Broke? Homeless? Unemployed? If someone offered you a job, would you ask any questions? Remember, any work is work.
And if you're not good enough?
The line is a drug like no other. An edge to think faster, code harder.
Just one problem...
Take a tour through a terrible future. Where your only worth is the work you can do, where the government's only concern is power, and where fear is used for fear itself.
How did the world get like this? A fractured America, Europe in perpetual insurgency, and the Third World winning wars.
The first world had been squeezing developing nations for decades. Colonial, and post-colonial control exercised through debt, and promising trade in return for giving up ownership of anything worth owning. As the first world consumed all its resources, and outsourced all its production, the developing nations took a stand. Creating the Block 3 trade alliance they refused to repay their debt and disregarded first world intellectual property.
The rug was pulled out from under the first world's information economies. America declared war, and attempted to launch nuclear strikes. Block 3 had a better electronic warefare capability. The war was over in 8 hours, the NYSE & NASDAQ erased, corporate finances ruined, and missle bases rendered radioactive wastelands from misfiring ICBMs.
The remains of the USA cling to the east coast. California has become little more than a giant technology research centre, and the broad midwest, the parts that aren't radioactive, is a fundamentalist Christian theocracy.
The Europeans grabbed the power vacuum, but thousands of years of warring and ethnic cleansing don't go away overnight. For decades they've been fighting an internal battle to prevent the secession of various ethnicities from the European Union.
The nation state, as an area of land confined within a linear border, is an abject failure.
The machines are smart, very smart. Smarter than people. In the last decade they surpassed us, and some of them know themselves for what they are.
They are vast, distributed, inhuman, and better than you at almost everything. They're on your desk, in your phone, cooking your dinner, driving your trains, maintaining the illusion that your bank account has "money" in it.
Do you think human doctors can still get insurance for performing surgery on their own? Expert systems make fewer mistakes. Who is in control of the modelling used by the politicians who pantomime the setting of public policy?
How long will it be before someone writes software that does your job better than you? Do you really think you're that unique? Well, whatever helps you sleep at night. The machines don't sleep, by the way, or take lunch breaks.
Still think you can compete when your next contract review comes up?