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> How does one beg in 2070, cashless socity
CoyoteNZ
post Dec 12 2008, 06:57 AM
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Just a quick question,

How does one beg in 2070?

If it is now a cashless society, and everybody does their transactions, big and small, using commlinks, how does a homeless bum sit on the side of the road with a cup in their hand these days?

If they are just hoping for people to be carrying excess food/alcohol, etc, then they will really be limiting their options.


On a side note, how do you mug somebody if all their cash is in a commlink, and every transaction is traceable to time and place, with cameras everywhere?


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Hagga
post Dec 12 2008, 07:06 AM
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Stealing more than begging. You're oging to be in the barrens, since without a commlink you're stuffed and can't wander around downtown, which makes it much easier to steal. In the Barrens, it'd be a barter economy with possible REAL LIVE CASH. But not likely.
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Larme
post Dec 12 2008, 07:35 AM
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Who says that hobos don't have commlinks? A brand new Meta Link costs the same as an iPod today. You can bet your ass that an old gernation, refurbished model would cost like ten bucks. And you could probably get them free by dumpster diving, not to mention stealing. And homeless shelters probably have "donate your old commlink" programs like they do with cell phone drives today.

Though I seriously wonder what the future would be like for panhandlers. For one thing, they're probably going to be SINless. And the SINless aren't allowed to loiter around places where people have money-- police will ask you for your SIN, and when you don't have one, they will "escort" you back to the hellhole you came from. Security is all about identity and tracking in the 2070's, and people without official identities would not be left alone like they are today.

As for panhandling in the Barrens, good luck... I imagine that panhandling will generally be replaced with street-level industry in the 2070s. With an increase in urban destitution, there will be a booming market in salvage, plenty of scrap metal, scrap plastic, and scrap silicon for street people to scrape out a living. And with the thriving crime that sprouts up in urban dead zones, there will be jobs for the homeless to act as watchmen, package boys, and street pushers... IMO, the tougher times get, the more enterprising people will need to be to survive. An increase in poverty means that the chronically homeless won't just be a small sector of the population whose mental or physical health problems prevent them from working. Not that all homeless are like that now, but I think there would be a lot more folks who are just victims of bad luck in the Shadowrun dystopia-- those unable to do for themselves probably won't survive on the charity of others, they'll just feed the rats. Survival will be a struggle, and handouts probably won't be an option, since the homeless will be forced into places where those around them aren't much better off.

Not that any of this is canon, I'm just musing. But I guess my answer is probably "You don't beg omae. Round here, people work for their scratch, neh?"
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Chrysalis
post Dec 12 2008, 09:15 AM
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Or you could have it that the police rounded up all the beggars and they were not seen since.

-Chrysalis
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Blade
post Dec 12 2008, 10:59 AM
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Yes I guess that most beggars just get beaten up by the police (especially for "begging while ork") and sent back to the Barrens or whatever place they shove their poor.

In some places where begging isn't frowned upon, there might be "registred beggars". They'd be given a commlink-like device that identify and traces them and allows them to receive donations from the population.
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ornot
post Dec 12 2008, 11:22 AM
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The authorities tend to frown on begging today, and even dedicated homeless charities often say 'Don't give to beggars, give to us, and we will help them'. I don't see there being any sanctioned beggars at all. The one exception to this would be in places where ascetic monks are part of the culture, and they would probably get around the abscence of physical cash by recommending a donation to their monastery.

The barrens probably have their own economies that don't use much virtual cash, since many residents have no SIN, and no SIN = no legit bank account. Of course, you could have the syndicates who run these places operating their own banks, complete with loansharking operations.

But as for traditional panhandlers asking corpers for spare change, they're gone.
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Blade
post Dec 12 2008, 11:33 AM
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I was thinking of some places with Islamic culture, where begging is ok (for some people, such as the disabled). There might even be a "lock" that activates once the beggar gets what he needs to live.
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ornot
post Dec 12 2008, 11:46 AM
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I phrased my response poorly. I meant to say people like ascetic monks, so the disabled or lepers in an Islamic culture would be covered. Again donations could be routed to a central location.

OF course, with advances in technology and medicine said beggars are likely to be cured, and if they live in a culture where those approaches would be frowned upon as unnatural, that's a culture unlikely to use electronic money anyway.
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Wesley Street
post Dec 12 2008, 03:09 PM
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According to the BBB, cash hasn't completely disappeared. It's simply rare. In some locations in the Sixth World, perhaps the Kai Tak black market in Hong Kong, its the only form of transaction that's permitted. In real life I'm hit up by the homeless all the time. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how Dickensian you are), I'm not able to spare cash because I don't carry it. But I will buy a salad and a bottled water with a credit or debit card and bring it back. I'd imagine a Sixth World beggar would simply ask for someone to buy him something he wants rather than asking for money directly. I can also envision a beggar with a used commlink with a Wish List "sticky-noted" to his PAN. So when you walk past him sitting on the street, you can see what he wants in AR, be it food, booze, pills, etc.
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shuya
post Dec 12 2008, 03:17 PM
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as a quick note, it is not uncommon these days to see street kids with ipods and/or cell phones, even laptops. not everybody who spanges (from "spare change," if you don't know the word) or flies signs is penniless. so yeah, as some people have mentioned, not unrealistic for the homeless/beggars to have 'links. SINless of course is a different story
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Backgammon
post Dec 12 2008, 03:32 PM
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I'm no expert on beggars, but does begging really net enough to have a considerable impact on their survival? Again, I may be completely wrong here, but my impression is that homeless/beggars survive from going to soup kitchens and the like. Begging money is so they can buy "luxuries" like smokes and booze. If they can't beg, I don't think it would mean the end of beggars.

Besides, my view is that in SR, beggars and homeless all end up in the Barrens anyway, where they stop being "homeless beggars" and start being "squatting scavengers".
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Wesley Street
post Dec 12 2008, 03:53 PM
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QUOTE (Backgammon @ Dec 12 2008, 10:32 AM) *
I'm no expert on beggars, but does begging really net enough to have a considerable impact on their survival?

I have a little expertise in the area, working with non-profits. It really depends on the city but overall beggars do much better in terms of cash-flow than the homeless who work the social safety net.
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NetWraith
post Dec 12 2008, 05:44 PM
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I'm also no expert, but in my area we do have a pan-handlers liscense that you have to have and they collect taxes once a month from those that have it. (I'm guessing it's on the honor system that you come back and turn it in) And I've seen people begging and watch them walk off to thier nice car... If you have no morale quams or no need to worry about what people think of you then I guess you could make a good amount of money off of the compasion of others...

From personal experience(I work at a wal-mart) I've seen several people begging just outside the parking lot, using the smae sign at different times. So I'm sure they could set up a ring of beggers and take shifts splitting the profits.
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deek
post Dec 12 2008, 05:56 PM
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QUOTE (Wesley Street @ Dec 12 2008, 10:09 AM) *
According to the BBB, cash hasn't completely disappeared. It's simply rare.

Rare like magic is supposed to be rare? If so, we'd have cash floating all around:)

Okay, all kidding aside, we could look at it from the other end. Beggars with an old used commlink that spams all sorts of "click here" AROs to donate a few nuyen for his sick kid. I'd think something that would have a low signal rating and be really annoying could work in the future...I could see beggars being quite sophisticated on that end.
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ornot
post Dec 12 2008, 06:09 PM
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That's a good point Deek. Begging by Spam is quite likely, only a small step down from remote Scams. Of course, in an AAA or even just A rated area LS would probably come and move on SINner beggars, and brutalise SINless ones. I wouldn't have thought they'd be as common in SR as they are today tho, since homeless types would be pushed into barrens areas.

On the matter of rich beggars, I've lost count of the number of times I've been asked for cash by people who are dressed better than me! I remember one day I was walking home in the rain, and some bint comes up and asks if I can give her 50p for a bus ticket, notwithstanding the fact that if I had any money I'd be catching the bus myself.
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Larme
post Dec 12 2008, 06:42 PM
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Bint, eh? Oh you britishes and your whimsical slang (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Dr Funfrock
post Dec 12 2008, 08:35 PM
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Registered beggars, I seriously doubt (for the reasons that people have already given concerning their current status).
Registered buskers on the other hand... well, it's happening now in London and a few other places, with corporate sponsorship slapped all over it. They get a pre-arranged spot, which is actually reserved for them, and they can sit down, play, and put a box out for change. Obviously in 2070 there'd just be a big floating ARO saying "Click here to donate".

As to the question of how much beggars make: depending on the spot, and how well they pull off their look (it's entirely a question of "marketing" yourself) beggars can actually pull in £100 - £200 a day. It depends on finding places where people aren't too much of a hurry to be able to stop and donate, and where people have plenty of spare cash and the willingness to give it away. It's also important to look poor, but actually keep yourself clean and well kempt.

That being said, a reasonably skilled busker will typically earn considerably more than a beggar ever will, especially in places like London or Cambridge.
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masterofm
post Dec 12 2008, 09:05 PM
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Well I might not be an expert, but my grandmother was. She worked in the shelters for well over a decade, and it is about 80-95% of the people pan handling on the streets are using their gains to buy drugs. Now thanks to Regan the odd thing is about 50-75% of the homeless have a mental illness.

Needless to say that some areas do not offer much support to the homeless, while others actually offer a lot of support. In the Bay Area I don't give money out to any homeless person (especially after 8:30) because I know that the minute they want to try to pick themselves off of the ground there is a fairly good structure set up at least get them off the streets, get them a job, and keep them fed. It doesn't provide a lot of luxuries, and the work you do is generally menial labor but it's there. I actually know of a few people who took advantage of these programs and now have at least decent jobs that can afford to keep them sheltered... although most of them still drink themselves silly every night. It might actually be interesting to do the research on the city you live in because you might not be aware of the structure set up to help the homeless. I do know though that quite a few of these programs are starting to get cut though in my area due to the economy being what it is right now.

However in the future I would find that most of the homeless would probably be a "street" or "squatter" lifestyle to make it more easily handleable and roll to see what they are carrying with them in terms of money. How they make their money though? There are cred sticks, and maybe being a bum on the streets nets you a small amount of money from someone just by keeping your eyes and ears open. You might not make much, but there is probably someone out there who will want to pick your brain from time to time to see if you know anything or saw anything. Other then that I assume they cling on the underbelly of society trying to steal what water or food they can and if they aren't able to do that I'm sure if they close their eyes and all of that rotten festering soy product might be worth eating as long as you close your eyes and slot that BTL chip of you eating the most fantastic meal you will ever have.

Personally my view is the people who are homeless and who do not suddenly vanish to become a set of organs for someone else are probably always physically sick and unhealthy. I would imagine they are probably in the saddest physical state you have ever seen anyone in, and might be willing to occasionally toss a cheap cred stick to them if your having a good day. All in all however most security companies just make them vanish, or basically corral all the homeless into the back of an armored truck and drop them off into a shitty part of the barrens to "be with their own kind." It's probably a death sentence to over half of them anyways so it's a win win as far a Lone Star is concerned since it is that much of a smaller population coming back to beg on the streets. What might be interesting is if there was also a single A-corp that basically deals with all the pan handlers and they need to buy a license from them and if not then they are fair game to any security company. It might also be interesting for a shadow running team to be hired to stop unlicensed pan handling in a manner where no one would ever be willing to do it again w/o buying a "Panhandle Co License ™"
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shuya
post Dec 12 2008, 11:50 PM
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QUOTE (Backgammon @ Dec 12 2008, 10:32 AM) *
I'm no expert on beggars, but does begging really net enough to have a considerable impact on their survival? Again, I may be completely wrong here, but my impression is that homeless/beggars survive from going to soup kitchens and the like. Begging money is so they can buy "luxuries" like smokes and booze. If they can't beg, I don't think it would mean the end of beggars.

Besides, my view is that in SR, beggars and homeless all end up in the Barrens anyway, where they stop being "homeless beggars" and start being "squatting scavengers".

speaking from some experience, the people who said beggars use their money to buy drugs are right. i can think of one specific example (very near and dear to my heart), my friend's "Games Not Drugs" project, where she'd spange quarters in front of an arcade, then buy some ecstacy and play DDR for a couple hours while rolling.

i am not saying that all beggars see society as a system to work and don't really need the charity; but seeing the other side is always important for someone who wants to involve this sort of thing in their game.
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ludomastro
post Dec 13 2008, 12:43 AM
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Tonight on the news, Lone Star has announced that they have solved the beggar problem on the city streets as far out as the C Security zones. The Captain refused to comment on why they did not extend their sweep to the D zones as well. A source close the Star has indicated that they did not go out that far due to gang pressures.

In other news, Stuffer Shack is constantly selling out of the hottest new product to hit the market since the Amber Gel disaster. "Soylent Green tastes great!" say the droves of happy consumers lined up around the block.

Now in the world of combat biking ...
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NetWraith
post Dec 13 2008, 04:00 AM
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QUOTE (Dr Funfrock @ Dec 12 2008, 03:35 PM) *
Registered beggars, I seriously doubt (for the reasons that people have already given concerning their current status).


If you'll follow the link HERE

Look at Sec. 137.20. Registration.

This is from the closest large city to my residence(it's only a pop. 152,090 in the metro area)
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imperialus
post Dec 13 2008, 06:58 AM
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QUOTE (Dr Funfrock @ Dec 12 2008, 01:35 PM) *
As to the question of how much beggars make: depending on the spot, and how well they pull off their look (it's entirely a question of "marketing" yourself) beggars can actually pull in £100 - £200 a day. It depends on finding places where people aren't too much of a hurry to be able to stop and donate, and where people have plenty of spare cash and the willingness to give it away. It's also important to look poor, but actually keep yourself clean and well kempt.


Yeah... I had a friend who literally paid for a good chunk of his collage tuition by begging/busking.

What was really sad is he ended up with a fine arts degree and realized he was making more money begging than he was getting the occasional commercial gig.
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Rad
post Dec 13 2008, 07:12 AM
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I'd say begging is pretty much ubiquitous in the 2070's...

...it's the "Donate" button on every corp brat's home node.

Think about it, just about everyone with a website these days has the option of putting up a donate button, regardless of what it is their site does, and many of them do. I'd say matrix begging is a big thing in shadowrun, because you're effectively just trolling the matrix for cash, because odds are some chump will give you some.

Doesn't mean the beggars are poor...
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Larme
post Dec 13 2008, 04:40 PM
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I think we're talking about hobos who have no place to sleep, as opposed to spammers with the computer skills to troll and phish the web for free money. I think that if someone was able to do that, they would at least have a nice squat going...

I wonder though-- wouldn't the megacorps act to squelch the kind of independent spamming that happens today? I'm pretty sure they'd want to ensure a monopoly on the spam market. Though maybe there's no way to stop it. I suppose because the net is a mesh made up of countless individual nodes, you can't centrally regulate it, so spammers will always find clever ways to distribute their spam.

One thing to think about though is physical spam-- I bet that spammers go around sticking RFIDs under garbage cans, inside door frames, behind real signs... everywhere there's a crack or crevice is going to get tagged with a spam ARO (at least in populous places like touristville). I bet you could easily have a filter that blocks non-local signals, and a filter on your t-mail account the gets rid of most of the spam (my modern tech gmail account gets all of it, so the 2070s junk mail filters should be pretty good). But it would be a lot tougher to get rid of local spam. If you want to read the menu at the streetside noodle cart you're probably going to leave passive mode, and that's when the pop-ups get you...
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Dr Funfrock
post Dec 13 2008, 05:05 PM
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QUOTE (NetWraith @ Dec 12 2008, 11:00 PM) *
If you'll follow the link HERE

Look at Sec. 137.20. Registration.

This is from the closest large city to my residence(it's only a pop. 152,090 in the metro area)


Sorry Netwraith, the "seriously doubt" wasn't directed at your statements, but at the idea in general. I was skim reading the thread and missed your post about the beggar's license. Certainly wasn't calling you a liar or anything like that.
Quite interesting stuff, and nice to see people trying to make a system like that work (instead of just pretending that begging isn't a problem because our social services are great, just look at these statistics, blah blah blah).
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