How To Win At Black Friday In 2067
Illustration by Mr Matteo Berton
A short story set 50 years into the future.
Mr Ned Beauman is the award-winning author of four novels, the latest of which, Madness Is Better Than Defeat, was published in the summer of 2017. To commemorate this year’s inevitable Black Friday scrums, MR PORTER asked him to imagine another Black Friday, 50 years into the future. Scroll down to read his helpful shopping guide for our bargain-hunting, sucra-foam guzzling descendants, whose Black Friday discounts are served up by all-knowing, inscrutable algorithms.
Last year, you’d probably never heard of it, but this year, everyone seems to be talking about it. So, what is mood spoofing? Use our guide to grin your way to exceptional savings this Black Friday!
01. Understand exactly what mood spoofing is
Nobody can truly fathom how the algorithms make their decisions, and anybody who tries is only inviting madness upon themselves. But at this point it’s almost universally accepted that the algorithms tend to give more generous discounts to happy people. It makes intuitive sense: happy people don’t have so much need for the dopamine surge that comes with snagging a bargain, whereas sad or desperate people are easy targets. That’s why, if you can convince the algorithms you’re happy, you may be able to boost your Black Friday discounts from a mere 20 per cent or 30 per cent to as much as 50 per cent or 60 per cent. Maybe that stylish new corrosion-proof respirator you’ve had your eye on isn’t so far out of reach after all!
02. Really commit
Don’t expect it to be enough just to post a few status updates that make it sound like you’re enjoying life – the algorithms have been smirking at that old trick since before you were born. You need to move, talk and eat like a happy person, full of zest and purpose. This is especially true when you’re alone in your unit, because that’s when it’s easiest to slip up and show the algorithms how you’re really feeling. Maybe after a difficult day, you just like to flop down, tear into a king-size pack of banoffee sucra-foam, and zone out in front of seven or eight hours of livestreams. Who doesn’t? But in the week leading up to Black Friday, try to live your best life every night: whip up a full meal of hot krill cakes or fresh protein moss and beat a few complex missions in your favourite game.
03. But don’t go over the top
You want to seem happy, but not manic. After all, people who are too full of pep will often go on shopping sprees without even needing a discount to lure them in, and therefore they aren’t likely to be offered the best savings. Don’t pace around the room (if you’re fortunate enough to live in a double- or triple-width unit) and don’t fidget or giggle (unless you have organochlorine-linked dyskinesia, in which case don’t worry, because the algorithms will already know to ignore this). Instead, project the tranquility and contentment of someone who so appreciates what they already have that they can’t imagine needing anything else – someone who doesn’t even know that Black Friday’s coming up. You might be thinking: how could any living human being possibly not know about Black Friday? Yes, it’s a strange idea, but just try to imagine!
04. Try more advanced strategies
Some hardcore mood spoofers will tell you that even when Black Friday is almost over, there’s still more to be done. Often, when you splurge on more than two or three things in one shopping session, the exhilaration of making the purchases is followed by a hollow, guilty feeling, like when you crank your subcortical pleasure implant too many times in a row. If the algorithms can sense that you’re a bit queasy about the money you’ve spent, it’s possible they’ll start throwing even better discounts at you to keep that streak going. So try to simulate buyer’s remorse: alternate between looking back at the items you just bought, as if you’re neurotically trying to reassure yourself that you made the right decision, and watching a livestream, as if the only way you can calm down is by not even thinking about it. Who knows – it might just work.
05. Don’t do too much homework
With a bit of luck, these tips can nab you such a massive haul of Black Friday bargains that you’ll practically be begging the salvage yobs to raid your unit just to help you free up some storage space. But be careful: now that you’ve got through one article about this, it’s best not to look for any more. If the algorithms notice a suspicious pattern in your reading, they may realise you’re trying to fool them with your behaviour, and then your sunny demeanour won’t earn you any of those 60 per cent discounts (plus you may even take a hit to your overall trustworthiness rating). Of course, some people argue that any attempt to deceive or evade the algorithms is utterly futile, because the they can predict every single thing you do long before you do it, and if they allow you even the illusion of autonomy that’s only because it serves their goals. But don’t listen to those spoilsports. After all, shopping is supposed to be fun!