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ReForm: Combating the Algorithmic Mutation, by Scott Bollens

All appears hopeful after the mysterious cessation of the authoritarian interconnect supercomputer in 2051. Genocidal warfare (the “Turmoil”), a period inspired by algorithmic stimulation of human grievance via chip implants, has mercifully ended. A majority of citizens have undergone re-education to lessen their destructive computer addictions. And when interconnect re-emerges in 2058, it has mutated and inserts in citizens not violent impulses but a seemingly benign program of ReForm.

Yet, this mutation is not what it seems. Instead, it has implanted in its unaware recipients numbing and fabricated senses of hope and reformation that conceal the continuance of manipulated reality.

Investigator Jared Rohde, confined in a mental institution due to split-brain seizures, is rescued by a colorful band of rebels who seek to combat interconnect’s algorithmic trickery and its mental entrapment of the country’s citizens. During two months of demanding off-grid trekking with his rescuers to avoid surveillance, Jared struggles between re-gaining organic thinking and his addictive longing for computer stimuli. Although the rebels view him as an essential asset, Jared questions his usefulness and faces vexing challenges in finding dependable truth.

In ReForm: Combating the Algorithmic Mutation by Scott Bollens, we experience a near future where independent human thinking is dissolving and a small group of dissidents constitutes the sole challenge to the machine’s ever-mutating reach into the human mind. When Jared faces the ultimate test by the machine, how he reacts will determine the future of interconnect’s domination of human free will. He ends up in a place he could never have imagined.

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