White Collar Work at the Central Node of All Realities
The Copenhagen team think they are designing a game AI. The people moonlighting at UCLA are happy they got to build their psychiatric diagnostic bot. Two engineers are collaborating on a new security startup, an economist is helping a stealth next-generation autonomous hedge fund, and five nomadic programmers quit dead-end crypto jobs to work for what they are very sure is an embryonic ransomware gang.
Between those teams lies the Platform, not only hiding them from each other but translating the parts they work on from one context to another, from psychiatry to games to economics to computer security, an online translator keeping them in the illusion of a shared conceptual language. None of them is building what they believe they are.
It's expensive and inefficient, but the CEO wants the world's most innovative guerrilla marketing system to fall upon an unsuspecting market. As project manager you have all the contextual information to keep everybody aligned, even if from their point of view your decisions seem sometimes erratic and hard to explain. Freelancers are used to that. It's not as if the CEO never sends you through the Platform design changes that are almost bizarre.
(Lately, your nights are coextensive with nightmares of whole cities on fire, and you wake up wanting to but unable to ask anybody about theirs. It's explicitly forbidden in your NDA, and that had once looked like the strangest detail in a strange contract that read like the translation of something else.)