Bruce Sterling's Shareable.net story about astroturfer gulag

Shareable.net's series of science fiction stories about societies built on sharing and sustainability continues, this time with a deeply ambivalent, darkly hilarious story by Bruce Sterling called "The Exterminator's Want-Ad," about the special rehab prison that corporate astroturfers are sent to after climate collapse:
Personally, I loved to buy stuff: I admired a consumer society. I sincerely liked to carry out a clean, crisp, commercial transaction: the kind where you simply pay some money for goods and services. I liked driving my SUV to the mall, whipping out my alligator wallet, and buying myself some hard liquor, a steak dinner, and maybe a stripper. All that awful stuff at the Pottery Barn and Banana Republic, when you never knew "Who the hell was buying that?" That guy was me.

Claire and I hated the sharing networks, because we were paid to hate them. We hated all social networks, like Facebook, because they destroyed the media that we owned. We certainly hated free software, because it was like some ever-growing anti-commercial fungus. We hated search engines and network aggregators, people like Google -- not because Google was evil, but because they weren't. We really hated "file-sharers" -- the swarming pirates who were chewing up the wealth of our commercial sponsors.

We hated all networks on principle: we even hated power networks. Wind and solar only sorta worked, and were very expensive. We despised green power networks because climate change was a myth. Until the climate actually changed. Then the honchos who paid us started drinking themselves to death.

The Exterminator's Want-Ad

(Image: claytonjayscott.com)