Regression- Chapter Five

Allow me to tell you a little about artificial intelligence to better elucidate the meaningfulness of regression, and incidentally give you an overview of our technology in general to satisfy your curiosity. I’ll start with transportation. As I mentioned before, we’ve managed to harness nature and prevent every possible cataclysm, but throughout this process, we decided to use means of transportation that allowed for possible natural disasters, and even today, we keep this precautionary attitude. That means that we invest in as little infrastructure as possible in all areas of development. The means of transportation that at present is the cheapest one when it comes to infrastructure is the air-resistant magnetic hyperloop shuttle, familiarly called: saucer or floater. This vehicle is literally a flying saucer, that’s connected to a magnetic hyperloop on the streets. Mind you, there are no other mechanical forms of transportation available nowadays. Bikers, skaters and pedestrians make use of the sidewalk, but the streets are lined with a magnetic system, which is easily replaceable in case of a natural disaster. These fields are created by magnetic poles placed at every intersection. They aren’t harmful to living organisms, as they are paired to the magnetic device in every saucer and only attract it. You could put a regular magnet one millimeter from any pole, and it wouldn’t attract it. These saucers fly at regular altitudes, which allows birds to fly freely at other altitudes. This was done through genetic training. The magnetic fields use technology that taps into the genetic behavior of birds to ensure that collisions with the saucers are avoided. For long distances, we still use propellers, powered by hydro-solar energy reactors, a combination of solar energy and hydrogen fuel, which is also used for space travel. These shuttles also have a vacuum system that makes them air resistant, and they’re much lighter than airplanes from your era and have retractable wings that allow them to soar through the sky when the wind is favorable. They can also channel the wind so it blows astern and propels the vessel. Of course, every means of transportation is driverless nowadays. People drive only for sport and at tracks or airstrips specifically designed for it. Driving, like any other activity in which accidents need to be avoided, is almost exclusively done by robots in our era. 

Energy has gone a long way since the year two thousand. We almost exclusively have hydro-solar energy nowadays, which is clean and efficient, but we went through many technologies: the replacement of batteries with capacitors, fusion power stable reactors, solar and wind energy instead of coal-fired plants, until hydro-solar energy became safe enough to be widely used. 

Many technologies fell into disuse, for instance: Lab growing meat, which boomed in the second half of the twenty-first century. Vegetarianism stopped being trendy as the population of farm animals started drastically decreasing. Nowadays, we know that’s more ethical to breed animals for consumption than to simply stop breeding them. In any case, to eat lab-grown meat is simply to replace a barbarian habit for an expensive, non-cost-efficient one. It’s simply less costly and more natural to breed an animal than to lab engineer their meat, and this ecological principle is more important than qualms about eating sentient beings. With time, however, ninety percent of people simply stopped eating meat, so we had to reintroduce farm animals into the wild or keep them in reserves. We have the capability to genetically engineer animals and plants to better serve us, but we don’t want to intervene with nature. We simply keep our distance from wild animals, the same as we do with regressive people.

Another technology that boomed already at the beginning of the twenty-first century, and which was later improved to eventually become obsolete, is virtual reality. Escapism was a common practice back then; people were keen on fulfilling all kinds of fantasies, and there was no limit to permissiveness. The line between reality and virtuality was so diffused that many people started developing avatar syndrome: the feeling that virtual reality is more real than reality itself. It took society many centuries to finally get rid of virtual addiction since technologies couldn’t be simply banned and the withdrawal syndromes of psychic addiction to virtual reality were stronger than those of regular drugs, which meant that ex-technology addicts were handicapped for the rest of their lives. As I mentioned before, a technology that never took off was human enhancement. Cyborgization was a common use, however, till bio-restauration became widespread. Now, even in rare cases of loss of a limb or organ due to accident or illness, these can be reconstructed from the DNA of the patient.

However, in a way, we’ve all become cyborgs, in the sense that we delegate mental functions to computers. At the beginning of your century, pocket-size computers were carried everywhere, then they became microscopic and completely hand-free. We could have access to memory stores, calculators, and all kinds of computational aids in the blink of an eye. Our brains became specialized in creativity, troubleshooting and innovation, while computers were left completely in charge of pattern recognition and data processing. Today, computers are so intrinsic to thinking that I need to block them while writing this novel; otherwise, they might autocorrect inaccurate information as I write it. I must admit that in our times, subjectivity is not as much appreciated as it was in your time. Even in novels, people like accuracy. You can have vampires, werewolves and fairies in your story, but in what concerns descriptions of the world, correct data is preferred. The paradigm is: truth is beauty, so the better we describe reality, the more beautiful art will be. This doesn’t exclude fantasy or romanticism, since they represent psychological realities, but it enhances them. However, hyperrealism is an acquired taste, I must say, and if I wrote a novel in this way, you might find it too dense and unreadable. That’s why I decided to do it without computer help.

Computers, as I mentioned, are on almost every surface. Computroniom is smart matter made of microchips in a viscose substance. This, combined with active matter, that is nanorobots, works wonders all around us. They read our vital signals and control every variable in human ecosystems. In nature, they are present in the form of insect-like drones, but over there they don’t interfere but merely collect data and help us develop solutions to potential problems. A technology that indeed took off was nanotechnology. Nowadays, nanorobots are able to self-replicate, like any common bacteria. First, we developed a self-replicating, synthetic bacterium that helped us heal and regulate the ecosystem. But then we dabbled in the divine; we undertook the creationist task of populating the world with artificial beings of our own making. Nanorobots are our creations. They’re as intelligent as our science could make them and they can proliferate. They’re innocuous; most of our efforts went actually into making sure that we weren’t pulling a Frankenstein. We know how technology, the same as every living being, is prone to viruses. This law of nature seems to apply even to artificial beings. So we created a safety mechanism by which nanorobots detect malfunctioning peers and deactivate them. The self-replication process is also put in check by mere technology. The conditions for the replication of nanorobots are too specific, and they can generally only be found in labs. They need the raw material and an artificial stimulus to start their self-replication process. But, when in nature they deactivate an out-of-order peer, they can use their scraps to replicate themselves, thus keeping the balance.

That’s as far as we scientifically went in matters of artificial intelligence. In the field of arts and entertainment, we recreate human intelligence, and we get human-like results. But androids aren’t more than sophisticated toys. According to the law of sentient discrimination, we can’t create living beings, let alone sentient beings. We can replicate them and alter them genetically to make them look and even act in a certain way, but we have no real creationist power. All our efforts today are focused on trying to harness nature, which as it is, it’s a full-time job. To do this we need to predict evolution, to go with it instead of against it, which has been proven to be a futile effort. In a way, this is done by controlling all the negative variables and giving free rein to the positive ones. Negative variables are, for instance: illnesses. What doesn’t kill us indeed makes us stronger, but at the same time, it drains our energy. 

Everyone would agree that wars are a bane that needs to be avoided; a waste of human potential. The same happens with illnesses. They’re a waste of physical energy, which can be channeled toward intellectual energy. Probably most of today’s people would die within a couple of years living in the year two thousand, even from an accident or a disease. Our immune systems are weaker because we’ve adapted viruses and bacteria to collaborate with us. The same as primitive humans tamed wolves and wild cats, we’ve tamed microscopic living beings. This must come as no surprise, since your normal dweller of the year two thousand would also be helpless living in the year ten thousand before Christ. You could probably readapt to such a life, but it would take at least a generation to readapt your organisms. The same would happen to us if we had to live in the conditions you currently live in. Positive variables are those that are random. The same as art, which is aimless, is the driving force of human intellect, randomness is the driving force of evolution. There’s no defined path for evolution; there’s no determinism in nature. But once nature has gathered enough impetus, it’s driven toward a certain direction. If we had the creationist power of nature, we could lead evolution, but we’re basically helpless in that aspect. We’re merely spectators in the evolutionary show. 

Randomness, which is the nature of art, is also seen in genetic mutations for no apparent reason, such as the one that gave blue eyes to some people or the one that turned others into super sprinters. That’s why regression is so relevant to evolution. It’s like going back home to fetch forgotten keys, but it’s done haphazardly. The keys of regression have been forgotten for a long time, so why this return right now? And what keys are we looking for? There are a lot of questions when it comes to regression, and only a few clear answers. Genetically speaking, there’s no pattern for this phenomenon. It’s as random as it gets. Tomorrow, regression could cease to exist completely, or it could be prevalent among newborns; we can’t predict it. That’s why every case of regression is nothing short of a miracle to us.


Read more: Chapter six



I'm a writer born in Argentina, but currently living in Poland. I work as an English and French teacher, translator and copywriter.


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