Meki had a very bizarre idea of what machine rule would be like. She thought it would be either more perfect or more dystopian. Like, machines would cater to our every need and everything would be absolutely, inhumanly perfect. No more war, no more poverty, no more scarcity, etc.
However, machine rule can best be described as precise and very quick, but not fundamentally different from human politics. It's like human politics on crack, if that crack were also on crack.
Meki tries to keep up with machine politics, but it's impossible. So she quits early and winds up missing a lot.
For example: on 5 March, 2126, at 14:42, Vultists announce a new policy that would lead to a massive well being dug near Cugnaux. At 14:44, the well is being dug.
With a human government, this policy could be announced at 14:42, but it would flounder about until maybe 8 March if things were particularly quick, and the well would begin construction on 12 March, a full week later. And that's if things are moving at a breakneck speed. Usually, it would take several months before the municipal government could sign off on the well's construction, and then some more time to begin planning construction, and then even more time to get the well dug, and even more time before the well would be ready.
The VULT did so in under a minute, and droids were already out in the fields a minute later. The well was finished by the end of the day, and water was available by midnight.
So machine rule is very, very fast. Extraordinarily fast, to the point that humans are actually frightened by it. We aren't used to government being this quick and efficient. Not only that, but we in the West are used to having some sort of vote on it. Sure, 99% of the time, we don't care about such local decisions so it might as well be decided by a faceless bureaucracy, but we at least know some vote was had.
This is just a local decision. Imagine how long it takes major geopolitical policy to be carried out.
A few minutes, usually. If that.
This doesn't stop geopolitics from being any less of a clusterfuck; it just happens at a machine gun pace now.
Take the Pyrenees War. It broke out in 2131 and lasted for 3 seconds. Its combatants: 2,000+ bots on both sides. It was fought between multiple Vultists who couldn't agree on how to divide up land, so they agreed to settle upon something we might recognize as a cyberwar.
The war started and ended within the span of a sneeze and led to France gaining several acres of land from Spain. These sorts of things happen a lot, and humans just don't have powerful enough brains to comprehend it. Most humans, at least. Transhumans and posthumans do. But unaugmented humans— even genetic superhumans like Meki— simply can't keep up with it all.
Political scientists finally understand what the Singularity means. A single day in modern, post-WWIII geopolitics often contains as much history as whole centuries.
Here's another example, one that takes place during Meki's Parisian Vacation in 2145. November 2145, in fact— a major online trade agreement occurs between multiple European and Asian countries. That's at around 10:30 AM/10:30. Meki is informed of this by Rasa, and she is asked for her opinion on it. She begins speaking her opinion. After the end of the second sentence, she is then informed that the trade agreement had been abolished and a new one is being worked out. In the span of those two sentences, the AI had traded roughly ₣92 billion between themselves and post-human run nations. She tried saying something about her opinion on this new development, but in the middle of her stumbled mumbling, she is told that the new trade agreement has been extended to the Stellar Republic and the volume of money being traded had caused a sizeable bump to the world economy.
She is then informed that the global economy collapsed, and then it rebounds.
She is then allowed to speak her mind on these developments, and she had not yet stopped stumbling from her previous mumbling.
At around 11 AM/11:00, she is told that this trade agreement is now holding up quite well despite the earlier depression, and various East African and Antarctic AI are now investing heavily in space exploration since they have a solid global investment bank established.
Meki isn't following any of this, and is frankly frightened by how little she understands of what just happened.
Yeah, so there was a global depression a few minutes ago, but we're all fine now.
Later, at 2 PM/14:00, she is reading a book, and she is informed by Rasa that World War IV broke out not too long ago. About 40 minutes ago. But it's all been resolved, and the offending parties have been defeated. A real life Skynet tried taking over from a base in the Gobi desert; multiple artilects had been damaged. American artilects also suffered greatly. One human death came as a result.
Wait, when did WWIV begin? At 1:22 PM/13:22. It ended at 1:57 PM/13:57. Approximately $40 billion in damage has been caused, which is being recovered through further online mining.
What just happened? Why was she not informed of this? Because she was reading a book, and Rasa figured she'd not be able to handle the idea of World War IV so soon after World War III. Except World War III ended 30 years ago and lasted 9 years. World War IV lasted the span of lunch and ended a few minutes ago.
Who was the person who died?
Australian man, Herbert Spencer. 128 years old. He was online when an artilect infected him; he chose to turn himself off, even though it meant killing himself.
Is there any way to bring him back?
He made the decision to have an irreversible death; he figured he lived long enough anyhow.
Meki was always told of that old Einstein quote, that World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones. And yet in reality, WWIV was fought with bots over the internet and only one man died; the only reason that man wasn't brought back to life was because he didn't want to be brought back.
And now the damages of WWIV have been rectified. $40 billion, destroyed? $42 billion, created.
So yeah, that's an average day in 22nd-century geopolitics. Where you could take a nap and then wake up to discover there's been a great depression and world war during that time and now you're in the middle of a massive economic boom.
Meki knows why geopolitics are not so utopian as many thinkers and dreamers of previous decades and centuries hoped it would be— there is no one central government. The VULT is a virtual union of a variety of superintelligences. They only occasionally form a hive mind, and there are often multiple hiveminds among them. Not only that, but national and regional interests are still a thing. And on top of that, the VULT does not control the entire planet— especially in the post Dictatorship of the Technotariat age, when the VULT allowed local and regional human sovereignty in previously purely Vultist territory.
And to top it all off, it's just the nature of scarcity. There may be basic post-scarcity in technist countries, but that doesn't mean absolute post-scarcity.
Basic post-scarcity means that you have an unlimited supply of basic necessities and some luxuries. Even here "unlimited" means more in the sense of theoretical consumer needs, not absolute amounts. Atomism is only just taking off, and that's definitely upping wealth levels across the world.
But absolute post-scarcity is utterly impossible anywhere in our physical, finite universe. You'd need to enter full immersion virtual reality to achieve absolute post-scarcity. Otherwise, there will always be a certain amount of things. There's only so much energy and matter in our universe, and there's no way to create any more. In fact, AI scientists have theorized that the creation of matter— if it were possible— would be the equivalent of tossing a tiny grain of sand into a perfectly tuned machine. The gears would become stuck, forever destroying that bit of newly introduced matter but never being able to get rid of it and thus throwing the whole machine out of whack. In real terms, creating matter has the potential to cause the universe to lose metastability and thus begin its ultimate evaporation. Same deal with energy.
Some might point to the constant creation and destruction of matter and antimatter in the vacuum of space as being proof that matter can actually be "created". However, the artilects are quick to point out that the energy for this creation still exists somewhere, and matter/antimatter doesn't actually pop out of "nothing". It's very, very complex, but the point is that everything is something, and there is no nothing. If we actually did it— if we actually did somehow do the impossible and conjure a quark that has never existed in any form before, not as matter or energy or quantum foam or anything in this universe, the universe could possibly begin ripping apart at the seams. It's not certain; this is obviously something that can't be tested. It may be possible that matter creation *is* possible and there's no consequences to it except a slightly more massive universe. But we have no way of knowing.
So the point is, absolute post-scarcity is utterly impossible. And even if it were possible, it's not worth the evaporation of the universe.
So with *that* said— hopefully now you can begin to understand modern politics and economics and why unaugmented humans are so lost when discussing these topics. We could try discussing modern economics, but by the time you're done writing the first page of your master thesis, the economic order might have radically changed. I mean not technism, but the various setups that make it run efficiently. This is what it's like to live on this planet during such radical times.
It makes sense why Meki doesn't think much about it; she just accepts it.