Corporate History Of The Shhhh! Digital Universe...

I've been taking on a project to map the big companies of the Shhhh! Digital Universe. Really this post just talks about the big players on the planet for both The Butterfly Dragon and A Lady's Prerogative. 

It also addresses the differences between the Stories From The End universe and the rest of the Shhhh! Digital Universe. It could even be considered to be a neighbour of Marvel's Multiverse and DC's Universe, both of which enjoy the concept of the multiple worlds interpretation of the Copenhagen Principle. However, where ownership and copyright are concerned, all creative, intellectual and publishing rights are the properties of their respective owners.

Here's some of my research notes, all of which retain the aspects of plotline I'm withholding for future books such as The Butterfly Dragon III: The Two Dragons and A Lady's Prerogative III: Singularity.

MindSpice (AI) / MindSpace (Aerospace)

[CEO: Gabriel Anthony Asnon] (Technology, R&D) Analogous to Alphabet Inc, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Bigelow

Tynan And Associates 

[CEO: Walton Norler, Chairman Helmut Werner] (Investment Firm Specializing In Science And Medical Research) 

Future Tangent Industries 

[CEO: James Andrew Dawson] (Multinational Corporation Specializing In Engineering And Technology)

Globenet Market Group 

[CEO and majority share holder: Mark Chow] (Technology Based Online Marketplace With Global Distribution) Analogous to Amazon


[CEO and majority share holder: Cynthia Pearldottir] (Online Social Networking Platform) Analogous to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

ERG (acronym of Engineering Research Group) 

[CEO: Eduardo Constanza] (Electrical Engineering Firm designing power reactors and hi tech electrical appliances) Analogous to Tesla

About Big Business In The Shhhh! Digital Universe

Most if not all of the existing companies in our own reality exist in the Shhhh! Digital universe, however where specific undertakings conducted by specific companies related to elements of the plots of any Butterfly Dragon or A Lady's Prerogative stories are concerned, the fictious companies are used, especially in plot elements involving fiasco such as in What Different Eyes See, where several management employees of Future Tangent Industries orchestrated a serious criminal conspiracy. 

The underlying theme is not an attack on business or specific companies, but rather that when greed takes priority over responsible business practices and the of employees over material assets, many people often suffer as a direct result. A concept demonstrated very well in the real world movie Company Men (which takes place in a fictitious real world and is one that I highly recommend). Also, Marvel's Iron Man really sets the stage for a coming of age in terms of the corporation and social responsibility. A movement started many years ago and spearheaded in our generation by many courageous film makers and the courage of CEOs to affect that positive change in reality. In this case, the more that art imitates life rather than vice versa, the better. 

The origins for A Lady's Prerogative III: Singularity find the big three of MindSpice, Globenet and Cheerify combining resources for a quantum computing based research project where Zheng Ni Wong is hired to factor and parameterize the mathematics involved in a discrete simulation running under their combined quantum platform. She is propelled into a dangerous game of secrecy when she encounters the social forces seeking to stop such research in its tracks and also gets the attention of the Sanctum, still recoving from its losses after A Lady's Prerogative II: Wounded Aerth.

ERG is the only company that exists in both Stories From The End (Of The World) which takes place in a separate universe from the rest of the Shhhh! Digital universe and in The Butterfly Dragon and A Lady's Prerogative. In Stories From The End, it is the company that designed the reactor where Elena, Matt, Dave and Stanton work. Stanton is actually secretly stationed there undercover as a highly trained member of a CSOC/JSOC/Black Ops unit. 

ERG is also a unit for the measurement of energy or work (much like the Newton unit) and this is the play on words that drove the use of the acronym for the company name. A great use of associative marketing.

In the Butterfly Dragon and A Lady's Prerogative universe, ERG is where future MindSpice CEO Gabriel Anthony Asnon interned in the technology department for their reactor business. While there, he recognized the application for deep learning technology to assist in the development of highly efficient solar panels. Panels that would at peak convergence, offer 1000W/meter squared. As a result, he was quickly promoted to director of advanced technology for their reactor division. He remained with the company until he turned twenty five, then took all of his finances and shares and used them to found MindSpice, a technology startup specializing in modern AI technology. Their first product was an AI powered search engine for the internet, which quickly became the most used information search tool on the planet.

Gabe leveraged this growth, using it to feed other projects in MindSpice, procuring lucrative contracts in the Aerospace industry developing AI powered strategic analysis and navigation systems for autonomous vehicles. As MindSpice's dominance of the field of AI grew, so did their global reach. Gabriel hired his own think tank, a collection of his former college dorm mates, many of whom were prominent hackers and social outcasts at the time. He and his think tank collaborated to advance global communications to the next level, laying the foundation for the next generation super-high bandwidth internet. A foundation upon which AI would flourish and become an integral part of every day life.

Meanwhile, other entrepreneurs would grow their own empires, using their own brands to outshine the competition, eventually arriving at the same place globally as Gabe Asnon and MindSpice. 

Cynthia Pearldottir graduated from Reykjavik University in Iceland with a Post Doctorate Degree in Computer Science. For her PHD thesis, she created from scratch, her own social network. Having taken a side degree in sociology, Cynthia focused on many of the driving forces that affect modern social networks at the psycho-social level, including ever evolving social movements and colour psychology. She geared her social network towards a connection to emotion and humanity rather than the technology itself, dubbing her network with the name Cheerify

Cheerify's tag line: You've already got a smile. With Cheerify, you've got another reason.

She'd also chosen specifically not to take an aggressive approach to competition. Rather, she created Cheerify to operate in a symbiotic relationship with all other social networks. You could either rely entirely upon Cheerify for all your social networking needs as it was compatible with all other major social networks. Post once to the Cheerify network, get posted on all other major social networks. 

Cheerify initially ran on alumni hardware provided by the University, quickly outgrowing it with its exponential expansion. Within the first year, Cheerify had gone public, making Cynthia a multi-billionaire and the CEO of the fastest growing social network on the planet. She'd also become the hero and inspiration for many women, young and old alike. Proof that they too could achieve their dreams. 

Cynthia was especially careful to ensure that she did not become a brand spokesperson for women versus men. Rather, during an interview, she summed it all up by stating: Its quite amazing how we can socially divide ourselves simply by failing to understand the implications of the use of linguistic conjunctions, or even boolean mathematical operations for that matter. Cheerify isn't women NOT men. Cheerify isn't even women OR men. It's women AND men. Young AND old alike.

Meanwhile, in China, an innovative exporter from Shenzhen named Mark Chow had come under attack by a  powerful business coalition in North America seeking to pressure politicians into putting a ban on all Southeast Asian imports. Their argument was that globalization was killing the domestic economy, and that locations in the world where workers' rights had not evolved to North American standards were underpricing the rest of the world at the expense of the workers. Leaving North American domestic produce unable to compete with imported goods, hence driving down the local GDP.

Rather than seeing this as the end of his business, Mark Chow instead organized a consortium of Southeast Asian exporters, uniting them under one banner with the express interest of bringing the power of the export business model to North America. Where goods produced in North America would be sold to the Southeast Asian consumer population. The economics made sense. After all, Southeast Asia is the single largest consumer market on the planet amongst a group of nations whose GDP has risen faster than everywhere on the planet over the last two decades. North America would certainly be on board if they were allowed to share in the enormous potential for work, prosperity and business growth without compromising North American worker's rights' and standards while seeing similar rights progressed elsewhere. Rather than yield to their demands, Mark Chow saw the opportunity to transform their economy and create a win-win situation for both sides.

Mark Chow's consortium he dubbed the Globenet Market, specializing in the import and export business model with a focus on domestic produce developement whereever they setup shop. Their business model was that if they sold products to a region, they also had to produce other products in that region for sale elsewhere. In their first two years of operation in North America, they setup manufactories in several North American locations. Detroit and Houston in the United States. Montreal and Alberta in Canada. Mexico City and Tiajuana in Mexico. All manufactories were focused on their regional expertise and where applicable, cultural offerings. 

The sales platform was integrated ensuring that consumers from Southeast Asia could find marketable products in North America for sale in their own region, with options for reduced pricing based upon quantity. Within their first three years of operation, Globenet netted North American manufacturers and employees billions in revenue. By the sixth year of Globenet's operation, unfettered trade between North America, Europe and Southeast Asia had balanced the economies without dropping the GDP of any of the countries embracing the platform. Instead, in all of the regions participating, those operating with the Globenet platform and philosophy had increases in their respective GDP per capita. Detroit, Mexico City and Alberta saw a whopping growth of nine thousand dollars per capita. What that translates to is that each citizen in those regions saw an increase of their income by that amount directly linked to the operation of the Globenet Marketplace. The Globenet philosophy had proven successful and had ignited a confidence in the economies of the regions participating.

Mark Chow had risen to become the CEO of this consortium cum global corporation and like his peers, Cynthia Pearldottir, Gabriel Asnon and Walton Norler were amongst the most influential people on the planet.

These are the events that brought the world in the Shhhh! Digital Universe where it currently stands, poised on the precipice of great success or tragic catastrophe, for with every one of those advances, a multitude of threats arrived that could bring it all down.

Next post I'll discuss more about the company ERG and CEO Eduardo Constanza.

Brian Joseph Johns