Friday, May 17, 2013

137: $ense

ENTRY 137: $ense

Venusian microeconomics takes as its central tenet that currency and property are simply part of the extended infosphere of an ego, part and parcel of their being. Advanced Venusian macroeconomics tends to get into complex symbiotic/parasitic/parasitoid relationships involving corporations and their investors, but this most central and basic tenet has been embraced by several hypercorps in the Planetary Consortium, if for no other reason than an excellent justification on which to develop and sell new products backed by Venusian economic theory and philosophy—the Sum Datalife Manager, the adult-economic XP novel Ergmanntron’s Follies, and $ense.

A personal augmentation, $ense interprets real-time data from the user’s currency accounts, stocks, tagged property, etc. and translates it into a near-tactile intuitive sensory input. The $ense user can literally feel their personal value rise as their stock values climb or the median income scores for individuals of their profession with their given education and experience increase, recognize the nagging sensation of paying more than the estimated best value for a given product, and more prosaically experience an immediate sense of loss or absence when their property is stolen or repossessed.

$ense is aimed at users of all economic levels, from currency-obsessed multibillion kroner hypercorp execs on Titan to the hydrogen miner in a post-scarcity maker economy on the Rim, but in general the augmentation is most popular in the heavily commercial habitats of the inner solar system, where children are brought up with $ense to develop good economic habits and the vastly wealthy with $ense can dwell in a pleasant natural high as their investments accrue—only to plunge into nigh-suicidal despair following a series of bad deals. Outside of the sphere of the credit and the kroner, $ense is more often used to track tangible and intangible properties, alerting the users to changes to their physical or virtual assets.


$ense is a cybernetic personal augmentation with a cost of Trivial; the default setting ties in to the user’s Mesh accounts and tracks the status of their accounts, assets, property, &c. without their needing to devote constant attention to it—any sudden change to a property balance will be felt as a near-physical sensation (customized to the user). Users may also selectively decide which data streams that the $ense ties into; for example they could tune $ense to their favorite sports team, or the biometric data of their teammates. The user will still need to ask their muse or otherwise access the raw data through the Mesh to find out what is actually going on, but the sensation provided by $ense gives a quick, intuitive, and specific idea that trouble has occurred and where. Without a Mesh link, $ense has no data to interpret and the character operates without that sense.


  • A new software patch to $ense has pushed the “positive” sensations of gaining assets to new levels, leading to mental addictions—and $ense doesn’t recognize the difference between lawful acquisition and stealing or other illicit profiteering. The result is a rash of thefts, lotteries, and even prostitution by otherwise reasonable morphs on the PC’s habitat. A little investigation should lead to $ense and the new patch, but how the PCs deal with the addicts is up to them.


  1. This is genius, and you should probably patent it. Loving all of your entries, keep it going!