In the clearest evidence yet that we are living in the dystopian world our ancestors had nightmares about, reports are coming in that at this year’s South by Southwest, 13 people from a local homeless shelter were given wireless transmitters and matching T-shirts which proudly advertised: “I’m [Name], a 4G Hotspot.” According to the Times, the homeless volunteers were outfitted by BBH Labs, the innovation unit of an international marketing agency — which is roughly equivalent to the mad scientist unit of an international evil agency. BBH claims that they were performing a “charitable experiment.” Which is fair enough — they actually created a website that allows you to funnel money straight to the volunteers, which is probably worth more to the homeless people than a million snarky Orwellian Internet references. And yet, does anyone else think it’s strange to literally turn less fortunate people into cheap avenues for our own techno-leisure? What do you think?

UPDATE: Per The Hollywood Reporter, BBH has now discontinued its “Homeless Hotspot” program, although judging by our remarkably split poll results, they may have been onto something. Anyhow, this probably is the first and last time we’ll be talking about the homeless on Twitter this month, so perhaps it is we who are the monsters on Maple Street, after all.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich