s working on the Digital Service Act.

3
They hope that, paired with the Digital Market Act, it will “put order into chaos” on the
Internet – which is now under the control of Big Tech companies…

Will have to cut the interruption around 22 minutes in post-prod. //

Scene 3

JYN (voice comes from the corner)
Jingle
You have 6 new messages and 111 notifications.

Message from Charly.

we can hear Ezra put her headset on, jingle infinity, ambience “metaverse”

CHARLY (message voice)
Ez, have you heard the last one? This new minister guy makes me want to throw up.

EZRA
Play the video, Jyn.

//play sound signal

Politician – Male voice

“We are so proud of this new system which allows us to cope with this new migration
crisis. Asylum requests will now be entirely dealt with by Artificial Intelligence. Not only
with a series of tests, including lie detection, coherence tests. But the algorithm also
integrates information to determine who are the individuals who will most benefit our
community.”

EZRA

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Jyn, repost the video with the comment: “This is so twisted, it makes me sick.”

[jingle signalling action was denied]

JYN
I’m sorry, but it seems your post does not abide with the Infinity community policies.

Remember to be more cheerful!

Also, try to post something about yourself from time to time.

But hey, I found this other video on the same topic. You’ll like this one better.

Politician – Female voice

“In the housing department, we are facing a real crisis. We simply do not have room
for those people. And we just cannot accept them currently squatting the streets.

[She takes an ad like intonation – maybe some cheerful music]

But thanks to Infinity, we found an innovative solution. The Belgian government has
recently made a first acquisition of 3 000 capsules. A comfortable 2 by 1 metre is
allocated by person. And thanks to the infinity headsets, their capsule of minimal
dimension will transform in a place they can call home. In exchange, the members
enrolled in the program will have the chance to contribute to the development of our
research. They will be training our Artificial intelligence with simple tasks, suitable for
all: Adults and children. We are very proud of //”

EZRA
Jyn, pause.

5

JYN
Do you want a funny video to cheer you up?

I have a great one: it’s a crow biting a dog’s tail, and then the dog (Jyn laughs) //

EZRA
Not now.

I need you to find a user.

JYN
Gladly, what is their name?

EZRA
“Adrien Sodad"

JYN
Searching for “Adrien Sodad”

[Sound: charging / result] error sound

There is no Infinity user going by this name.

EZRA
Well, there must be.

JYN
Let me look for other occurrences. It might take a few seconds.

EZRA
Ok then, I’ll disconnect while you search.

6

JYN
Are you sure – I have //
Headset removed

JYN (jingle) retour à l’ambiance chambre, on l’entend cliquer sur l’enregistreur
Scene 4

Voice of young ADRIEN

On a personal note: I’m more and more convinced that these big tech companies – –
and their social media are harming democracy.
They corrupted the original ideal of the internet, which was supposed to renew
democracy.
But in their hands, the result is rather bittersweet.
Of course, social media have given voices to those who were traditionally excluded
from the public sphere.
However, these platforms have been proven to create radicalisation and social
fracture.
As the algorithms trap us in ideological bubbles.
It’s what Eli Pariser calls “filter bubbles”.
We have almost no control on what we see.

Choose your topic: Covid, vaccines, elections. The internet isn't an ocean of diversity
anymore, but just a collection of isolated islands.
Yet, what troubles me is our fatalism.
We all seem to roughly realise the problem, but we keep on behaving as if we didn’t
have a choice.

We read an article about everything that they do, and then, one hour later here we are
scrolling once again.

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Where is this going to lead us ?

Scene 5

Notification sound, we can hear Jyn’s voice into a small speaker in the room

JYN
I found this: 5 pictures of Adrien Sodad from 2022, 2026 and 2034.

Ezra puts her headset back on

EZRA
And you still can’t find a user which corresponds to this face? In deceased users
maybe?

JYN
If I may, imaginary people won’t help to augment your sociability score…

EZRA
(sarcastically) How insightful, thank you Jyn.…

Okay, just one last thing.

Search his face on CCTV footage.

JYN
Processing…

[notif sound of The Beyond /ambience]

Your grandmother was happy you visited. You have won 2 family credits. Come back
soon in The Beyond!

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[ambiance of The Beyond stops] //

Process completed.

This is a map of all the locations where this person has been seen.

EZRA
It all seems centred in the same area.

Can you show me the ones from Place Bethléem.

He must live in this building.

What’s the date on that video?

JYN
June 3 rd , 2050.

EZRA
(surprised) Last week?! That’s so weird, why doesn’t he have an account then?

JYN
Would you like to report him?

Here are the numbers of the adequate authorities you can contact on the base of
suspicious behaviour: See it, Post it, Sort it.

EZRA
No, at least not for now.

9

There must be an explanation.

JYN
(said automatically as a slogan) Infinity takes it at heart to include all on its platforms.

EZRA
Right, okay.

Show me how to get from here to Place de Bethléem.

JYN
May I remind you that, according to the latest reports, individuals without an Infinity
account are 10 times more likely to engage in violent behaviours and illegal activities?

EZRA
And I asked you for directions?

JYN
And you still have 5 tasks to complete today.

Besides all of the shops in Place Bethléem can deliver anything at your doorstep,
instant satisfaction //

EZRA
Why do I have to justify myself?

Just show me the damn map!

Ep. 2 - "They seized everything and now they're coming for us." - Disconnected in 2050
Ep. 4 –  "I believe this belongs to you" — Disconnected in 2050