My travels into the year twenty-five sixty have astounded me. I have seen the future—and there are very few problems, thanks to science, and its resulting technology. There is no climate or energy crisis. Energy is clean and practically unlimited. Energy coming from the boundaries of space was discovered to be a viable solution and alternative to petroleum, hydrogen, and nuclear fuels.
There is no medical crisis. Everyone has access to healthcare. Nanorobotics and other new solutions in medicine have led to a period of physiological calm. Rarely do people have to go to the doctor. Most simply consult an electronic database and self-diagnose. But if they must see a doctor, they can connect to a camera, and consult a practitioner many miles away.
There are many doctors. Education has become simple and leisurely. There exists a device, which you place on your head, and it allows you to absorb information at an incredible rate: both auditory and visual. Within a minute you can read a half-thousand page book.
They have robots with simulated human intelligence. They do all the minutia of the day. They cook; they clean; they fix; they answer phones; they help in almost every manner imaginable. All physical activities we are used to have been passed down to these mechanical men. “Then in what shape are people?” you ask.
Contrary to what you might think, they are in very good shape. The reason for this is due to breakthroughs and affordability in genetic modification. Parents can choose whatever sort of physical and mental traits they want for their child. They can weed out all the bad things, and keep all the good things. Naturally, fathers have chosen their boys to be brawny and brave. And women have chosen their girls to be pretty and intelligent.
Everyone here is beautiful. I’m quite envious. I’ve had to make my observations in disguise or be found out. I am not a hideous man, but am considered to be quite ugly in this time. Nevertheless, I do not let that cease my observations.
One invention in particular that interests me is the dream machine. One can go into a dream machine and live their fantasy for several hours. Dream machine shops are on every corner. They are extremely popular. Video games and movies are obsolete. This is the number one form of entertainment. It allows people to escape into their own, perfect world. This is escapism at its finest.
Speaking of escapism, religion here is very much dead. Without depravity and desperateness, and with advances in science, people have stopped believing. There are a few who believe in a higher power, but none who believe in God. They laugh at those from the past and think how stupid they must have been—much in the way we of today (or the past as it is now) laugh at people before us, who thought the universe may be on the back of a turtle.
While the future may be an atheist’s wet dream, for me the best part is the lack of poverty.
There are no homeless and no one is starving…although what is considered poverty in the future is considered middle-class right in our time. “Why though,” you ask, “is there no poverty?” My best answer is because everything is abundant. Practically free energy, genetically modified foods, and cheap robot labor is an enormous factor in this.
I admire this. And I also admire the attitude towards the environment. Everything is recycled. Nothing is garbage here. Everything is something that can be turned into something new or different. Why, I saw a fellow throw a can into a bin (a quite convoluted bin at that), and out came a tool of the same material on the other end.
However, what is most astonishing about this trip is the population. Everyone in our time thought the future would be filled with people. Wrong that was and is. The population has actually declined. Most people are hedonistic types, and many do not have children, because they think it too much of a burden and a hassle. My guess is that this is due to education programs touting the burdens of babies. They are burdensome, but so cute. But cuteness has mainly been replaced by autonomous gadgetry—and puppies. Puppies that eat artificial meat!
There isn’t a steak or burger around. (Not a proper one, anyway.) All meat is artificially grown. There are no factory farms or anything of that sort. Every animal, except for the bees and those that exist for aesthetic purposes, have been pushed out of use. Why need a cow for a steak when, after all, you can just grow it in a pot? “And how does it taste?” you ask.
Not bad at all, actually. Not bad at all. I dare say it is equal to anything I’ve had in the past. But I must admit that I stole it. Why? You can’t get anything around here without being identified. You makes purchased by scanning your finger in a scanner. It connects to your bank and draws out your credits. (There is no money.)
Yes, I realize that we have something like this in our day—but it is far more rampant in the future. No one carries around cards. You just scan your finger and the landscape of your thumb or index or pinky is captured in three dimensions. No, you can’t fool these machines with a flat image. They’re quite sophisticated.
Transport, however, is not so sophisticated. Speaking from a user standpoint that is, it’s dead simple. All cars can fly, and you just hop in, and voice your destination. It takes you wherever you want in a second flat with the use of anti-gravity technology.
Well, it’s not literally a second, but it is tremendously fast. The fastest thing you’ve ever seen. They go about the speed of a space shuttle. It’s not uncommon for people to take their cars from, say, Toronto, Canada to London, England. It takes less than half an hour.
But, in spite of this form of transport, there are still many accidents. Teens like to modify their cars and disable the automatic drive, which allows them to fly anywhere off the virtual grid. I remember I saw this one boy who got into a real bad crash. His arm got lopped off and twisted out of shape. But he called for help and a flying ambulance came by. They took him away. When I saw him the next day, he had completely new arm.
They found a way to regenerate human pieces. They can grow anything. You can even get a new spine or eyes; though the transplantation of these parts is much more complex than, say, a finger or a nose. They require special treatment and you have to get special injections to bridge the nerves or something other.
The future is safe. You can walk around the city with no trouble at all, at any time of the night. Three in the morning, four in the morning, it doesn’t matter. There is security everywhere. Robots, the flying and walking kind, are all over. They come to you at the drop of a hat.
Now, some may find this creepy, but it’s my opinion that they are better than the human policemen. They are neutral and only serve to defend. They do their jobs without fail. That’s the thing with robots, they’re incredibly reliable.
Well, if you don’t like robots, there are less of them outside of the city.
I visited outside of the city to see the farms. The farms are quite interesting. They look just like the farms of our time, except they have these enormous poles scattered about in the fields. These “poles”—for lack of a better term—throw off heat, give light, fertilize, and distribute water. This allows plants to grow during the winter. This would be akin to, I suppose, growing tomatoes in a hot house. In this case, the hot is brought outside. A most curious thing, I thought.
But my main impetus in visiting the future was to see the government. I come from a communist country, you see, and would like to know if there is a political utopia. Maybe there is a new kind of perfect system; I’m certainly not talking about democracy.
So, I walked for a while and came upon a building. It was a mile high and glistening white with silver windows. The thing was an eyesore, in my opinion, but this was the architecture of the future: clean and simple.
I went through the doors which opened automatically. I saw that they offered tours to the public, so I blended in with a tour group, and we were guided around parliament. Inside was very space efficient, bare, and neat.
There was a mix of humans and robots at work. They were on their computers. The computers were tiny boxes that projected a screen into the air, and keyboard onto the desk (i.e. holograms).
The tour guide, a friendly blonde lady, took us into the west wing. We came upon a door and she told us in an excited tone that we would meet the prime minister. This made everyone titter with delight.
We were all led through the door, and we were taken into a guest-designated elevator. It shot us up to the hundredth floor in an instant. We came out and were taken to a set of double doors made from mahogany wood. The doors opened and a man’s voice said, “Come in.”
We went in. The office was unlike the other parts of the building and was incredibly posh. The prime minister was facing away from us. He was behind his desk and had his big chair turned the other way. He seemed somewhat busy, but not busy enough to ignore visitors. I noticed a glass of black liquid on his desk. “Prime minister?” said the tour guide. “Okay,” said the prime minister in a friendly tone, “I’m ready now.” And he spun around in his chair. I took a sharp step back and looked at the others who had faux grins plastered to their faces—you know, the type when you greet company.
The prime minister rose and came directly to me. He shook my hand. His grip was tight. I tried to think of something proper to say, but all I could say was, “You’re a robot…!”
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