The poor town named “Freedomville” lost all of its infrastructure in Hurricane Lucy.
Residents of Freedomville renovated the city into an “eco-city” after they adopted a sharing app named “Commons.”
Population in Freedomville has skyrocketed, as residents of townships throughout the region have all but fled their homes to take part in Freedom City’s revolutionary economy based on the Commons platform, where users and machines to move in concert to produce an abundance of goods with negative CO2 emissions.
Freedomville has since been renamed “Freedom City.”
Users of Commons are colloquially referred to as “Commoners.”
Presently, all Commoners are residents of Freedom City.
What is “Commons?”
Commons is a mobile app that consists of a map and feed to display locations, objects, and announcements shared within the user’s social networks.
Users of Commons have full control of how they tag their resources, how their information is broadcasted, and how they filter their searches.
The founder of Commons is 23 year old Freedomville native, Shiloh Cosmos, who initially pitched Commons as “the sharing economy for end-consumer resources, such as laundry services, game consoles and home gyms.”
In Freedom City, a Commoner’s map has access to everything from cottages to castles, laser cutters to scooters, hospitals to hot tubs, food, books, and clothes in various states of existence, shared freely within the Commoner’s network.
Most Commoners share their GPS and skills with their friends on Commons.
Access to Freedom City resources on Commons is exclusive to Freedom City residents.
Born into Disaster
On September 20, 2017, Shiloh Cosmos launched a private beta of “Shiloh Maps” for friends to share map locations of inventories of objects. The app had a clean interface and no bugs, but no one took the time to maintain their inventory list.
On November 12, Cosmos received a Facebook notification that his hometown, Freedomville, was hit by a massive storm. His sister, Mira Gould, responded as ‘safe.’
When Gould shared an Instagram post about needing access to tampons during the flood, Cosmos realized that Shiloh Maps needed social broadcasts. He worked overnight to build a filtered feed, a feature to allow users to view updates for local resources and messages with hashtags sent in their social network.
On the morning of November 13, Cosmos decided to rename the project “Commons” and sent an invitation link to Gould and relief workers, who uploaded spreadsheets of emergency information. Onboarding messages were sent to all digital accounts listed at Freedomville.
Within 48 hours of release, Commons had 35,000 active users, approximately 75% of the population of Freedomville, as users posted locations of flooded houses, missing people, and emergency services.
Two weeks later, Cosmos took the first available flight back to Freedomville.
Upon arrival, he was informed that use of Commons was projected to have saved 300 lives and that nearly all residents in Freedomville had started using Commons to share voluntarily-provided social services.
Furthermore, residents began calling each other “Commoners.”
The Wealth of Commons
With their retail industry in remission, Freedomville’s residents, credit unions and policy makers used Commons to create new ways to share goods and resources.
Downtown boutiques were transformed into member-run services such as workshops, jungle gyms, free clinics, clothing libraries, yoga studios, 24/7 nap rooms, and coop cafeterias. Apartment complexes used as dormitories and supply stations in the storm continued operations as low- and no-cost service providers.
Public art festivals generated social cohesion between Commoners, as they freely shared music, movement, and custom creations made of glass, wood, metal, plastic, and fabric.
Local permaculture farms shared a rotating staff with donation-based markets and cafeterias to provide fresh meals and produce to Commoners, collectively referred to as “Commoner Markets” or “Comms.” Comms coordinate with local gyms and nutritionists to determine nutritional content, adjusting crop yields to reflect Commoner activities.
Freedomville government renovated the recycling center as a “Materials Lab” to supply recycled materials to “Freedom Fabrications,” a cooperative of Commoner workshops that develop tools and machines for local services, such as crop harvesting, food preparation and transportation.
Local water treatment, solar power grids and a mesh internet network broadcasted through Commons provided Freedomville independence from external profit-based services.
Commoners invited friends from neighboring towns to participate in Freedomville’s functions, sharing accommodations in communal houses and recurring sleepover events.
With a growing population, services in Freedom City diversified. Commoner-run “Chem Labs” produced chemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, and dyes. Agricultural waste became fuel for gasification power generators, producing fuel and electricity to power farm equipment and biochar fertilizer to crops.
The Freedomville School District promoted enrollment in a massive education program for residents of all ages to learn about properties of the universe while voluntarily providing services throughout Freedomville society.
The Mayor of Freedomville, Helen Murray, enthusiastically identifies as a Commoner. On February 9, 2019, Murray posted a poll on Commons with the following referendums:
- Rename Freedomville to “Freedom City”
- Renovate the Freedomville Mall into the “Shiloh Complex,” a 2,000,000 ft² live/work center and urban agriculture project, built from materials reclaimed from nearby abandoned cities, for 2500 residents to live together and prepare a global expansion of the Commons platform.
The referendums passed with widespread approval.
Freedom City, Present Day
Today, Freedom City consists of 810,000 Commoners participating in communal living arrangements, art collectives, and automated manufacturing centers.
Commoners have remarkably symmetrical faces, clear voices, and fit bodies, due to widespread adoption of movement arts and vocal play.
Freedom City builds and recycles its own digital devices.
Commoners use ultralight electric vehicles to roam the earth and ride the air.
Older Commoners experienced catharsis in participating in a large Commons-hosted social game named “Capitalism,” a lottery stock-market game where players have hidden number values and a set objects to bargain each other into stressful living circumstances.
Commoners maintain traditional government titles as a redundant forms for mass decision-making.
Younger Commoners do not use titles at all.
Shiloh Cosmos has announced preparations for the release of “Global Commons,” a project to use the Commons platform to integrate all scales of human organization on Earth.
Commoners in Freedom City speak as if Global Commons is the coming of world peace.
What’s Going On Here?
My name is Leela Universe.
This is a work of optimistic science fiction, illustrating a possible direction for the project my friends and I are working on, Commons 1.0. (AKA Leela Maps, or Freedom)
It’s just a map search bar and feed box to navigate lists of locations and objects, with customizable tags and privacy settings.
If you want to work with me on this, message me on social media.
Or just make it yourself.
Notes on images:
First image is a concept art for rebuilding Collingswood, NJ (link).
Commons screenshots are UX designs for “Leela Maps,” my own project.
Flooded town image in the Instagram post was taken by Don Becker, of U.S. Geological Survey (link).
“Shiloh Complex” and “Green Zone” pictures are concept art for developing the Tengah estate in Singapore, initially shared in an article on Today Online.
“Cosmos Collective” image is a picture of a Chinese building, though I’ve lost the link. If you find it, please send it to me.
The first Commons Global image is concept art for Chinese eco-cities (link).
The final picture of buildings with plants was taken from here.
Love it or hate it, it may be worth it to share this article with your friends, because you may find some Commoners willing to help you out.