World peace has been achieved. In 2050, world leaders engaged in a mutual spiritual summit where they each took several doses of a newly discovered compound ‘ZMT’. A close derivative of the molecule DMT. Their individual ego’s were seen through. A unity like no other was established. A collective consciousness with the single goal of unification. The virtuality of the world was seen through. Emptiness, suchness, void. These terms suddenly became tangible and real. Thus world leaders were suddenly driven to action.
The most obvious problems were listed. Global nuclear war. Climate change. Artificial intelligence and biotechnological races. These problems were previously overlooked as there was no local solution to them. These were problems that could only be solved at a global level. Thus the engine of change was put into motion.
All countries simultaneously signed the global nuclear dearmanation treaty. All nuclear weapons were made obsolete. Top level physicists shared the same molecular enlightenment refused to build any further weapons thus making them impossible to manufacture. Any manufacturing plants were shut down. Thus global nuclear war became an impossibility.
In terms of climate change, world leaders realised that they had to act fast. The delays of the previous generations had meant that the time limit was dire. This required drastic solutions. Top level scientists were overclocked with new biological compounds to rapidly increase the rate of scientific discoveries. Funding that was previously designated for war and production of weapons was suddenly diverted to science and education. In a mere span of 7 years, new breakthroughs in nuclear fusion and waste disposal meant that we had an access to an abundance of energy. Energy production from coal and gas were switched with the economic incentives shifting to the use of nuclear fusion. Excess energy was distributed globally to developing nations as leaders realised they were all on the same sinking boat. India and China, previously the largest environmental polluters, switched to being the most environmentally conscious. The money diverted into education meant that the best teachers were economically incentivised to teach. Teaching became one of the top professions with the worlds best teachers offering online courses to the millions connected via the internet. The next generation of children were being educated at levels previously unimaginable. Education became less about credentialing and socialisation, and more about learning. Children became driven by curiosity. About solving problems rather than signalling intelligence and knowledge. Children could learn what they wanted to learn.
A new generation of scientists were born tackling issues such as the creation of a benevolent artificial intelligence and ethical use of biotechnology.
Previously menial jobs such as driving and repetitive tasks were automated by specific AI’s. Fortunately the global cooperation meant that a true universal basic income was established. Universal in the sense that it was global. Every citizen received a stipend that allowed for comfortable living in the area that they were in. This was established through a new global cryptocurrency. The ubiquity of technology meant that all 7 billion of the worlds citizens were connected to the internet. Cheap portable tablets were airdropped onto developing countries. Education suddenly became abundant and free. The citizens of the developing countries often became the worlds best scientists and problems solvers as survival was a necessity for them. Better ways of water filtration and food production were developed. The global inequity and inequality gap was eliminated in only 20 years.
In 2070, scientists had a breakthrough in the field of artificial general intelligence. An AGI was created that could iteratively improve itself until it became Godlike. Fortunately the previous decades had solved the alignment problem. This AI worked solely towards the good of humanity. White collar intellectual jobs were made redundant. Instead a new economy of caring emerged. Caring for others whether it be a child, parent, patient, someone in your community became rewarded. It became a respectable profession. Doctors could now focus on meaningful face to face interaction instead of being bound in bureaucracy. Those who were previously useless in the eyes of the economy could now take meaningful roles in the community. The epidemic of meaningless seen in the early 21st century was diminishing.
With more time abundance, people spent more time developing relationships and fostering a sense of community and purpose. Deep human needs which were largely ignored by masses of the human race, became a priority. Money and economic incentives no longer dictated meaning. The edifice of consumerism came tumbling down and out of that sprung the seeds of purpose, contentment and peace. Children were taught relevant information in schools. How to be happy. How to keep a fit body, a calm mind. Meditation and methods of attentional training became common. A major part of the curriculum became about self understanding. Understanding the human race through biology, sociology, history, physics, chemistry and introspection. Philosophical traditions bloomed in this period with a new found mental stability common to all human denizens. People spent less time ruled by their evolutionary biological mechanisms and instead devoted time to overcoming biases and improving character. As a consequence, healthcare burdens were significantly reduced. Problems such as obesity which had previously not been seen as psychological disruptions in a maladaptive environment were altogether solved. People simply could not be obese. The environment didn’t allow for it.
Cities were re-engineering to focus on optimising human flourishing. Previously they had paradoxically been one of the loneliest places with no shared social spaces. People would drift through like passengers on a ghost train. Now engineers and architects developed ‘third spaces’. Areas where people could congregate and perform social activities. More people could engage in this due to the time abundance. As a result, relationships between humans flourished. It became hard to become lonely.
Of course people still worked. But the focus became more on following your genuine intellectual curiosity rather than economic incentives. Thus children with a particular inclination towards the arts/sciences/management could become masters of their craft. The quality of all professionals far exceeded those seen in any previous human generation. Those previously from poor socioeconomic backgrounds had fewer limitations now with the access to free educational courses online. A more egalitarian meritocracy emerged. True equality of opportunity. People no longer felt work to be work. It became play.
Human began to understand themselves and the universe around them better. Neuroscience research showed concepts such as free will and ‘self’ to be illusory. Questions of ‘what is mind’, ‘what is consciousness’ became serious rigorous quests. A basic appreciation of the fact that humans are animals became the norm. We understand so little. We are small. And in that realisation a part of the universe observing itself suddenly began to understand.
Notes : This was my brief attempt at a positive spin on Sci-Fi. Most of Sci-Fi today can be seen as extolling the dangers of technology. People want to go back to ‘simpler’ times. The two can mutually exist. Technology can be used to foster human wellbeing. I think currently we are just in an adjustment period with fake news, social media etc. I think in 20-30 years time, the internet will be a nicer place. Already so many smart people learning from the internet. High schoolers today are much much on the ball than I was…