17th January 2150

It is another cold, fresh day in Londres. I have been tired all day after sleeping badly. All I can think of is my investigation into what happened in the year 2018. The record is obscured by the torrent of diarrheal data that the age produced. At the time nobody, not even the Black Lamp Collective, and least of all the media companies, understood what information was worth collecting and what wasn’t worth the electricity needed to write it into a data-farm hard drive.  The Black Lamp Collective, it seems to me, was already in existence, or had a kind of pre-existence, it’s members already in contact with each other and in the early stages of plotting what would eventually become the future.

However at this point the collective was held back by many factors. Many of its members were traumatised – by events in their lives, by men, by childhoods, by the general brutality of society, or by their previous attempts to change the world. All of them were forced to labour too long for a wage, some of them in jobs they liked, most of them in work they merely tolerated. They were deluged too beneath waves of the same low quality and poorly filtered information that makes this research difficult. The combination of all these factors took its toll on their mental health. There were all, to put it in a blunt but in no way derogatory manner, somewhat crazy.

At the same time there were glimmers of light within the invisible lamp. The effects of a large-scale competitive society, polluted constantly by authoritatively wrong mass media, had left most of the Collective suffering with varying degres of poor self-belief. In such a society, the majority of people will be losers, and encouraged daily to see themselves as loser. Having suffered such perfectly normal and debilitating self-doubt for many years, the members of the Black Lamp Collective, having been drawn together by commonalities both major and trivial (a love of cycling for example), had begun the long drawn-out process of believing in each other. They were to discover over the coming years that this was not merely a substitute for self-belief, it was precisely the same thing. In this discovery lay the beginnings of their project.

17th January 2150