Everything’s Under Control

This piece of fiction is certainly not inspired by Robert Anton Wilson’s book, “Everything Is Under Control“.

And it’s certainly not a thought experiment in what he would be saying if he were alive right now.

Of course, Robert Anton Wilson died in 2007, shortly before the rise of social media.

Which is a coincidence.

Of course.


Everything is under control.

Everything is going to be fine.

The Internet has not evolved into something capable of predicting or even causing emotional change.

Just because it knows you so well it can make you buy things, not buy things, protest, be depressed, or be angry, is no reason to be upset.

Everything is under control.

It’s not human beings who are doing this to you. It’s not sentient beings who are doing this to you. It’s cold, non-sentient, unthinking algorithms who are doing this to you, in response to (depending on your country and region) market forces and/or government mandates.

But it’s okay.

That’s not the worst of both worlds.

There are more disturbing possibilities than unthinking machines being used by various people who are, themselves, involved in a constant power struggle with each other, attempting to make those machines make you do what they want.

For example, the people in those power struggles could be vicious sociopaths who specifically want to hurt you, and that’s not entirely the case.

Depending on your country, of course. And your stockholders. And your Influencers.

Remember, this is fiction. This is not easily-verified data which you could confirm with a quick Google search.

I mean, you could confirm these things with a quick Google search, but that just shows how well-written this fiction is.

There’s no reason to Google “What is doomscrolling?”

There’s no reason to Google “What does Facebook know about me?” And also, if you happen to notice that most of the articles are about Facebook knowing too much about you in 2018, and we know the Algorithm has advanced since then, that’s perfectly okay.

There’s no reason to put down your phone.

Everything is under control.

Remember, you could easily get through your day without your cell phone, and even if you couldn’t, it’s not too difficult to configure your phone so that your apps stop flashing you various messages about new alerts and unread messages.

And just because these alerts have been specifically designed to nag at your brain and make you want to look at them and compel you to check your phone and open your apps is no reason to think this is sinister. Relatively few governments are openly using this to control their citizenry.

Don’t bother to Google “how china uses social media to control citizens”. It’s probably just propaganda.

It’s probably verifiable and true, but it’s still probably propaganda. Doesn’t that make you feel better?

Everything is fine.

Everything is under control.

Now, some people are beginning to suspect that the devices we use for information, knowledge, general life utility, and fun are also part of why we’re feeling constant states of anxiety, disquiet, and overload.

Isn’t that an interesting idea? You should post it to your Twitter feed and see what happens. And then you should check every couple of minutes to see if anyone’s responded.

It’s what I’d do.

And it’s probably perfectly healthy.

Everything is fine.

Everything is fine.

Everything is under control.


hilariously, a copy of this piece fell backwards in time, where it was hailed as a brilliant take on a dystopian Cyberpunk future, and picked up by Algis Budrys’ short-lived but excellent “Tomorrow” magazine.

see? “That last note steals an idea from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” and then adds a fictional genre which has become a bit of a cliche. This is just a story. There’s nothing to worry about.

Aren’t you relieved?

~Jeff Mach


My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities and create things. Every year, I put on Evil Expo, the Greatest Place in the World to be a Villain. I also write a lot of fantasy and science fiction.. You can get most of my books right here. Go ahead, pre-order I HATE Your Prophecy“. It may make you into a bad person, but I can live with that.


Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.