Project Dispenser

Every day I see groups of poor children on the roadside begging for money and food. It has been seven years for me in this chair. Why is this suffering still happening? What am I missing?’ President Kaul Weiss asked his cabinet.

We have reduced the poverty rate from 40% to 30% now. We have raised the poverty line several times. So we are well on route to eliminate poverty.’ a minister said.

Not fast enough. It looked simple from outside but poverty seems to be a very hard fight.’ President said.

Already the welfare for below-poverty-people is eating so much of our nation's budget. Their education, food stamp, healthcare, etcetera takes 10% of our GDP. We are deficit continuously for 3 quarters now. I’m afraid we can not afford more.

So, you want me to let the poor kids beg? No! Propose a plan!

Months passed. The cabinet could not come up with a proposal that satisfied the president. He asked the public to come up with plans to eradicate poverty. After a year he met Shannon in his guest room.

I read your Project Dispenser plan. You know I am working on this day and night but I won't meet people directly like this.

It’s my honor, Mr. President.’ Shannon said.

I come from a very poor family. I have experienced hunger like most of the nation suffer right now. Honestly, this whole thing was turning me insane. Financially we are pretty bad. We can not afford much. But when I read your proposal it hit me. It gave me hope. I saw a really prosperous future for this nation. We can solve poverty. We can solve hunger!

Yes. We can solve hunger.’ Shanon confidently smiled.

I have approved your project.’ President stood up and shook hands with Shannon.

Project Dispenser became official. It was first tested out in a public school where at least 70% of students come from extreme poverty. Boys and girls were gathered separately in two air-conditioned halls and they were shown a movie specifically made for Project Dispenser. The movie was 90 minutes long. In the first 15 minutes, a bunch of good looking men wanders around discussing random stuff. In the next 15 minutes, a bunch of good looking women wanders around discussing random stuff. The second and third acts also contain the same men-women discussing random stuff given 15 minutes each. Men and women won't appear together throughout the movie.

The trick here lies in the odor that the air conditioner dispenses. In the boys' hall, the operator dispenses an unpleasant smell for the women's scenes and pleasant smell for the men’s scenes. The girls' hall operator will do the opposite. Unpleasant smell for the men’s scenes and pleasant smell for the women’s scenes. The odor is not distinct enough to catch while watching a movie, particularly not by school students.

Every kid from the poor community was admitted into the schools with scholarships and free food. Every Friday afternoon, students were asked to attend the movie session in the school compulsorily. Poor students were offered food and fancy snacks. Students started to long for Friday to come to enjoy the movie.

When the operators got skilled enough, the government hired more operators for Project Dispenser. The activity was made compulsory for all the schools which hold more than 70% of children living under the poverty line. The biggest expense for the government to pull this operation was not admitting students, free food, or providing wages for additional teachers. It was making the halls air-conditioned. They tested the dispensers in non-air-conditioned halls. They simply did not work.

Till a year, the government shot specialized movies that were easy for the operators to switch odor based on the gender appearing on the screen. Then Shannon came up with an automated system that allowed them to take the Project Dispenser to show any movie in the school halls. He connected the dispensers to an Image Recognition AI which watches the proposition of men and women on the screen and adjusts the odor accordingly.

Can we do this in public theaters? It is good that we prepare poor youngsters to not have families. And we have done a good job till now. But what about the poor newly married couples or capable couples?’ The president asked.

I keep thinking about this problem. We can not have gender-separated theaters in poor localities. There is no easy way to achieve this in common public.’ Shanon answered.

Well, tell me the hard way? I’m listening.

We can use dispenser-for-men for both genders. Ours is a male-dominated society. The theater is mostly occupied by men. The action is mostly initialized by men. So what women in the poor family think won't matter much. Cumulatively it will work. But we have to have advanced odors for adults. When they catch, no one comes to theaters.

Let's do it then. And one more thing. I want the rich people’s theaters to play the dispenser-for-women.

Oh, Okay. That will do.

One more thing!’ President paused thinking. ‘The odor for kids should be unpleasant in poor theaters and pleasant in rich theaters.

Mmm… Yea… Okay.

The Government subsidized the theaters to reduce movie ticket prices in poor localities. The operation also appointed odor specialists to come up with various pleasant and unpleasant odors.

This operation over a very few years changed society. Poor men hated women. Poor women liked men but grew low esteem to express. Rich women grew high esteem. Rich men liked women and did not have a reason to feel low esteem. The four above preferences started reflecting on organic cinemas, product endorsements, news coverages, etc. The plan became very successful in the common public. The experiment continued to run for years.

The poor society did not waste any time looking for partners in the opposite gender. They kept themselves busy working for long hours in their work and started to come above the poverty line. Most married the same gender or did not marry at all. Most man-woman couples bore fewer children or adopted children. The non-poor parent’s children weren’t admitted to those schools. Over the years, the admissions into these schools drastically reduced. The same happened to poor localities. People felt that they get happier family life on moving to a rich community. Living in rich communities asked them to stay financially capable.

The rich society spent more for romantic purposes. Their expenses flowed into the nation’s economy. Marrying early and having more kids became a symbol for rich people. Kids grew, got their hereditary properties partitioned, and spent more into the economy.

The nation gradually saw progress. The experiment was done smoothly and the people were kept in dark the whole time. The people subconsciously felt that being poor can simply end their bloodline as they witnessed the poor families go extinct one after another.



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Karthick Ragavendran

Fullstack engineer @ | React, Typescript, Redux, JavaScript, UI, Storybook, CSS, UX, Cypress, CI/CD.