- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Infrastructure
- 4 Leadership
- 5 Economy
- 6 Education
- 7 Social Structure
Alberto was established in 1950 as a government-sanctioned community within the United States dedicated towards scientific innovation. While the country was originally financially supported by the US, they eventually began to sell patents for the scientific ideas and inventions discovered there to other countries, as well. From this increase in revenue, Alberto was able to financially support itself and become independent. Now instead being geared towards just scientific advancement for America, Alberto designs ideas for scientific innovation and sells patents for them worldwide to whichever countries would like to buy them.
Alberto is located just North of San Francisco and borders the Pacific Ocean. Because of its proximity to water, Alberto maintains a fairly consistent temperature year-round, providing a stable environment for any experiments involving agriculture, as well as pleasant living conditions. Warmer than San Francisco, in which winters are rainy and summers cool and breezy, Alberto has abundant sunshine year round and less wind. Alberto’s proximity to San Francisco enables quick transport to this urban center for discussions of inventions, obtaining materials for experiments, pleasure, or any other reasons. Also located near San Francisco, the Silicon Valley holds many upcoming scientists and inventors, and its proximity to Alberto allows for exchange of ideas and members between the two communities. Although not likely, if the citizens of Alberto need to have products shipped to them by boat, their position along the coast, and the port created, allow for such items to be easily delivered.
With each family containing four people, Alberto consists of approximately 1,250 separate families. Each family owns about an acre of land. While most build modest houses and use their extra space for cultivating gardens or building structures for leisure activities, a few families choose to utilize their space by building houses that seem excessively large. Pools and hot tubs are common, and a few families have built tennis courts on their property. Almost all of the rest of Alberto’s land is in use for the general community. Large research facilities and the PSRC takes up a fair amount of space. However, there is still abundant space left over to devote to the creation of parks, galleries, and rentable workspaces. The city is not completely industrialized with little room for innovation, as our metropolitan centers are, but rather has some open space so that, when the need arises, necessary facilities can be built. Because of the small population size, buildings in Alberto spread all over the community, avoiding the sense of confinement and multi-story buildings present in other modern cities.
Alberto holds a population of roughly 5,000 people. Given the size of the land, this amount seems reasonable to sustain a community while allowing for each family to hold a comfortable plot to live on. The 5,000 constituents consist of both the scientists recruited and their families. However, the population is not fixed, as flux occurs fairly frequently by families leaving or entering the community. Although fluctuations do occur, the United States government controls the population so as to keep the living conditions to those similar when the community originated.
Alberto has two main power generation sites. The first is a heliostat field (HELIOS), which takes advantage of the 330+ days of sunlight that the town enjoys. HELIOS generates power for all public services, as well as most of the residential and commercial power. The second system, which generates power for the remaining residential and commercial buildings (see below), as well as all corporation facilities, is an underground network of Generation IV reactors (GIVR). The network can be completely insulated from the rest of town in the event of an emergency. Residential and commercial buildings must apply to receive power from GIVR. If either (or in the unlikely event that both) of these sites were to go offline, backup power would be provided to the town by a system of geothermal collectors and tidal steam generators. Power flow is managed automatically by the grid operating system. This system is monitored 24 hours per day by engineers from the corporation's Alberto Civil Engineering Committee (ACECOMM).
Transportation in Alberto is exclusively by motor vehicle. All vehicles provided in Alberto are electric, and charge from the grid. Charging stations are provided at all residential buildings, as well as all public parking spaces. Vehicles in Alberto run off the SmartDrive system, a program that networks all vehicles into a "self-driving" system. In spite of the existence of this network, all drivers must pass both a permit test at age 14, and a driving test at age 15. During the permitted period, drivers between the stated ages are required to be accompanied by a licensed driver. Access to regional mass transit, including buses, trains and airports is provided free of charge by the Alberto City Express Shuttle (ACES).
Safety is provided through the Alberto Town Sheriff's Office. The sheriff, appointed by the Mayor, is expected to employ one deputy for every 1,000 people, but must employ at least 4 deputies. The Sheriff's Office has the power to conduct investigations as it sees fit, although incidents on corporation property are to be handled by the corporation Security Office (SECO) unless wrongdoing is suspected as the primary cause of the incident. The Sheriff's Office works in conjunction with a Predictive Analytic Intelligence for Law (PAIL). PAIL helps the office identify possible incidents before they occur by using the newest techniques in behavioral analysis. Information for analysis is collected passively on all residents. Residents are required to waive their rights protecting against unreasonable search and seizure regarding PAIL information gathering in their residential contracts. Fire services are provided by the Emergency Services (ESERV) department of the corporation.
Health services are provided jointly by the Medical Research Lab/Medical Internship Program (MRLN). Basic medical supplies may be purchased in town. In the case of situations that call for more resources than MRLN can provide, both ESERV and the Sheriff's Office are expected to participate in medical operations.
Alberto operates a zero-loss water system under the direction of ACECOMM. Water is pumped into the system from the aquifer underneath the town. Once used, the water is passed through a corporation-designed Impurity Filtration System (IFS), and returned to the aquifer, where the process begins again.
All waste passes through the Central Alberto Reclamation Line (CARL), where it is separated into its constituent components. If the components can be reclaimed for further use, they are sorted and sent to the corporation's Decomposition, Reclamation, Examination and Reuse Lab (DRER) for further examination. If the waste in question is irreclaimable, it is sent to the corporation's Safe Disposal Unit (SAFED).
Alberto is a direct democracy, in which each citizen votes directly on issues and majority rules. Voting age begins at age 16, when citizens have finished their required schooling. Regular voting takes place every three months, during which time the State devotes a full week to voting on issues. During this week all citizens are exempt from work and attend regional meetings lead by a representative from the Rotating Council. The Rotating Council consists of 11 elected citizens, each holding a 2-year non-consecutive term. Their job is to inform the public of the laws and issues being discussed so the public is fully-informed when they finally do vote. There are no political parties in Alberto.
Military & War
Since it is a peaceful society, there is no war in Alberto. In addition, Alberto has no military or draft. Protection of the society from potential outside attacks comes from mechanical defense systems, without the use of any human soldiers. Missiles and other offensive attack mechanisms are used as a last resort only--Alberto runs on a defensive security system first and foremost.
Travelers are encouraged to visit Alberto. Those who wish to naturalize and become citizens of Alberto must meet with at least two representatives from the Rotating Counsel to discuss their reasons for moving and whether they can uphold the values of Alberto in order to further the society. All illegal immigrants will be detained. If they do not meet Alberto's naturalization standards for whatever reason, they will be guaranteed safe passage to wherever they wish to go within the continental United States so that they may plead their immigration case there as well.
Members of the US Cabinet are allowed to sit in on the Rotating Counsel; members of the Rotating Counsel are also allowed to sit in on the US Cabinet. Alberto maintains peaceful relations with all nations. Ambassadors are allowed to move freely in and out of Alberto. However, there are no permanent embassies anywhere in Alberto. Alberto is also a member of both the United Nations and its cultural offshoot, UNESCO.
Illicit Activity Management
Alberto is a free society, and thus human vices that are regulated worldwide are unregulated there. However, as a result of Alberto's small population and founding societal principles, drug consumption is minimal and addiction is not an issue. This is due to the fact that Alberto has no prisons; all crimes are dealt with via rehabilitation of the offenders.
Alberto focuses on scientific advancement as its main economic function. Alberto sells patents and niche, high-end products to countries and corporations as its primary source of income. Through initial funding from the United States government, Alberto was able to build the infrastructure of the society that it is now. Due to Alberto's output of invention and innovation, the state no longer relies on United States funding. The lives of those living in Alberto are supported by the scientific work that they pursue. Qualified scientists work for the society to create such exports, and a section of the population also works in other, non-scientific facets of the society—infrastructure, food, entertainment, etc. Non-scientific workers are often those in education.
After citizens complete the system of general education at age 16, they are permitted to work. The rigor and energy expended in each occupation is assessed by the government and a minimum number of hours per week is established to receive credit from the government. Citizens have the ability to maneuver their hours (i.e. work longer one day, and shorter the next), but at the end of each week they must have worked the required amount of hours. All work is done for the state, therefore aiding the public economy.
Food is provided in state run dining halls and market places. Agriculture, while a small part of the society, is a highly technological process. With the dedication to scientific progress, it is possible for the society to produce very high yields with surprisingly few workers. Agricultural and farm jobs are options for careers, however not many people need to work them. Even if they choose to, the work is not at all like the farm work someone would imagine today. With heavy mechanization, everything from plowing and sewing seeds to the harvest and packaging is made very simple. The state run dining halls work on a meal plan system, where a citizen can opt to have a certain amount of credit go towards his or her meals for the month, a guaranteed three meals a day. At the grocery store, if the citizen chooses not to have a meal plan, reasonably priced food is available for purchase.
The currency in Alberto is very similar to the 21st century Boston described by Bellamy in Looking Backwards. Each citizen, when he or she finishes the required educational period, is given a debit card with a balance on it reflecting the nations output of the month split evenly through the population. This balance is replenished each month, and so the citizens can budget appropriately for the month. This money can be used to buy things that are not provided for free by the state such as clothing, food, entertainment, and etcetera. It can also be used to pay for the specialized education that some people choose to go into after their mandatory and free education has reached its end. If a couple has children an addition to the monthly wages of the couple, spit evenly between them to accommodate divorce or separation, shall be given to cover the costs of the child. This amount fluctuates with the age of the child and is derived from statistical data that is analyzed to give the most logical amount for every stage of childhood and early adolescence.
All children in Alberto attend free, compulsory schooling starting at the age of five up until the age of sixteen. There are two schools in Alberto, a primary school for children aged 5-11 and a secondary school for children aged 12-16. School is in session Monday-Friday from 7:30 AM-3:00 PM with periodic breaks in the day. Alberto’s schools follow the same academic calendar as most American public schools, with school starting in September and ending in June. Students are given short breaks throughout the year including a winter and summer recess.
Students learn a variety of subjects during their basic general education including language, math, science, literature, the arts, and social science. Students are required to take a world religions course and all of their classes involve objective learning that emphasize the intolerance of bigotry and ignorance. All classes are taught in the Socratic method, with the encouragement of active participation in class discussions. If a child demonstrates capabilities more advanced than her year in school, he or she may test into higher level classes, with the possibility of starting his specialized education early.
At the age of 16, after the completion of the general education curriculum, all students take a gap year before continuing on to a specialized education. The gap year is a time when students are encouraged to explore options open to them. Students use this year to be productive in a number of way. Many choose to pursue internships while others may use this time to do volunteer work in an area of interest. Whatever the student chooses, it is imperative that this time is not wasted in the hope that he or she may have a clear idea of what they would like to specialize in come the following year. Note that not all students choose to continue onto higher education.
After completing the general education at the age of 16, citizens are given the option to have specialized education. Depending on each individual's choice of occupation, the years of specialized education vary. The average number of specialized years is three. However, medical career, law careers, and teaching careers require more years of mastery. Each year of mastery is added to the individual's permanent record. Specialized education is not provided by the public. Citizens pay a small and affordable price for each year of specialized education. Jobs that require more years of training have shorter work hours than jobs that don't require specialized training.
Science and Innovation
Alberto is a community that encourages science and innovation. It has a public scientific research center which is open to the public. It provides citizens with the materials required to help develop their ideas into reality. Please see "Social Structure" for more details about the research center. Continuous thinking and development is favored, for citizens believe that science is the way for the future. Even though citizens are given a well-rounded education that enforces importance in numerous subjects, it is required that all citizens acquire a solid scientific knowledge and background.
The primary language spoken throughout Alberto is American English. Alberto citizens are encouraged to learn additional languages as an extracurricular activity. Secondary school students may choose to take a language course as an elective, and adults can choose to take a mastery course in the specialized education system to learn new languages. Parents may also teach their students multiple languages in their household, however English must be their primary language.
Religion in Alberto is kept out of the public sphere. The government, as well as the education system, is strictly secular. Citizens of Alberto may choose to be followers of any religion they so choose. It is not uncommon for a citizen to choose to be disaffiliated from all religion. Alberto's citizens hold to the notion that religion should not have any place in the ruling of their society and that no one religion should be forced upon the masses. All citizens in general education are required to take a world religions course. Please see "General Education" for more information about the world religions course.
Social Hierarchy and Social Philosophy
There is essentially no social Hierarchy in Alberto. Because the population is so small there isn't space for much division and segregation between different kinds of people and because so many of Alberto's citizens share an interest in scientific innovation, there is little diversity at all. Most importantly, the equal division of fund to each citizen further uphold a classless standard for the society. Additionally, because public official positions are so impermanent and serve mostly as informers than decision makers or enforcers, citizens participating in government has little special treatment, socially. The citizens of Alberto have such a strong passion and genuine ambition for the scientific that there is little competition. An innovation is celebrated by all, not a call for boasting, competition or jealousy. The citizens are empowered and inspired but not driven by competition because at the end of the day everyone has the same amount of credit. Everyone is equal. However, Albertonians are quite driven as it is scientific innovation which allows them to continue to live and thrive in their utopia.
Science and innovation play a large role in the culture of Alberto. The PSRC (public scientific research center) is a major cultural hub for the people of Alberto. The PSRC is a large building that has many lecture halls, labs, movie theaters and other facilities that are used for educational purposes. Free lectures, workshops and films are screened here in order to educate the people and are fundamental in the process of choosing a specialty for young adults. Here anyone is able to come and to hear leaders in any field speak, take introductory classes in engineering, biology, etc and explore their interests.There are also labs that one can rent, for a small fee, where they can work on things or do research. The young people, before they have to pick what they want to do, are able to explore these different fields, which helps them make a more informed decision. The center also holds events called "Galleries of Innovation" where inventors come and display their inventions. People are able to come to these galleries (similar to art galleries) and see how they work and ask the inventors questions. This is where a lot of people go to meet up with others and discuss their thoughts and ideas. The people of Alberto are interested in collaborating and working together to create, not competing with one another. This allows people to work together, without creating tension about who will get the credit for the invention or discovery, because to them, the product is what matters.
There is little government involvement or regulation in the practice of marriage in Alberto. Individuals must be of at least 16 years of age to get married; otherwise, marriage and relationships are left largely up to the individual. Each citizen may marry who he or she would like to, with equal rights for both gay and straight marriages. There is no social pressure or expectance for people to get married, but if they would like to, they may. For the most part, relationships and marriages are monogamous, but if the individuals would like to and agree to pursue other types of relationships, the society feels it is up to them to decide. Divorce is permitted. There are no benefits for those who choose to get married. However, for every set of children, more credit is allocated to the family unit to help financially support the parents in raising the children.