Feel the Taste of Freedom!

Sjef van Gaalen
Phase Change
Published in
6 min readJul 4, 2016


Original image by Lisa Cyr (CC BY 2.0)

Philonesia Smartipelago: 4:58 PM
Hey future islander! Hope you’re feeling fine. It’s the e-Philonesia voice agent here, all set to help you get started with your subscription.

Mirelva van Delft: 4:58 PM
Oh hey, hi. Yes, we’re great thank you. We’re just coming down off the Feel Philonesia samples you sent, and that was a great immersion. So relaxing! I think we’d like to subscribe to your national experience. How do we apply?

P-SMART: 4:58 PM
Nice! The Philonesia Smartipelago has revolutionised the concept of citizenship experience, and we would love to have you on board. With your permission, I’ll begin filling out a subscription application in the background while we speak. Do you consent to a data sweep of your health, passport and professional records? Please answer ‘YES’ to consent to 30 minutes of access, or ‘NO’ to forego the sweep and carry on with your questions.

MvD: 4:59 PM
Uh, YES.

P-SMART: 4:59 PM
Great. An authentication token has been delivered to your device. Please confirm access to your records and we’ll get you started on that.

Thank you. That’s on the way now and will conclude at 00:29 AM.
So, tell me why you’re interested in subscribing to e-Philonesia?

MvD: 5:00 PM
Yes, I run an international research group working in the field of genetic rights management. We’re interested relocating to a jurisdiction with a progressive regulatory regime and some options for sovereign land rights.

P-SMART: 5:01 PM
We understand that you intend to apply to e-Philonesia as a company working in genetic rights management. Please respond YES if this is correct.

MvD: 5:01 PM

P-SMART: 5:01 PM
Excellent. Your company is GEN-RES. It has five employees, and is based in Nieuw Holland. Estimated annual turnover of ₦900,000. Is that correct?

MvD: 5:02 PM
Actually we currently have 12 employees and contractors working for us across 3 countries, though we are still based in Nieuw Holland. Turnover is around ₦1,500,000 at the moment.

Alright, let me just update that for you. Ok. Your records indicate you have four members in your family. Will they be joining you in the most modern citizenship experience available in the world?

MvD: 5:02 PM
Yes, the kids are too young to go through the trial immersion, but they like being on the water. We think they’ll really enjoy the vibe you have going.

P-SMART: 5:02 PM
Thank you. We’ll add two children and one spouse to your subscription. Anyone else you would like to have enjoy our world class services with you? Other family members, friends or legal confidants?

MvD: 5:03 PM
No, that’s fine. We’ll have the family lawyer review the application later.

P-SMART: 5:03 PM
We’ll be sure to send your listed legal council a complimentary Feel Philonesia sample pack. Apologies. I’m afraid we have to interrupt the application flow. We apologise for this disruption. Our data sweep indicates that your spouse may not qualify for e-Philonesia citizenship.

MvD: 5:03 PM
Oh? Why not? He works with the company, doesn’t that count?

P-SMART: 5:04 PM
That information has not been made available to front-desk processes. He may be eligible for an ancestral claim to citizenship, we can do a quick check on that for you if you like. Do you consent to retrieval of DNA records currently marked for private use only in your online identity data? Please answer YES to add these permissions to your previously issued access token.

MvD: 5:04 PM
Shit, what? Ugh, fine. YES.

P-SMART: 5:04 PM
Please hold while we retrieve your DNA records. Thank you for your patience.

MvD: 5:05 PM
Wait, all our records? Don’t you only need his?

P-SMART: 5:05 PM
Congratulations! Your spouse may be eligible after all. Our DNA marker analysis is one of our proudest developments to date. You know they say there’s a bit of Philonesia in everyone!

MvD: 5:05 PM
Uh, ok great. Hey, when does that access expire? To our genetic information.

P-SMART: 5:05 PM
Access permissions will expire in 24 minutes at 00:29 AM.
Would you like to revoke DNA record access permissions immediately?

MvD: 5:06 PM
Yes, thanks.

P-SMART: 5:06 PM
DNA record access permissions revoked.

Thank you so much for your enquiry with e-Philonesia. We all look forward to welcoming you into the Smartipelago. Before we send out your application pack, can I interest you in our special data portability package?

MvD: 5:06 PM
What’s that then?

P-SMART: 5:06 PM
For just a small additional fee, our premium service provides a personal agent to assist you with data import/export from any currently existing national citizenships, including identity and tax services. We also offer full data portability post-export and secure backup in the e-Philonesia cloud.

MvD: 5:07 PM
Ah, that would actually be great. Our last move was a nightmare. So much paperwork and hassle. Ugh I feel gross just thinking about it. I’m going to have another lick of your yoghurt to take the edge off.

P-SMART: 5:07 PM
If you would like information on our premium services added to your application pack, please answer YES.

MvD: 5:07 PM
Ok, YES.

P-SMART: 5:07 PM
Thank you. Information on our premium services will be added to your application pack.

MvD: 5:08 PM
How long does it take to set up?

P-SMART: 5:08 PM
Not long at all, we’ve already completed the preliminary application. An application pack will be sent to your device in a few minutes. Once you have verified that your information is correct an e-Philonesia agent will contact you to guide you through the next steps of the on-boarding process.

While we wait, can I ask which other countries or jurisdictions you considered when looking at e-Philonesia as a residency choice?

MvD: 5:09 PM
Sure. We’re trying to avoid the major stacks, so Alpha Globe was out of the question. The Monaco Container is ok on financials but they’re running big M so there’s no way we’re going anywhere near that. BioRwanda has the kind of testing regimes we’re looking for but the data protection laws, ugh.

P-SMART: 5:09 PM
Alright. Is there anything else you can tell me about why you chose to apply for an e-Philonesia citizenship services subscription?

MvD: 5:10 PM
Ooh the immersion really did it for us. I mean having an island designated a territory with a sovereign testing regime is great, we love the financials and IP law too, but nothing can beat that Free Philonesia Feeling. Just amazing.

P-SMART: 5:10 PM
Great, thank you. We are happy to hear that the Philonesia Smartipelago has positioned itself as your partner of choice. Do you have any more questions?

MvD: 5:10 PM
No, that should do it I think.

P-SMART: 5:10 PM
Thank you for your interest in e-Philonesia citizenship subscription. Remember, investing in our future is the most important investment of all.

The e-Philonesia Smartipelago promotional immersion is operated by MEGA-ID services in cooperation with the Ministry of Entrepreneurial Marketing.
Please be aware that no rights are granted by completion of this application.

Kim Sitcom has announced that that he will not be renewing himself for a sixth season, instead returning to his former position as CEO of MEGA-ID. The company providing e-citizenship services for the Free States of Philonesia saw record profits in the years after the last Philonesian wars, but has recently found itself mired in scandal.

The Philonesia Smartipelago public/private partnership is credited with having created a unified feeling of identity amongst the disparate island groups and attracted significant bio-capital investment to the region. The company now faces multiple allegations of questionable data ethics, identity theft, blackmail of government officials and distribution of improperly licensed psychoactive compounds.

Sitcom sent the following video message from the company’s island HQ: “Having personally faced persecution and being forced to flee, I understand the plight of the modern migrant. MEGA-ID will continue to provide world-class robust asynchronous distributed capital and identity management services for those in need. The Philonesia Feeling is acceptance, and room for experimentation. Feel for yourself in our Smartipelago immersion!”

Accept the token on your device now for a priority drone-drop of Feel Philonesia Smartipeloghurt. Get in your helmet, let it soak in and feel the world’s highest grade freedom wash over you. Feel Philonesia. Mmmmm.

Developed from a script written by Scott Smith for a presentation on e-citizenship for the European Commission’s Connect University Summer School.
‘Smartipelago’ is totally stolen from John Willshire. Thanks John!