A Sci-Fi Autobiography
I am 88 years old now. I really never thought that I would live this long. In 2008 I was 38, redundant, unemployed at the crest of the new recession. Cigarettes, alcohol and a general disdain for the gym meant that whilst I was not over weight, I was not particularly healthy. I enjoyed mountain biking and rock climbing occasionally but mostly I sat on the sofa watching sci-fi shows on the television.
I can still remember when I was a kid and my mother exclaimed that we had to start eating brown bread, as it was healthier. Until the day when I was chewing some thick slice of granary bread and came upon a hard lump. I tried to explain to my mother, I really did. But she insisted that I had to eat whether I liked it or not. With tears streaming down my face I spat out the lump along with rivulets of blood from the scratches and tears in my mouth. The small lump of wood landed on the table and my mothers facial expression went from shock and anger at what I had done to sympathy as she realised that I was telling the truth and that I was bleeding.
This long-term memory jog will allow the insertion of this packet. I am communicating back to you, myself, from the future. I have sent this data packet back in the form of a nanite info squirt. It will slide through sub space and appear in your time as a simple bubble of air that will pop and release the spores directly into your brain. This is now an entirely legal and regulated process. We do not attempt to alter time but merely to affirm it. You will not understand that or indeed much of this information. It will be directly assimilated into your deep brain functions. You will not have conscious thought processes regarding this packet. Much of this data is superfluous. So I can say what I like. The nanites will only deliver the important stuff anyway. I have around a 1000 words and it will not take that long.
Know this truth. Change is insidious. It creeps slowly most often so that we no longer really notice the profound changes. Remember when hardly anyone had a mobile phone. You are living in the sci-fi future now, then. Today is something different. I speak from the actual future, not some imagined construct of what the future may be. This is going to be harder to explain than I thought.
Know this truth. The future is pedestrian. We still live in houses; there is still work, economy, capitalism, and politics. The world has not really changed that much. There has been no meteor impact; there are not mutants or super heroes. There are not zombie plagues. The environment has not crashed. There are still wars. Aliens have not contacted us. The future is not Hollywood.
Look at fifty years ago. There were wars, cars, and the threat of nuclear annihilation, everything else similar to your today of 2008. But they did not have computers, Internet, mobile phones. We assimilate innovation and accept it as the norm. Or worse we ignore it and lose out on the simple wonder of our sci-fi future in the hear and now.
Know this truth. We are still alone. Human contact is important. More than you can ever know at this stage. The world did change. Television, the Internet and mobile phones really were doing us damage. Our communication structures were changing, isolating us more and more.
Know this truth. Accept your life path. You will never be a rock star. But everyone can contribute towards changing the world. All those little efforts of change really do add up.
I can tell you some things about the future. As you will not remember them directly it does not matter overtly. But they will be embedded in you so that you recognise the innovations when they come and accept them. That is important.
Generation X really was faulty. The first generation allowed to do what they want. To never grow up. Not faced with world wars or genocide. And there you sit on the sofa watching television. But what we did not know then was that all the junk DNA was causing us damage. Imagine a lifetime of eating junk food and what damage that diet can do. That was the problem with Generation X. That is why you are receiving this packet. Within the next fifty years the world is faced with fixing genetic faults of an ageing generation. We are not tampering with nature. We had to because the transfer of junk DNA through to the next generations was causing more damage. It was almost a spiritual problem. All the anxiety, depression in the Prozac generation was caused by junk DNA. We have learnt how to deal with it retro actively and safely. It’s a simple procedure on the NHS. But without scientists working on stem cell research we would never have found out.
Disease is rampant. Mosquitoes migrate north as weather changes. It’s colder here now yet we have big bloody mosquitoes everywhere and one bite means you will catch something very painful and nasty. The future is full of new diseases. But we have a modicum of control over it being constantly life threatening with the readily available spare parts and regulatory implants. Experiments at your end with pig organs and stem cell research eventually allowed us to clone organs and even create techno-organic implants, mainly to help fight off disease.
We all eat cloned meat now. It’s the norm and has been widely accepted as the most humane thing to do. Its not even animal anymore just extremely quick growing protein packs. It all came about because the loss of the Bees near your time due to the mite infections. Without the bees the eco-system was drastically affected and the food chain almost collapsed. So now we grow meat and vegetables in our own homes. It’s a household appliance like the fridge freezers of your day. At first there was obvious controversy then it was widely available in the super markets. Eventually it became accepted and the progression to household appliance makes perfect sense.
HIVE computers regulate the internal environments and information in our homes. They are not greatly different to the computers of your day to be honest. Just fifty years ahead. But they control everything in your house to maximise energy efficiency and environmental impact. It’s like having your PC, TV, I-pod, Sky, Alarm system, central heating, and all the household appliances controlled by one central unit.
More recently we have accepted various other species as sentient and the UN has acknowledged this and signed a treaty of sorts with the aquatics. Dolphins, Whales and Cuttlefish specifically have been accepted as sentient. We still can’t talk to them but the treaty means that we are treating them fairly and humanly now. Again it would not have been possible without scientists using the latest AI’s technology to prove that our understanding of what sentience means and our presumed dominance of the world infers our great responsibility to actually take care of all the other species. There is now talk of doing the same for the rest of the apes.
So my advice to you is appreciate and wonder at innovations, embrace change, and affect the world around you. That’s the future.
I have set this Packet to the tune of Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen) by Baz Luhrmann for maximum insertion efficiency. You always were rather sentimentally attached to that song for some reason that still eludes me to this day. It alludes to some nostalgic vibration I suppose. And I find some amusing irony in embedding it in this message considering its meaning and the reflective tone of the song. That will no doubt make you smile as you remember the tune for no apparent reason as this packet is inserted and you will forever associate the brown bread memory with the song and not know why.