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This We Know : The Future's Bright

« Sisters & Brothers in Arms | This We Know Postscript

The Future's Bright

By Tom Evans

Out of the 7 billion people who were sharing their journey on Spaceship Earth back in 2012, there are only about 10 million of them who are still alive. Most of those who are still around were all under the age of ten when the book was first published. The rest of them, including the author, are all dead.

It’s now the year 2112 and 100 years since the first edition of this book was published.

These days the new crop of human beings know quite a considerable number of new things that would appear to be like magic to people living back then. The 10 billion or so humans now sharing their ride on the Spaceship have really got their act together too.

That faster-than-light technology is now doing more than just providing all the Earth’s transport and energy needs, with no reliance on fossil fuels. It being free has lead to transformation in the world’s economies.

People love their Levitons, the wheel-less transporters that glide silently a foot or so off the ground. Their intelligent kinesthetic sensors, connected to The Grid, mean nothing ever bashes into anything else. There are no accidents. They do have artificial noise generators, with proximity detectors, to let people know they are coming though.

On the inter-city highways, or when you go across the ocean on a Tubeway, you just dial in where you are going and when you would like to get there. You can even doze off if you don’t want to take in the view.

Off road the Levitons are great fun too, especially the single seaters. They can be joined together in convoys, both horizontally and vertically. Some amazing constructions can be seen on highways and byways.

The Lighter-Than-Airships have taken over the role that used to be performed by ocean going cruise liners. A trip on one of those is one amazing party in the sky. Some people stay up for years, circumnavigating the globe.

Back on terra firma, everyone can now afford to eat as much as they want and to keep themselves warm — or cool. Those that create and produce surpluses can trade freely and generate as much wealth as they need to acquire more chattels. Not many do as they have all they can possibly need. Most people choose to freely share with others their art and what used to be referred to as intellectual property.

People don’t so much work any more but contribute and create, loving what they do.

What used to be thought of as a job, we now think of as being a calling. Many people take on two or more roles concurrently in a dynamically changing and enriching portfolio career.

The average life span of 120 years mean many people experience so much more of life than before. The notion of retirement simply does not feature in our lives any more.

Elders tend to teach and advise and document their learnings though. Nobody has a pension these days as they are irrelevant. Sabbaticals every ten years or so aren’t mandatory but everyone seems to take them to celebrate 10 more orbits of the Sun.

Incidences of cancer and old age dementia are rare. They are always studied in detail in order to know more about the seed thought patterns or mutations that caused them.

The political landscape varies little from country to country. It’s become convention that parties don’t use capital letters any more and they’ve all adopted the use of trendy hyphens. As a result, Conservatives have become conserve-atists and Communists call themselves commune-ists.

Most political and social systems could be best described as being like a liberal, humanistic, collective hedonism.

Everyone just seems to be having a Good Time these days. Nobody minds or begrudges doing their three years of National Public Service. Some volunteer for more.

Off planet, things are getting very interesting too.

The feasibility project to terraform the Valles Marineris — the Grand Canyon of Mars — is complete. The first Taikonauts are due to set foot on another planet in under a year’s time.

The lead Taikonaut has her first words ready. She plans to say, “That’s one small step for a woman ...”

The three interstellar micro-space probes have been beaming pictures back for 12 years from Epsilon Eridani, our nearest neighbouring Solar System.

At only 12 light years away, the trip only took 8 years to complete using the new faster-than-light drives. Their images arrive back at Earth almost instantaneously.

The probes arrival had been timed for the 1st of January 2100, to celebrate the most amazing 100 years humankind had ever experienced. They have yet to detect any signs of life-as-we-know-it. Other missions will be arriving at more distant systems in the next decade though.

On that same day, at the start of this new century, the Thirteen Moon calendar was finally adopted as standard Earth-wide.

Everyone now celebrates the same Day Out of Time on what used to be called the 25th July.

The twenty-first century had seen us pulling things back from the brink.

Now the ice caps have been fully restored, the sea-life in the oceans is fully back to pre-Industrial Revolution levels. That was a close call as so many species were close to extinction.

The freak weather patterns of the Twenties and Thirties had all but abated by the Seventies. Most of the low lying lands that had been inundated by flood water had now been reclaimed.

Pope Joan had done the most fabulous job harmonising all the world’s religions. The full pantheon of ‘gods’ and ‘goddesses’ had become accepted and revered once again.

Mother Earth was once again recognised as the consciousness of Lady Gaia, orbiting the Sun God along with her travelling companion Sister Moon.

It was pretty much agreed that the one Creator of everything wasn’t after all a ‘He’ or a ‘She’, more like an ‘It’. Their omnipotence and omnipresence was a natural byproduct of being ‘in’ Every-Thing.

Pope Joan was also instrumental in bringing in the practice, in most countries, whereby politicians maintained a 51% female and 49% male ratio.

It became custom and practice for a female leader of a country to alternate terms with a male. Natural balance had become the order of the day.

The world’s media had changed its approach completely. They reported on Good News, new learnings and acts of fruitful endeavour. Any Bad News was rare anyway and, if it did occur, was dealt with in documentaries analysing its source.

Great changes had transpired too in the global economy.

Forex traders were made redundant in the Fifties, when the single world currency came into being. Bankers became trusted servants of the people for the first time since their role had been created.

The armies and soldiers of the world became recognised as true heroes when they pitched up to help out in a crisis, with their amazing resources and know-how. Not many of them carried weapons, just tools.

Even the USA finally banned the possession of personal firearms, for anything but pure sport, as a concession to world peace in 2099.

Museums kept some as a reminder of course for generations to follow.

The healing arts had become fully understood and integrated with what used to be known as conventional healthcare. Most people knew someone in their family or village who could sort many ailments out. Hardly anyone ever took a pill.

By the end of the last century, no more people were born each year than died. Most of those who died chose the exact time and manner of their departure.

Living ‘wakes’ were all the rage. These celebrations of life brought all their friends and family together from all points of the globe.

It was just as well we could park our Levitons on top of each other. This was one of their neatest features. You could, of course, extract your Leviton at any time and all the others would just smoothly come together, filling the space left behind. It was equally useful they could drive us all home automatically and safely after we had a few drinks.

During the wake, the departing soul would distribute the assets they had amassed to their family and friends. The wake was then the last item of their expenditure.

Everyone left the planet owning absolutely nothing which was exactly how they arrived. Everything was in perfect karmic balance.

Accordingly, some parties went on for days and weeks, with the passing of the person being the final culmination of the lavish festivities.

At the end of the party, orbital cremations were becoming very popular too.

When you were ready to shed your mortal coil, you were sent into low Earth orbit in a levitating capsule. You could take as long as you like to look at the planet, for the last time.

When you were ready, you pressed the button for re-entry. Many people used the automatic setting that meant they would burn up as a bright shooting star right above the heads of their party guests.

This we could know — or something like it. •

Start Again: This We Know Intro »

Tom EvansThis inspiring article is serialized from the ebook This We Know © 2012 Tom Evans. All rights reserved. More »