You read the message again.

Counter-productive behaviours have been detected.
Your Chronicle is flagged for review.

Your watch alerts you to your rising blood pressure, and suggests a minute of slow breathing.

What could have triggered this audit? You scan through your Chronicle looking for clues as you see your life laid out in reverse.

Below your high blood pressure reading, it captured your breathless swearing as you read the message the first time.

Could it have been something you searched? Maybe a passing conversation? Did you watch a controversial video? Spend too long in the bathroom?

Chronicle showed so much promise. You were so excited to have a next generation second brain; a searchable, all-in-one digital repository of everything you see, hear, and say.

Back when your account was private and part of your personal tech stack, it really was liberating. You were no longer limited by your memory. Ambiguity and uncertainty were reduced, as every encounter produced a factual record. This rich, personal, searchable data set was a personal treasure trove of connections that spurred new ideas.

And then, it was widely adopted in the workplace.

Your records were no longer your own, at least when you’re on company time. Everything you see, say, or hear on work hours is recorded and owned by your company. They say it’s to comprehensively document organisational knowledge and IP, but increasingly it’s used to police performance, productivity, and constant professionalism.

two women facing security camera above mounted on structure

Two women stand against a wall beneath an array of ~40 surveillance cameras

Pockets of this future visible in the present

Does this scenario feel like a stretch? Check out these emerging signals that this future could unfold…

The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed
– William Gibson

So what?

Tease out what this future might mean for you. Discuss or reflect on the following questions:

How does this scenario make you feel?

Need help naming the feeling? Try the feelings wheel

What early signs might you see that indicate this future possibility is becoming a reality?

What else would need to change to make this scenario possible?

How might others react in this situation?

What’s one real action you could take this week to feel more prepared for this scenario if it really happened?