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Salaryman Burns, Groundhog Day, 2014

This is the new economy, where you pay a hack-a-thon for the opportunity to hand over a cool idea or product that they can copyright/license/own. You might get a cool t-shirt or win a prize, in exchange, though. It's the final stage of capitalism, where minimum wage is abolished so that workers must pay to work (negative wages). Let's call it the "volunteer serfdom" economy, because paying for labor was getting in the way of extra profits.

The end game is to destroy the serf class entirely, probably replaced with robots. Without having to feed or take care of anyone but themselves, the ruling class puts itself on a path to fight the others that made it to the top of the pyramid for supremacy. You can't destroy 7 billion people overnight, so this process takes some time.

Eventually, the final human remains, using all the robots and technology they used to get to the top, to render themselves immortal, either as a prolonged life of biological matter, or as a ghost in the machine. The entity tasks itself with slowly expanding out of our corner of the universe, in search of novelty.

Of course, the only befitting amusement to pass the time, available to an immortal, final human engaged in such a journey limited by the speed of light is to run ancestor simulations. To live through all possible previous human lives and existences. At the end of all possible simulations, no more novelty is left.

With the universe explored, and all possible energy harnessed, there's really only three endings: either a slow death in tandem with the universe that imprisons it, or the entity solves the puzzle of how to punch through into other universes, or it creates a new universe. Death, Life, or Rebirth.


Salaryman is a celebration of the escape from corporate serfdom, and rebirth in the form of a free hacker. Every Groundhog Dat, an effigy of a businessman in suit and tie is doused in fuel and set on fire. As the Salaryman burns, so do the bridges leading back to a dull, meaningless, and empty life as a corporate serf. In its place, Salaryman begs the observer to become the observed, and from the ashes, to rise as a free person. The hacker recognizes no master. The hacker lives as a human is meant to live; a creator and user of tools, not itself a subjugated implement for another's whims.


Salaryman Burns, Groundhog Day, 2014

The first annual Salaryman ritual took place on Groundhog Day. We burned an effigy wearing a beige preacher suit with a blue "I Love Jesus" tie. About 15 hackers in attendance for the ritual, which lasted about ten minutes.

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