Thursday, April 18, 2013

A dream of the future

For fifteen hours I worked in the deep recesses of the chicken farm. The chickens had to have their growth hormone shots and since my relief never came, I was stuck working on and on. My hands aching and my back in knots, I went home and fell into a deep sleep filled with terrible dreams of the future.
My first vision was of towers filling the sky for as far as the eye could see; they rose into the clouds! The architecture of the future was entirely cellular and joyless, the endless repetition of a perfected pattern. I was hailed on the street by a loud voice calling out, “you there, the walker” and when I looked to find the person who had called out, I at first saw nothing. Upon closer inspection, I could see an insect-like thing buzzing around me. “Where did you come from?” the insect asked in a tinny sounding voice. I said, “From somewhere else I think! What is this place?” The insect said, “This is the principality of America, 15th quadrant. “What year is it?” I asked. “2415” said the insect.” “And where are all the people?” I said. “Well, that is exactly why I called out when I saw you. You see, no one has used a body such as yours in two centuries. The human form takes up too much space, requires too much energy, and creates far too much waste. Once the secret to genetics and intelligence was unlocked, some of the top scientific minds were tasked with finding the perfect body to host human intelligence, and this,” the insect buzzed and flew around in a tight circle, “was the decided form. The food that would be required to power one human body for a day can sustain me for 100 years.” “But don’t insects have a very short lifespan?” I asked. “Well, yours may, but I am genetically altered to have a self-perpetuating structure. In effect, I’m immortal.” “So long as you don’t get swatted I suppose.” “Even then I would be fine,” laughed my undaunted insect friend. “I can turn off my pain receptors and shut down into a state of regeneration until my body has been remade. A process that I should let you know only requires 15 minutes. Now, that I think of it, if you intend on sticking around you’re going to have to undergo this process or else the moment you bite into a sandwich you’re going to cause the starvation of thousands of us. You’ll find you prefer life this way.” The insect bade me follow him. In no time I was in a laboratory receiving a brain scan and having samples taken of my genetic code. In another hour my consciousness was transferred into a bug, the husk of my human form was spread out lifeless on an examination table and I was receiving flying lessons. “Okay,” said my insect friend, “you’ll notice that your visual apparatus is quite different. You have a lot of visual overlay possibilities that you can pull up in various ways. Just think, overlay-menu and you’ll see that you can switch to night vision, sonar, hubble, eagle, electron micro, heat sense, or if you’re feeling sentimental, human. You can also communicate by internal radio as long you’re speaking to someone on your friend list.” At this my insect guide sent me an invitation to add him to my social network. He guided me through the process and from thereon everything he said was transmitted back and forth on our comm link. My friend pointed out that his handle was visible in the lower left field of my vision systems. Rodney48392-13949 stood out in royal blue. “Just call me Rod-13949 for short.” Rod-13949 described to me how everything was now automated. No one was required to lift anything, say anything, or be anywhere. With auto-knowledge repertories, there was no need to study anything, since everything that could be known was updated to a central intelligence file that each individual mind was constantly linked to. The moment something new occurred, everyone was instantly aware. Crime had been completely eliminated, with brains on file, it only took some copying and pasting to remove offensive criminal code and replace it with programming for cooperative behavior. While we were in the quadrant of America that used to be called Kentucky, it didn’t really make a difference from anywhere else that you could be. At the canopy level of the towers was a vast roof network that assured climate control so there was no better or worse land. Everywhere that you could be was the same as anywhere else and there was absolutely no need for land anyhow. The insect body required absolutely no space and comfort was provided through a neural release mechanism. No one on earth had a desire for anything that couldn’t be instantly given to them. Upon realizing that there was no striving for anything, no conflict, no need to do anything at all, I asked the looming question “What then is the point of living now?” Rod-13949 laughed his tinny little laugh and before he could answer me I woke from my dream. I had slept a scant four hours and already I was due back at the chicken farm for another back-breaking shift.

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