Design Fiction - Serendipity


Written on August 21, 2019, in response to IDEO's prompt about Design Fiction: "Show us a moment or experience in 2050 that's different from today. "

image from istock

It’s Monday. My project has been going smoothly, but I’m losing motivation… probably because I haven’t talked to a single living soul for 10 months now.

It’s common to be in this hermit zone after lacking real-life interactions for a while. Although there’s easy access to physical sustenances and mental stimulations, which allows us to remain recluse for a long time, frankly, it’s a terrible state of mind to be in.

I end up doing this anyways because it’s easier to close up and avoid complicated human relations. Whenever I’m stuck in this zone, my remedy is to go dig up some old junk I bought off archived clouds, because codes and datasets are easier to decipher than human emotions.

That’s how I came across this site from 50 years ago.

Apparently people from the early 2000s like to write about their lives on these “blogs”. It took me a while to restore the server and reconstruct the host site, since the infrastructure is so old and janky… but alas, it’s alive again.

I managed to sign up and registered my own blog, but when I tried to set the name of this blog thing to my own name, it told me that the name has been taken. I decided to look it up and see who took my name, and voila: locaserv42a9p://

There are only two posts, but my interest was immediately drawn. The emotions there are so raw and lively. Even though I have no idea who she is, and know practically nothing about how people lived 50 years ago, I can almost see through the screen, a slice of her life. Two brief yet intimate moments that she had shared on the internet half a century ago.

Even after time’s dilution, what I was able to pick up through simple plain texts is stronger than what I’ve ever personally felt. Ironically, I haven’t felt this strong of an urge to connect with another human in a long time, and when I did, it’s through this pile of 50-year-old internet junk.

I don’t even know if she’s still alive.

I’m trying to brainstorm ideas now. Maybe I’ll dig through some more social media archives, match her profile, and feed her data into an AI simulation to mock up a virtual character of her…… Time for a new project, I guess.

- August 21, 2051

designed & illustrated by maggie