continued from previous
But The System was much stronger. It had a firm chokehold on society. In fact, society and The System had evolved together, like two parasites codependently toxic to each other. While The Children may have finally found a way to connect with each other in this endless digital maze of poison ivy, they were still needles in a haystack: a negligible minority in a sea of humans too afraid to face reality, even though the smoke of their infernal future was already burning their eyes. Most humans had chosen to retreat into a made-up world: eating food from vertical farms and bioreactors, consuming information served by deep fake news anchors, and indulging in AI-created telenovelas that helped them laugh, cry, feel “alive” in their own privacy and convenience, in a world where genuine emotions had died a long time ago.
This fake utopia was just too addictive, too comfortable for them to question it, to abandon it. Who needs reality when the fake version of the world is much better? Who needs living ecosystems when you have state-of-the-art life support systems and holograms? Who needs to find themselves when they are living in a made-to-measure utopia where everything has already been decided for them? Where all their immediate needs have been quenched by products that are even more tailored to their personal preferences, lovingly prepared by algorithm-driven customization tools that know you better than your lifetime partner ever will?
Why fear about tomorrow when you can always distract yourself? Humanity had become the cancer patient refusing treatment, even though there was a chance they might actually be cured if they were to take the pill. Even though their own children begged them to at least try the chemo. 1.8 billion strong, the humans on this planet were even more aware of their situation than the previous generation – and yet, they had consciously decided to die a “proud”, stupid death.
(from the upcoming novel A New Earth)
to read from the beginning, go here
George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books