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Year 2119 (essay contest)


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#1
PhoenixRu

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Year 2119 (essay contest)

 

I'm sure there were already such threads before, but nevertheless...

 

That's what I propose: each participant writing the brief (or long) "essay" reflecting his personal vision of the future. Your "essay" should include such fields as:

 

1) Science and technology

2) Economy

3) Society

4) Geopolitics and (optionally) warfare

 

Not definitely in that order, of course. But in general, this should be some whole and logical picture of Our world in the year 2119 AD. New members (like starspawn0) are especially welcome.

 

PS the only thing I'm asking for: do not argue with each other :) Do not bother to explain why the previous essay was utter nonsense. Instead, write your own!

 

PPS I'll write my essay too, but only after 2-3 of your posts.


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#2
funkervogt

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https://youtu.be/3bS765funp0


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#3
Outlook

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This is utter nonsense.


Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/3V9zxXN1rx0


#4
PhoenixRu

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OK, it seems I should be first.

 

World in 2119 A.D. (according to PhoenixRu)

 

 

Llet's start from demography. By 2119, the total world population, which reached a peak sometime in 2070s, is already shrinking. Currently, this is about 9 billion and the most populated continents are Africa and Asia (roughly 4 billion people each). The average life expectancy is about 100 years, although members of "Great Families" (see "society") live much longer (up to 150 years or more). The average fertility rate is around 1.3, but varies greatly by region - from above 2 in some remaining traditional societies to below 1 in the countries of Far East, as well as North and Latin America (see “society”).

 

Technology

 

By this time, all the traditional fields of human activity were (or theoretically can be) automated. The further development of biology and medicine made it possible to easily prevent or treat the diseases which until recently seemed incurable. In general, humanity has became noticeably healthier.
 
Computers have become smarter, but strong AI is still not exist. Virtual reality is almost indistinguishable from the real world (see "society"), and drones in urban areas are as numerous as birds (see “military”). There was no mass colonization of space, but inhabited scientific bases were built on the Moon and Mars, while the first unmanned micro probes were sent to the nearest stars.

 

Society

 

Obviously, the overwhelming majority of human race is concentrated in urban areas. The largest of them, grown from merged cities of 20-21 centuries, have long exceeded 100 million inhabitants. Automation has done its job: the human working class (both rural and urban) makes up only a few percent of the world's population. The majority of society is now consist of plebs - poorly educated parasitic class that is excluded from economy and any decision making processes. The old utopian idea of "guaranteed income" became reality and the very existence of plebs depends on the money paid by elite, that makes this class loyal and easily managed.

 

Almost all the countries traditionally calling themselves democracies but, in modern world, this word doesn't mean much. The real power belongs to financial and industrial elite evolved into closed quasi-aristocracy, and the “Great Families” no longer see the point to hide this fact.

 

Such concept as HDI also doesn't mean much. The main modern socio-economic parameter is CIEI or “Cumulative Index of Economic Involvement” showing how well a person (or social group) is able to adapt to (or being able to be used in) modern economy. Needless to say, the CIEI of plebs is low and continues to decline.

 

While the real world remains bleak, tens of thousands of virtual escapist subcultures are ready to offer the illusory solutions. This is the place where the average adult person spends about a half of his life. Often, virtual sex replaces real relationships and about a third of the population remains virgins throughout their lifetimes.

 

Geopolitics

 

Just like 100 or 200 years ago, the world is divided into many (about 300) sovereign states, but (just like in the past) only a few of them can afford a real independence. The development of robotics eventually blurred the border between war and peace and military conflicts happens often...

 

But, fortunately, human beings are no longer seen on the battlefield. The typical modern military unit consists of a tank-size mobile AI command center operating with myriads of surrounding drones. The calcultating power and speed of reaction are the keys to victory, and the "battle" often lasts for a few seconds, after which the defenseless enemy's infrastructure (or key persons) being destroyed by the winner’s drones. It can be said, for the first time in human history, war has become truly fair and mainly affects those who unleashed it.

 

The foresseable future
 
What is not clear for average person living in some human anthill of Shanghai, Lagos or Krasnoyarsk, is painfully obvious for social thinkers. Despite the seemingly stability and well-being, the modern post-capitalist world of 2119 is seriously ill. Disappointment and cynicism, social escapism and depopulation became the constant wounds of human race and there is no hope to reverse this trend. Who knows, perhaps the only solution will be the total collapse of everything old, so that something truly new will eventually grow on the ruins?

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#5
Yuli Ban

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I'll come back with an essay later, but I plan on doing three scenarios:

 

Ideal (technist world order)

Utopian (socialist world order)

Realistic (hypereconomy + degeneration)


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#6
PhoenixRu

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I'll come back with an essay later, but I plan on doing three scenarios:

 

Ideal (technist world order)

Utopian (socialist world order)

Realistic (hypereconomy + degeneration)

 

What I wrote was (IMHO) exactly the realistic and inertial scenario. I just continued the main global trends which, most likely, will exist regardless of any fluctuations:

 

1) Demographic transition and automation

2) Growing social inequality (yes, poor becoming richer, but rich becoming richer faster)

3) Growing efficiency of social manipulations (making masses easily manageable)

4) Growing "realism" and "pragmatism" (obvious decline of any ideologies and mass movements)

5) Routinization of war (no longer affecting the most of population)

 

In general, as it seems, XXI century going to be more stable and less turbulent than XX. In that sence, this will be indeed the "end of history"... for some time, of course. Sometime and somehow, it will end too. But I have no idea how.


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#7
Outlook

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Technology:
 
 
In the greatest scope of things human technology is still growing at its phenomenal pace, although not to what many would expect or particularly like. The most influential forms of technology are related to the manipulation of biology to interact more with technology, whether through the replacement of body parts, BCIs, immune system aids in the form of nanobots, etc. The metaverse will be vibrant and extant, having been developed thoroughly through the second half of the 21st century.
 
Artificial Intelligence has achieved human-level intelligence, and has perfected itself, leading it to become the ideal form of a thinking individual, able to process, understand and think above the biological limitations of man. However, while AI has become super-intelligent, it has also become exponentially complex. Alongside artificial intelligence, intelligence theory has grown as a science to understand and develop AI, as well as understand the human mind.
 
In terms of space development, humanity is still at its beginning stages. Humans have begun the creation of their solar civilization with the establishment of outposts on mars, the moon, and various asteroids. The aid of AI has been immense in this aspect, as probes could make intelligent decisions independent of bases.
 
Economy & Society:
 
The west and most of the capitalist world has shifted to a new system of economy built to sustain the human population's unprecedented size and to accomadate the development of automation. Hierarchy and elitism has shifted from capital ownership to institutional ownership as capital moves further from the hands of the private citizen to the hands of large institutions that the private citizen is forced to become an ever-increasing part of. 
 
Some of these institutions are similar to the modern corporation-- however due to automation, private ownership of corporations have been forced to become increasingly co-operative, providing not only healthcare and education opportunities, but also housing, food security, and identity, in turn becoming more like a polity than a corporation, as we see already happening in start of the 21st century. Becoming a part of these institutions was not seen as a way to make ends meet, or to work, but seen as a function of society. You had no place in society if you are not a citizen of a major institution. Of course the largest institution still remains the state, and the size of the state in some countries varies with some having the sub-divisions of the state totally replace private institutions, becoming socialist. These governments and institutions are all able to do this due to AI, and the managerial role they play.
 
Humanity still remains the nucleus of society. AI at the start was built around human behaviour in order to not become alienated from society, so despite their super-intelligence, any form of autonomous, conscious AI will have to be able to act human. Androids do exist, and all forms of autonomous AI enjoy rights as they become more and more vital to the function of society from policing to managing.
 
The merging of AI and biology is also in the middle of closing the gap between human ability and synthetic ability.
 
Geopolitics:
 
The 21st century has become a more turbulent century than the 20th century has. As the United States lost world hegemony with the rise of multiple powers, friction was bound to increase. Total war, has never occured in the 21st century. It was globally recognized by the powers that the direct act of war was not in their interests, as has been the state of things since world war 2. In fact, it is possible that governments fear that their population would absolutely refuse any form total war. Instead, warfare has moved onto proxy, smart-power, and cyberspaces. Warfare becomes not about directly meeting and destroying your enemy, but tripping your enemy in a race towards greater power.
 
So then, this forced many of the global powers to find new ways to expand influence. Thus, expansion into space became necessary yet again.
 
The largest violent conflicts occur still in Africa, and the Middle East where neo-colonialism is still a major issue, as the powers still seek the exploitation of these peoples for their resources. However the wars that occur here are more reminiscent of the world wars in scale than the proxy wars of the earlier century. Simply put, African states have still yet to go through the radical phases that the European, North African, and Asian states were subject to. Fascism becomes a growing issue in Africa, and the war caused by it leads to millions dead. 
 
Aside from this, there are the civil unrests that occur in many countries for a variety of reasons. Mainly in countries that are unable to deal with automation, as well as countries where the civil populace has grown more and more wise due to improvements in the education system, and authentic information seeking.

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Outlook's secret song of the ~week: https://youtu.be/3V9zxXN1rx0


#8
PhoenixRu

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Some of these institutions are similar to the modern corporation-- however due to automation, private ownership of corporations have been forced to become increasingly co-operative, providing not only healthcare and education opportunities, but also housing, food security, and identity, in turn becoming more like a polity than a corporation, as we see already happening in start of the 21st century. Becoming a part of these institutions was not seen as a way to make ends meet, or to work, but seen as a function of society. You had no place in society if you are not a citizen of a major institution.

 

Amazingly accurate description of Soviet reality of 1970-s - 1980-s. For common Soviet citizen, his workplace was indeed "more a polity" than just a workplace. Your factory provide you the new flat, the school for your children, provide you the nearly-free trip to a sanatorium on the Black Sea shore... and so on.


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#9
Erowind

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I'm in the process of writing an essay now. I'll read all of your after I'm done. I don't want other people's work influencing my own. Although I'm sure all your writings are well in their own right :) 


Current status: slaving away for the math gods of Pythagoras VII.


#10
Yuli Ban

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Funnily enough, the old Babylon Today (as Mother Meki) took place starting in 2118-2119 or so, which means I can probably reuse some of the ideas I had there for this.

 

The Technist Scenario: Humans as master over nature

 

The Individual

 

Meet Margaret. She is a typical Homo sapiens sapiens of the early 22nd century, living in the United States of America. She is not augmented, nor is she necessarily a Luddite. She identifies as heterosexual, and isn't very deviant in her biology either (though she does sometimes sim as a cat for extended periods). She is a "katoikidia" (Greek for "housepet"), which means that her lifestyle is fully funded by a polity institution. This polity is a fully automated syndicate that is quasi-privately owned. Most members persist in their homes, completely physically separated from everyone else as they live in the metaverse. Some members, however, use these free funds to advance whatever personal desires they may have to feel actualized, as Margaret does. Despite not being augmented, Margaret uses artificial intelligence to tailor-make her own personalized reality where she is a superstar whose impact on culture is just as big as the Beatles. There are many non-existent people in this reality whom she has befriended, as well as non-existent musical groups, movies, television shows, and more. She hasn't experienced most of it, but she doesn't need to. Despite this vain universe for herself, she has never shared the personalized reality with anyone else. She spends most of her waking hours inside of it, and has come to see "real" reality as the alternative where she is just a normal woman.

 

Meet Konstantin. He is a heavily augmented human, but remains Homo sapiens sapiens. He lives in Lithuania, though it's difficult to say where he is at any one moment because he spends so much time in the metaverse. Within virtual reality, his experiences are extreme and varied. Sometimes he lives as a Byelorussian peasant from the 1800s. Others, he is a starship captain exploring the uncharted regions of the Andromeda galaxy. Every deviant and uncommon idea he had in life, he acts out in the metaverse. His body in real life is stored in a "warm storage home", and is fully maintained and stimulated without his conscious input. If he ever decided to leave the metaverse for an extended period of time, he would not need rehabilitation— it would be as simple as waking up and walking out of storage. He is utterly uninterested in rejoining the real world, however. If he wants to see current events, he will do so through artificial eyes controlled from a distance. 

 

Meet Khudaidad. He is a Homo sapiens sapiens from Afghanistan, living largely as his ancestors have with a few very notable exceptions. While he is a farmer in the backwoods of what many consider a backwater nation, he is also an atheist who instead follows intently the news of artificial intelligence's expanding capabilities. He has dreams of visiting the moon, and watches with eagerness whenever there's a new or crescent moon because of such modern sights:

YU1pvGY.png

 

Khudaidad also does not work quite as much as his great-grandfather (who is still alive, but very advanced in his age), as the family farm has plenty of robots. Most of these robots are small, rolling machines, though there are a few more humanoid and suprahumanoid models. Khudaidad has never known a world without electricity, the internet, robotics, artificial intelligence, or a webbed moon. He also doesn't understand his great-grandfather's casual acceptance of death, let alone his belief of death as an end to life rather than as a disease that can be cured. To him, it's all ramblings of an old man being swept away by time. 

 

 

The Community

 

Margaret lives in the suburbs, on a street that is kept permanently well-maintained by "helots"— publicly/communally-owned automatons that work for municipalities rather than any private individual. Her home is smarter than she is, but possesses no sapience or agency of its own. She rarely interacts with the neighbors. Most food she eats is downloaded from a nanofabricator, as is common. Nanofabricators, however, are only one way to get food and supplies. Elsewhere in the community, there is a "metafarm"— a structure that perfectly simulates foreign conditions in order to grow food. This is also fully automated, as automatons harvest crops on each floor. Some foods are exotic, only capable of being grown in extremely specific situations. Metafarms are owned by syndicates, corporations, and governments. As Margaret and her neighbors are katoikidias, they can order and receive food from certain metafarms for free. Some other metafarms also grow food for free, but they are publicly owned. If, for whatever reason, they wanted more than what they were basically allowed, they'd need to purchase it from privately-owned metafarms. Many don't do this since the basic allowance is already more than enough to keep them satisfied. 

 

Konstantin lives in a new city, particularly inside of a "starscraper." Starscrapers are any construct more than a kilometer in height, with the oldest being nearly a century old. Most starscrapers are residential in nature, with some capable of comfortably housing tens of thousands of people in compact environments. The starscraper in which Konstantin lives is its own mini-municipality, but he lives in a special part meant for those who live their entire lives inside the metaverse with little to no intention of leaving. The starscraper is managed by a central AI, what one might consider a non-sapient or "utilitarian" AGI. What's more, starscrapers have popped up across the world in increasing numbers such as here in Lithuania because of automated labor and new materials bringing the costs down— for $1 billion (in 2019 USD), you could create a 5-mile-high starscraper even in an environment not conducive to supporting ultra-tall structures. A century prior, $1 billion wasn't enough to get you to a kilometer in the best environments.

 

Khudaidad lives in the boondocks of Afghanistan, in a village that has never had more than 500 people since the days of Xerxes and Alexander. His village is surrounded by mountains, far away from the cities that popped up in the southeast over the past century. Despite this, he knows a few katoikidia in his town who are members of a Chinese syndicate. The only reason why he hasn't joined this syndicate is because the family patriarch doesn't trust the Chinese (or Americans) and would rather start a home-grown communal syndicate. However, the family in general are all for the increasing automation of their local economy because it represents a better life. Khudaidad doesn't quite get the mindset of some spoiled Westerners and Easterners who choose to abandon civilization altogether to try to live an archao-primitivist lifestyle not entirely dissimilar to his own. His village is what we might consider "lower-middle class" in the USA, so they're not desperately poor by any measure. And even here, there is a central AI to assist with local governance, complete with many helots. The scars of the Soviet and USA invasions and Taliban rule over a century prior are only evident in the elderly and in the most backwater of villages. Most are only aware of modern times, when Afghanistan has become something of a regional power for its lithium reserves. And they are also aware of how their lives differ from those in the most advanced of nations. They see it many nights as they plow fields alongside the machines as they stare at the webbed moon: things are different, even if they are the same.

 

The World(s)

 

Earth is no longer just a moist rock floating in space but instead a hub for a cybernetic civilization whose exploits are spreading throughout the solar system. Humans are not the most intelligent entities on Earth. Humans aren't even the only sapient lifeforms anymore, especially thanks to our own efforts at uplifting other lifeforms. 

At the dawn of the 22nd century, China controlled the world. However, the United States of America remained in second place due to existing at such a perfect location conducive to fostering geopolitical and economic power. India, still damaged from its war with Pakistan last century, sharply lags behind both, which some argue is the reason why China was able to so totally expand its reach into Asia. After the USA, the rest of the top ten wealthiest nations are all found in Asia. Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Iran, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines grew uninterrupted and, altogether, have a higher standard of living than can be found even in Europe. 

China and the USA also dominate the sphere of space, with most lunar and Martian development being done by Asian companies.

 

China managed to leapfrog the USA through a combination of state-funded IP theft and state-funded innovation, which saved their ailing economy by supercharging the field of artificial intelligence. This led to a splash effect that caused Japan to also follow with a renewed economic boom despite their falling population. 

Chinese technology caught up to and surpassed American and Japanese technology, and as a result, the world has shifted to a Sinocentric order. 

Where Europe managed to strike back is in the rise of decentralized syndicates and cooperatives, popularized in Germany, France, and Scandinavia. Citizens could become members of these organizations, essentially becoming common shareholders in automated cooperatives. 

 

But as the 21st century ended and the 22nd began, there was a new zeitgeist in geopolitics: that of the hypereconomy and hyperpolitics...

 

 

The (Hyper)Economy

 

The hypereconomy refers to the modern, fully-automated economic model. Machines that don't get tired or require breaks means you can have peak productivity at all hours of the day. This coupled with katoikidia lifestyles, basic income, social ownership, and falling capital costs means that the global economy has been supercharged. Perhaps there are some risks of this economy overheating the planet in its own way. Our human economic systems were not meant for 24/7 peak performance. They developed around human limitations. Because of this, it's much more difficult for humans (even augmented humans) to re-enter the economy to be productive citizens— not only do you need extreme skills, but you must also be willing to work literally every second of your life in order to be competitive. Naturally, extremely few people will ever say yes to this.

 

Hyperpolitics

 

Likewise, artificial intelligence has invaded the political system. It started as a novelty last century, with said "AI" used as data organization for actual government officials. Eventually, however, governments cannot function without being dominated by AI. Even tiny countries such as East Timor or the Maldives (a place nearly washed away before being saved by the Chinese) have automated governments. Essentially, the predominant political system of Earth is a "sapiocracy". 

AI moves at such lightning quick speeds and with such efficiency that it is entirely disorienting to attempt to follow geopolitics if you are not mentally augmented. 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.

Take the Pyrenees War. It broke out in 2116 and lasted for 2 seconds. The combatants: 2,000+ bots on both sides. It was fought between multiple AI between France and Spain 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 unaugmented humans just don't have powerful enough brains to comprehend it. Essentially, singular days can have as much history as entire centuries in the past.
 
 
Other Social Trends
 
Across the planet, there have been countless people who are augmented to the point of being post-biological. However, not everyone has taken the opportunity to do so (for various reasons). 
Thanks to a myriad advances in biotechnology, Earth no longer has just one sapient technological lifeform. We've resurrected other human species and have created a few of our own. We're also able to completely control the human form down to a molecular level, which has made old movements such as that of transgenderism fundamentally different from they were they were. If you were born a man and wish to be a woman, you are no longer limited by hormones and genital mutilation. Rather, you can turn every cell in your body into that of a woman's. And this is the least vulgar of all changes. Some humans have eschewed the anthropomorphic form entirely. 
 
There has been no "robot rights" movement, despite the predictions of science fiction writers. Rather, computers had been given civil rights before they were capable of understanding what such things were. Said civil rights tend to only come into play with "true AI" (see below). Plus, the automation of government and business meant that the machines never needed to fight for emancipation. 
 
Ultimately, there is no dominant social zeitgeist of the times. Most people persist in their own worlds. Some explore the world and live as they desire. A few reject the modern world to keep traditions alive. But humans have, ultimately, taken a backseat to our own existence.
 
I mentioned the katoikidia up above. They are the natural end-state of hikikomori and NEETs, those who need not participate in the economy. You can think of this phenomenon as being like the extension of the nobility to encompass all of humanity. 
 
Other Raw Technological Innovations
 
Artificial intelligence has been the "new fire" of the past century. There are several types of AI at that, ranging from weak narrow AI all the way to sapient general AI. 
The most common implementation of AI remains "strong narrow AI", or AI that specializes in one narrow area but does so with parhuman or superhuman levels of capability. 
Artificial general intelligence is responsible for most of this timeline's magical development. Among AGI, there are three types:
  • Utilitarian AGI. This is AI that is flexible and generalized, but is not sapient. Sometimes called "Pseudo-AI" for whatever reason. It's used for homes, businesses, governments, basic utility and service robots, and more. It's essentially a omnitool rather than a "person".
  • True AI. This is the AI sci-fi predicted over the ages, a computer that is as intelligent as a human, possesses sapience and agency, and can be considered a legal person. 
  • Super AI. This is artificial intelligence that is so far above the human experience as to occupy a new strata of being. Only China and the USA have them.

 

Nanotechnology has seen many great strides forward. It's been discovered that you can turn a single atom into a transistor and even a memristor, which has allowed for sci-fi nanobots to come into being. Subatomically-precise manufacturing can be done in one's home. 

 

The average lifespan of a human varies. We achieved longevity escape velocity long ago, but not all people have taken life extension or youth restoration treatments. And all biological means of life enhancement are still less long-lasting compared to cybernetic enhancements.

 

The old era of hyperloops has evolved into proper vactrains, with the current ones capable of traveling at hypersonic speeds. This means one could wake up in Paris, eat breakfast in Madrid, eat lunch in Moscow, have dinner in New York, and go to sleep in Rio de Janeiro. What's more, this represents a resurgence in on-land transportation after powered flight seemed to dominate the 20th century.

 

And then there's the stars. Space exploration is predominantly done by the machines. Colonization of extraterrestrial worlds always begins with a vanguard of droids landing and then constructing bases of operations. If it's possible to send humans to these bases, we typically will go, and we don't have to worry about survival. Almost all human astronauts beyond Mars are augmented; the few who aren't plan to die in space.

Without augmentation or automation, space exploration would still be a dismal affair with sloth-like progress. But in 2119, mankind has finally touched Neptune and even Pluto. 

 

The world is still damaged from our ascent, and we cannot claim to have begun an apotheosis just yet. But it seems we are on the right track. 


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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#11
Yuli Ban

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I also wanted to add some more thoughts. This based on the Technist (or my personal ideal) scenario. Seeing that PhoenixRu started this thread and he has been continually watching the state of the West, I thought it fitting to at least give it a mention. In which case, I decided to bring up the inescapable topic of sapiocracy, techno-autocracy, and multiculturalism in the future.

 

Europe circa 2119 is a melting pot, but not to the extent as some had feared. This is mostly because the Muslims and Asians who came to Europe in the early 21st century simply left once their own homes had calmed down and they had gotten enough wealth to bring back home. After all: no one wants to live in a war zone. The total destabilization of the Middle East from the 1970s onwards to the 2010s left tens of millions without homes or even nations to call their own, and thus sadly they left to what seemed like the only place that would take them (though for ulterior motives). By the 2030s, most of this strife had come to an end as the global dependence on oil slowly faded and the geopolitical center shifted to China. As a result, rather than Muslims "invading" Europe and bringing regressive societies and cultural zeitgeists to a progressive land, these people instead returned home "Eurocized" by Western ideas and wealth as they were finally able to begin rebuilding after decades of war, famine, and terror. Those who stayed behind were not large enough to fundamentally change European demographics. Thus, by 2119, Europe has not undergone renewed religious fanaticism under Mohammad's sword. Instead, atheism and agnosticism has spread further into Africa and Western Asia earlier than it otherwise would have. Though still religious, the Middle East is now as secularized as Europe was a century prior, whereas Europe is almost entirely godless. 

 

The "decadent" trends of the West of our time have given way to a world much more decadent than anything we can easily imagine. The festival of unnatural debauchery that exists today will seem puritanical in an era of bioliberation, human and animal enhancement, virtual reality, and the complete breakdown on old morals, tradition, and the Enlightenment itself in the face of a new epoch of total, absolute liberation from all worldly limits. By 2119, there is nothing resembling traditional Europe outside quaint villages that have taken vows to remain in the past. Asia and America are even starker in this regard, and Africa is quickly catching up. You have the suprahuman liberated existing in their own new world, and then you have the traditionalists who merely watch helplessly as every point of understanding collapses into a singularity and they are left merely trying to go their own way.

 

Today, we speak of multiculturalism. Tomorrow, multiculturalism will have been a mere footnote in history as most either remain in their own homes, live as nomads on the road in autonomous homes, or eschew physical reality entirely. Culture as we understand it has simultaneously been completely destroyed and has splintered into endless new branches, sometimes with thousands of cultures within a single home, a single mind...

 

Plato mentioned that multicultural regions are invariably autocracies of some sort, whereas homogeneous regions tend to foster democracy (compare the Akkadian Empire to Athens and the Roman Republic). The USA, though considered to be a "melting pot", was originally meant to be a Pan-European state. As it moved towards multiculturalism, it began taking up more autocratic tendencies but never quite crossed over. China was always, historically, an autocratic nation but that's partially due to the fact that the "Han" aren't just one ethnicity as commonly considered in the West. What's more, it had a population much too large for representative democracy to function properly. They stayed with autocracy, and thus survived. India went with representative democracy, and they suffered for it by being half-destroyed in a nuclear war with Pakistan, provoked by ultranationalist fervor and increasingly bigoted tendencies.

 

The reason why autocracy works in multicultural societies is because you will find people of entirely different cultures choosing to side against others based on identity and ethnic divisions, even if they find common ground with another mass of society. This begets intense political polarization (though rarely outright civil war, oddly enough). Some people simply won't vote on logical terms. They'll only vote based on what they feel advances their particular identitarian sect. Normally, this is a factor in right wing extremism (white and Hindu nationalism are the most obvious in the early-mid 21st century), but left wing identity politics can also arise (as seen in the USA and Europe). 

Democracies give those different cultures their own vote, and they invariably vote to fight each other. Autocracies have an overarching authority who makes final decisions to resolve any interethnic strife.

 

Of course, autocracy has had a major problem in history: it is inherently tyrannical. Some autocrats may be competent and admirable leaders, but it only takes one bad leader to completely destroy any autocracy. What's more, autocracies typically have said leader in power for life, giving them decades to cause damage. And it is always inevitable for this leader to arise. Autocracies of all kinds (e.g. monarchies, theocracies, republican dictatorships, etc.) always see wealth, privilege, and luxury granted to the leaders and the elite. This separates them from the realities of the common man.  A man raised from birth in a gilded palace, educated in the high arts, taught to wage war among generals, and never to suffer a rough and dirty hand will never understand the needs and desires of the working man or even the merchant and intellectual middle-class. Yet he is the one who rules in all autocracies, the one who has to maintain social cohesion and some level of civilization between the classes and ethnicities. 

 

Before the modern age, this requirement damned every autocratic system to an eventual collapse, often in bloodshed and a maelstrom of repressed passions exploding against the landowners and soft-handed. 

 

In 2119, much of the world is run like an autocracy, and yet few people seem to realize or care even when they are well aware of this. All because of the rise of the sapiocracy and machine governance. It happens in democracies and autocracies, which renders the difference between them negligible. 

 

The reason why we vote in democracy isn't for an esoteric actualization of the meta-human experience. It's because we feel democracy is the best engine for a republican system of government. Oligarchies, plutocracy, aristocracy, ethnocracy, etc. all have one special and privileged group determine what is best for society, often repressing all other groups and denying any political freedom to anyone but the chosen ones. The government can repress anyone not of the privileged group. Democracies take away this privilege and make it so that all citizens are sovereign, theoretically reducing the ability of the government to abuse the populace. Governments rarely to never attack those who give it power, and democracy is supposed to make everyone empowered. The republican system of government is allegedly the most efficient form of government, especially for a democracy.

 

In this fully-automated society, there is little to no reason for humans to get involved in the political process. Humans detract from efficiency and cannot possibly make educated judgments in a world where a century of geopolitics unfolds in a day. Any "democracy" that still exists is a novelty, or perhaps some token branch extended to the population to make them feel they still matter, or perhaps referendums on how to proceed. But even this means only those capable of following hyperpolitics can actually have a place, and this means augmented humans and AI.

 

This is sapiocracy— rule by the most intelligent. Humans have been left scared and spooked apes, unable to handle the sheer changes going on in society on a daily basis. It is for the best that we forfeit control. The machines will not suffer from our greed and irrational passions (which is perhaps what makes them so terrifying as rulers). They won't demand ideological purity for the sake of societal cohesion— what ideology could there be in these modern times save for ones about technology's reach? 

 

Indeed, 2119 seems to be an era where we realize we've entered a brave new world unlike anything ever seen but have not fully come to grips with just what it means. We've left the old world behind almost entirely— there is no more coexistence of two epochs. Yet we still think like we had in the past and try wrapping our minds around the future. And this is where an attempt to understand 2110s politics breaks down for me. There is little I can do to figure it out or put it in words. 

 

Most people choose to live in their own constructed worlds, their own constructed societies, and so there's little reason for them to care about what becomes of this world out here anyway. Who cares if the Sentinelese Islanders continue to live a paleolithic lifestyle even in 2119? That's their choice. Leave me alone so I can return to my cosmic harem in my own reality.


  • Kemotx, Hyndal_Halcyon and PhoenixRu like this

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.





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