Gnossienne, by Orion Pritchard

In his (supposedly) introductory text, Gnossienne, Pritchard gives a historical treatment of the development of Perfumone. For those who may have forgotten, Perfumone was a reactive technology which constructed an imitationlayer above the usual landscape of human hormones. Initial responses, even among the elite and the eccentric, was to treat Perfumone profiles as a collective figment of the corporate imagination.

While this book does honestly deconstruct (uncommon today due to the mess in Washington) the use of Perfumone by governments, law enforcement, and corporations, it forgets the true reason for its popularity: personal gain. Not the accrual of wealth, but rather of social capital.

In fact, when Perfumone began replacing expensive dinnerware and fashions as the finery of choice, many businesses were focused to restructure or go under. Having insight into the hidden motivations of your peers/rivals was too compelling. There was a certain kind of pleasure at the prospect. The early buyers reveled in the naughty feeling that level of intimacy provided. Ecstatic joy, pleased surprise, and puissant rage- all were felt as strongly as they were felt by the originator, but with the benefit of distance.

This was the same reason Perfumone ultimately failed, despite Pritchard's claims. Syncing up emotional cycles can lead to the worst kind of feedback loop, and with that kind of failure mode, such a technology was inevitably unsustainable. Literally, in fact; who would be left to sustain it?

Prompt: Wordle #167


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