A short story from 2050.
Crying in my bed again and I cry ’cause you’re not here… This damn morning. Although this Cranberries hit is at least 50 years, it still strikes a chord with its audience. Martin being one of them. Despite his recent coming of age, this old song from the turn of the millennium has become his morning wakeup call for the last year and a half. “It is May 13, 2050, Martin, wake up, you’re graduating!” said a pleasant female voice. It strongly resembled the voice that has become the mother of all similar devices – the voice of Scarlett Johansson in the movie Her. Despite human ingenuity, some things should not have changed even after 50 years of progress. Dang! Friday the thirteenth. He hasn’t even realized that his graduation exam happens to be on this day.
Scar, I would like fried egg, bread with cheese and pork feat for breakfast. The word “feat” is a portmanteau expression coined by blending the English “fruit” and “meat”. It designates protein-rich fruits that grow on trees and are the result of genetic engineering. “Feats” solved humanity’s problems by providing plenty of delicious meaty food that was environmentally and psychologically clean and nutritionally optimized for the consumers’ needs. What’s more, the word “feat” had yet another connotation in English that people liked – it was an abbreviation of the word “feature” – that is, a prerogative.
In the beginning, people were still had partly prejudiced by the genetic modifications of plant life. However, when it became evident that one can engineer plants with no adverse side effects on the nature – and their fruit is even healthier and tastier than real meat – the convincing results silenced even the biggest critics of bioengineering and genetics.
People no longer had to worry about the mistreatment of animals raised for meat. Gradually, the wild carnivores living close to human settlements or farms growing feat developed a liking for feat it and killing for food came to an end even in the animal kingdom in some cases.
While the home android was preparing breakfast, Martin jumped into his swimsuit and swam his obligatory 10 lengths in the pool that could be accessed from his room through a terrace.
He found a message from his mother on the table, who left some two hours ago because she worked as an anchor at the local TV station. She wished him luck in picking the graduation questions. Martin had a non-residential father.
According to the Family Code, which was adopted in 2045, the father and mother of a child should live together at least for the first 16 years of the child’s life. And this period elapsed two years ago. Like most couples who had children, they split after fulfilling their responsibilities.
Since people had an almost infinitely-long life span in a young and healthy body thanks to science, several things had to be readjusted in human life – the concept of a lifelong marriage being one of them.
The potential overpopulation of the planet was addressed by regulating the birth rate – only so many children could be born every year for the planet to sustain them in a relatively consumerist lifestyle. Although science progressed relatively quickly and the number of births was far from small, some people opposed such a policy and high hopes were put into the terraforming of Mars and, following recent discoveries, there emerged a viable possibility for building residential orbital stations around Earth and Venus.
One such huge orbital station, Eden, grew right above their heads – directly above Earth. Martin was fascinated by these new discoveries and scientific advances – his very father was involved in the construction of Eden, and he even took Martin to the unfinished station once. It was a colossal human achievement, a potential dwelling place for 5,000 people. Eden was a colossus with a diameter of over 20,000 meters, it generated its own gravity by rotation at a rate of about 500km/h, and allowed the future space pioneers to function normally in orbit. At Eden, the East and West of the Earth could be observed eight times an hour, so most of Eden’s superstructure was covered in glass that projected a background at 24-hour intervals, which allowed the people to feel like on Earth. Thanks to the huge 3D printers placed in orbit, it took 5 years to build the basic superstructure of Eden. Eden was fully equipped to sustain life for the colonizers of space. Virtually every procedural step at the station was recycled, and the only thing that made it dependent on Earth was the supplies of food.
At the core of Eden there was a fusion power reactor that supplied it with sufficient amounts of energy. Since 2035, when the first commercially successful fusion process was introduced, the generation of fusion energy has been greatly improved, and a fusion reactor the size of a larger piece of furniture could generate enough power for all 5000 potential inhabitants of Eden and all its operating systems.
After a delicious and hearty breakfast, Martin cleaned his teeth, dressed up, summoned a drone and was airlifted to school. Visiting school was an extraordinary event – most instruction was provided remotely with the help of virtual reality. After a five-minute flight, the drone landed in the school yard in the center of Nitra.
End of first part
2050 – Utopia on Earth (2/5) – Graduation
Martin graduated from four subjects. Two of them were less important and a relatively superficial knowledge sufficed: he gained it during the full-time study, with typically one or two hours per week. His first and second main subject, however, had to be studied in depth.
Paradoxically, Martin did not find pleasure in technical subjects, and was more attracted by the humanities. He explained it by saying that education that results, for example, in a 30% optimization of technological processes, is not beneficial enough. According to him, the world does not need another Elon Musk, who was incidentally still alive at that time. Martin’s father worked for the Bratislava branch of SpaceX.
Ever since the first contact by an alien civilization through gravitational waves in 2040 (which ultimately proved to be our parent civilization), a lot of things unraveled.
Suddenly the things such as the miracles around the Jewish exodus from Egypt or the resurrection of Christ all made sense.
Just like in normal life, there were two parent civilizations. Humanity finally learned that it came to existence in a love affair of two ancient civilizations in the Milky Way. The human genome contained segments from both civilizations.
We’ve also learned that mankind was created by the scientists from the parent civilizations in an endeavor to create a creature that would combine the best qualities of both parents. However, the Interplanetary Boards in the parent civilizations did not condone such experimentation. The experiment was nevertheless carried out and the result surpassed all expectations. They created a being so intelligent that when the results were in, the parent planets became afraid of his capabilities. All further experiments were immediately canceled, and the scientists had to leave Earth and humanity was left at the tender mercies of their own fate. Only a small control crew remained near the planet, which occasionally steered the destiny of mankind and intervened in the most critical moments.
Mankind was left alone, relying on their own capabilities in most cases. The 4000-years-old story that led to the creation of the Jewish people, exodus of the Jews from Egypt, changes in the course of history by Jesus Christ and mixing of the chosen nation with the people around the world peaked in 2040 in a major shift in technology and reconnection with the parents.
Despite massive advances in technology and a better understanding of how the laws of physics work, humanity did not completely eradicate the concept of God, as boldly proposed by Nietzsche. On the contrary, technological progress brought man to the finest levels of knowledge. Man understood that the complexity of being can never be fully fathomed in the absence of faith. If you get to a level where you understand that the negatively charged electrons of a particle are attracted to the positively charged electrons of another particle, maybe this knowledge can be improved by breaking it down to the vibrations of strings that make up that particle. The question why the vibrations of one string attract the vibrations of another can only be answered through faith. Faith is an essential building block that makes up reality. People understood that the basic laws of physics are simply the deep habits/spasms of reality that are triggered when certain conditions are met. The very essence of physical laws at the grassroots level has no explanation, and faith is the only parallel mechanism in the mind of man to explain it. Reality therefore believes that the positive charge is attracted by the negative charge, and this is always the case in practice.
Martin knew that humanity is about to experience a similar adventure as the parent civilizations with humanity. The inter-civilization contact was governed by strict rules, which should also apply in complex natural systems such as economy – in the vast majority of cases, the rule of non-intervention was applied, and visible interventions were allowed under no circumstances. The parent civilization abode by this law to the tiniest detail. Until visible money, single global currency and single government representing the whole Earth was introduced, no direct contact was possible. An analogy to human life could be used in this context. With the introduction of visible money, humanity reached adulthood, and by creating and sustaining the daughter civilization, it could have given birth to its own child – an enhanced civilization. This new future civilization needs to be raised from complete simplicity to the construction of quantum computers and interstellar ships. Martin was thrilled by the idea to take part in this process. In order to become a top engineer in this newly created civilization, a whole different skill set is necessary – much more than a mere mastery of technology. Therefore, Martin’s first major was History and his second major was Philosophy.
His day started with ease – with Mathematics and Programming.
The question he picked in Mathematics was ridiculously simple. Deriving the formula for the calculation of volume of a sphere. Martin had studied the integrals out of sheer curiosity as early as in his age of 12. These could be sometimes used at various mathematical olympiads to solve the problems that were otherwise only soluble by different tricks invented by the organizers. Martin outwitted them with his knowledge of the curriculum, which was only taught in the last year of high school.
The principles of quantum computers, which he picked in Computer Science, were already a little more challenging. He detailed the mechanism of the online link between the space station above Mars and Earth – thanks to the quantum interconnection of particles, it is possible to achieve instant Internet functionality – the particles travel between Earth and Mars constantly, and just before a particle is received on Earth, its polarity on Mars changes in a certain way. This causes an immediate reversal of the particle that is near Earth. Thanks to this mechanism, the flow of data between Mars and Earth is instantaneous despite the enormous distance.
Professor Fogl, his Computer Science teacher, who was considered a moderate weirdo, asked about the latest relationship between quantum calculations and consciousness. Martin knew that in the first third of the century when quantum computers were still not a thing, some prominent scientists such as Roger Penrose voiced their thought on the process of consciousness in connection with quantum calculations. Martin mentioned him – and added that, in his view, consciousness is addressed more satisfactorily in subjects other than computer science. It seems the professor was satisfied by this allusion.
Martin recalled that very moment yet again that day when he saw professor Fogl’s name on the list of deputy examiners in the Examination Panel before taking his Philosophy exam.
Programming was followed by History.
End of second part
2050 – Utopia on Earth (3/5) – History
Martin picked the history of the 21st century. Although an entire 50 years were still left until the end of the 21st century, this was by far the most complex question in the whole graduation exam.
At the very get to, he was given a list of issues to pay attention to. These included the following:
A quick overview of the decades
Events of the decade with the greatest impact on the future
General and immediate causes of the events
Biggest technological breakthroughs of the decade
Most significant events in the social area
Summary – meaning of the epoch in human history
Martin started talking about the first decade of the third millennium. He talked about how the Internet became ubiquitous and how it turned from a distraction for the academics into a global economic and social phenomenon. The biggest event in the social area was the Minor and Major Economic Crisis in the middle of the first and second half of the decade. He only scratched the surface here, knowing that history professor Žitňanová placed a special emphasis on the third and fourth decade, and correctly suspected that this is where the emphasis should be.
The breakthrough in neural networks was in his view the biggest technological breakthrough of the second decade, which culminated in the creation of a neural network called GPT-3 with 150 billion trained parameters, which was able to solve the tasks in natural language processing in a way that knocked the socks off of all other contemporaries. With this breakthrough, the discovery of general artificial intelligence was a piece of cake. Martin also mentioned the development of social networks – Facebook, Twitter or TikTok – as a sociological phenomenon at beginning of this period that dominated the second decade. The biggest event in the social area was the coronavirus pandemic at the turn of 2019/2020. The coronavirus crisis ended with the development and testing of an effective vaccine in mid-2021.
The third decade was a decade of visible money. Visible money started out as a startup similar to the banks, with the idea that when money becomes visible, i.e. anyone can see the assets and property of anyone else at any given time, it fundamentally changes the way people interact with each other. The year 2020 and 2021 could be freely described as an embarrassing early beginning of this idea. First, the system had to be technically developed. Professor Žitňanová stopped Martin with the question: “So what problems did this idea face in the beginning?” But Martin did not falter. The people historical experience from that era (the project originated in Slovakia where people had a strong negative experience with similar types of social engineering – namely communism) felt that the idea to spy on their neighbors and be spied on is counterintuitive and outright perverse in a certain sense. The project tackled the issue from the very beginning by introducing different levels of transparency of user data. It was possible to be part of the system of visible money, and initially avoid full transparency. However, a couple of years later, i.e. in 2025 when the project was already in full swing, something that the authors of visible money warned against, materialized: a bioterrorist attack by a Chinese biological laboratory. It turned out that the hitherto organization of human relations is not feasible with the 21st century tech. After this event, it was evident that humanity needed new mechanisms for a planet with 10 billion inhabitants that provide an in-depth scrutiny of each and every individual by his/her environment. That’s why visible money was created. Visible money enabled the creation of a micro-community – yet global – society.
The people in Slovakia slowly matured and understood that this system was necessary – and its first positive aspects emerged. Corruption was eradicated in Slovakia, and its economic growth increased by an average of 50% compared to other countries. The project had a major economic impact especially after the tolerance of society towards transparency increased – if anyone could inspect the inner workings of any economic transaction in the economy, this principally accelerated innovation and increased competition. Prosperity in Slovakia skyrocketed compared to other countries, and everyone noticed. What’s more, the project was nationally oriented – new users could only enter the system by invitation from the existing users in Slovakia. And a commission was paid for every new user. Some people in Slovakia lived off of the fact that they were the gateway to visible money for people from other countries.
In the following decades, the system expanded globally despite the setbacks. The society gradually transformed and each person had patrons who attended to their personal development while ensuring that everything is for the good of society as a whole. .
In the first half of the 2020s, humanity overcame yet another obstacle, and thanks to the advances in chemistry of materials it was possible to extract enough CO2 from the atmosphere, store it safely and even use it industrially.
In addition to preventing climate change, Martin also mentioned the implementation of artificial intelligence in production – the rules of Industry 4.0 – as one of the biggest technological advances. By the end of the decade, people no longer had to go to work.
At the turn of the 2030s, unconditional basic income was introduced in most developed countries, which was sufficient for the basic survival of individuals in the economy. This alone augmented the idea of visible money – no one could stand up and say: this person is less valuable to society than me and yet gets more money. Thanks to transparency, everything was clear to all, and people had a justified feeling that society behaves fairly to everyone.
Martin even mentioned the new technical advances of the 2030s: the construction of a fusion reactor that provided sufficient energy to cover the needs of mankind, further advances in artificial intelligence, a significant shift in quantum computers, or the construction of a software model of the human body.
The latter quickly led to medical processes that in 2045 saved the people from dying of old age or diseases. With the possibility to sufficiently simulate the biochemical processes in the human body, people could suddenly do medicine unlike anything that has been done before. Accelerated simulation of what could happen in the next couple of years when this or that medicine is administered led to the discovery of drugs and procedures that alchemists of the Middle Ages only dreamed of.
After thousands of years, mankind has finally returned to where it originally belonged to – the Garden of Eden. Richly secured, eternally young and living in a just society, which caters to the needs of every individual.
Martin’s next sentence was interrupted by professor Žitňanová. Martin, there are other graduates. I think that you prepared well for the second half of the century. That’s all we need for now.
End of third part
2050 – Utopia on Earth (4/5) – Philosophy
Philosophy was Martin’s favorite subject. His teacher Ondrej, a young PhD graduate fresh out of Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, was special. Apart from the fact that they broke the ice by using the informal vous form in the very first class, the teacher greeted new students with his feet on the table, fed himself with roasted pumpkin seeds (making a big mess), and was so unconventional that they immediately clicked. And several Friday classes ended in a sleepy Saturday morning on Mostná Street in Nitra. They spent countless hours disputing the conflicting philosophical concepts and tenets. In the third year, Martin was fascinated by Nietzsche’s nihilism, Ondrej condemned it and hypothesized about Nietzsche’s views on the micro-community society and visible money. Using this controversy, he was trying to explain to Martin how Nietzsche was wrong. What does not kill me makes me stronger. God is dead. The Ubermensch concept. All these statements and ideas could be disputed from dawn to dusk, but Nietzsche attracted Martin in a special way.
The philosophy exam began – unconventionally. Ondrej took the lead. “I don’t think it is necessary to draw a question. We’ll grill you differently. Tell us what you know.”
“What I know about what, please?” asked Martin unknowingly. “My goal is to start a philosophical debate on epistemology – the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. So, what you know about what you know.”
“Well, I think René Descartes started all this,” Martin added hesitantly. “His famous statement is: ‘I think – therefore I am’”. Descartes wanted to determine what he knew with a 100% certainty.” “If you remember, we once discussed this topic during happy hour”, Ondrej tried to encourage him. “Happy hour” was the term used by the regulars of one of Nitra’s pubs for the period between 12AM to 1AM when it was possible to drink alcohol for free under certain conditions. Martin was agitated by the idea, he visibly shuddered and started a long, initially uninterrupted, soliloquy.
I think that Descartes, or those who interpret him, made a crucial mistake. It is not honest to state without an overture: I think, therefore I am. This sentence is a logical implication in and of itself. When we utter it, we assume that logic works, and this very argument is built on it. So what I know is this:
I know that logic exists, and that it works. Thus, I recognize some kind of order. The order of the logical world works at a 100% in the world in which I make this statement, at this moment in time and in all the moments I experienced before. The very fact that some sort of logical order works in the world tells us something about the nature of the universe; it tells us that it is structured in some way – or has some kind of order. Therefore, in my view, atheism is a kind of oxymoron. On the one hand, atheists recognize science and its results, but they fail to recognize the fact that the laws of physics have to run on a certain kind of platform that ensures their validity.
Martin took a deep breath …but to return to the question. Another point that can be made after this technical introduction:
I think, therefore I am.
This piece of knowledge, unlike the previous one, is intuitively 100% true in terms of the subject of the person uttering it. And that makes it unique and exceptional compared to the vast majority of other pieces of knowledge. A 100% means that something is inherently always true. Man has only a few things that can be stated with a 100% certainty. The fact that man exists is one of them. This certainty is, however, not transferable to another person. A person may only experience it for themselves and within. So far, we haven’t discovered the way to experience a 100% certainty of being of another person. Somebody once used this quote that stuck me really hard: “If I ever know that the others exist with the same degree of certainty that applies to myself, I’ll sit down and cry of relief for three days.”
Being is utterly alone on the inside. It’s excruciating and daunting to death. This knowledge, which everyone is confronted with, also hides the essence of selfishness and egoism. Each one of us intuitively knows that he/she exists with a 100% certainty, however, the same can only be claimed about others on a qualitatively lower level of certainty. “And what about altruists?” barked Ondrej. “Let Nietzsche destroy your circles,” Martin countered. Altruism, according to him, is just a deeply hidden form of selfishness. Although today’s society hates to admit it, this fact still stands, and so do its consequences.
Professor Fogl suddenly came to life, as if stung by a bee: “Martin, have you read Quantum Consciousness?” It’s a novel-fiction about how technological progress has led to multi-consciousness, which precisely deals with the problem of every individual you’ve just described.” Martin has heard about it but has not read it yet. “No, but I’m planning to,” he replied.
I’m planning to resolve this issue in the same way man has been addressing it for thousands of years – I’ll establish a family. “Yes, I think that’s reasonable,” said Ondrej. “Amidst all the obligations, the indulgence in excessive philosophy shall pass,” he added.
Martin continued. And other fact that are 100% true could be derived. René Descartes was inconsistent in it. If he could say that he is because he thinks, he could have also added:
3. I have a consciousness that recognizes itself. This statement is no worse in terms of probability than the first one. “Yes, it is quite an original, and perhaps even an essential idea,” nodded Ondrej. This is what Martin liked about Ondrej. When others got beyond their standard level of thinking, they were afraid to praise even the seemingly ingenious ideas. But Ondrej was, in a way, refreshingly and instantly intelligent.
Martin wanted to continue in the debate by further eviscerating the other kinds of knowledge that a person has about himself and the reality around him, however, he was stopped just like in the History exam.
2050 Utopia on Earth (5/5) – Conclusion
Martin celebrated his graduation on the very same day as usual: downtown on Mostná Street in a fruitful debate with Ondrej. It was Saturday 6AM when Martin got up from the table to leave for home. The blood-stained early dawn horizon added a sacred touch to the moment. The slightly tipsy Ondrej followed suit, and asked: “So what is the purpose of these shenanigans?” Then the disco-hall door opened and the following lyrics provided more than the answer: “This very moment, tonight, only you have that unique power. Love those who love you, support those who support you.”
So ends the story of a special day of one special young man, which will probably never happen, and will probably never exist. But who knows, and as they say: “God works in mysterious ways.” Maybe it will be eventually revealed that the expectations of reality, which arise when reading this paragraph, will change the course of history, and Martin will actually be graduating one day. Keep your fingers crossed for him.
I’m writing these lines on October 22, 2020. Everything in the story dated to a later date, or dating back to the past in a nonfactual manner, is sheer fiction. First and foremost, I intended this story to be enjoyable for myself – that is, to incorporate what I think I know about the near and more distant future and what I calculated and inferred with a high probability from the past – and blend it into a text, which would make the general readership ignorant of the earthly realities feel like fact that actually occurred.
The primary focus of this story is to promote visible money and the book Quantum Consciousness, which I’m currently writing – and help both off to a successful start. I consider visible money to be a project that resets the coexistence of people in a way that is worthy of the third millennium. It is likely that the introduction of visible money becomes a necessary precondition for the peaceful and equitable coexistence of people on this planet.
Therefore, if you’re interested in the story and what follows, or just want to learn more about the Visible Money project, sign up for the newsletter at https://visiblemoney.org