Allow me to write another chapter about artificial intelligence to better elucidate the meaningfulness of regression, and incidentally give you an overview of our technology in general; just in case you’re curious about it.
Let’s 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. This vehicle is literally a flying saucer, that’s connected to a magnetic hyperloop on the streets. Mind you, there are no other 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 poles placed at every intersection. They aren’t harmful to living organisms, as they are paired to the magnetic pole in every saucer and only attract them. You could put a regular magnet one millimeter from the 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 by genetic training. Birds were genetically modified to feel the magnetic fields and avoid them, thus avoiding collision with the saucers. For long distances, we still use propellers, powered however by hydro-solar energy, 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 sail through the sky when the wind is favorable. They can also channel the wind so it blows astern and propels the sails. Of course, every means of transportation is driverless nowadays. People drive only for sport and at tracks or airstrips specifically designed for it.
Energy has gone a long way since the year two thousand. We only have hydro-solar energy nowadays, which is clean and efficient, but we went through many technologies: The replacement of batteries by 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. There are many technologies that 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 exploiting 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 simply 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 the psychic addiction to virtual reality were stronger than those of regular drugs and ex-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 the rare cases of lost of a limb or organ due to accident or illness, a biological organ or limb can be reconstructed from the DNA of the patient.
However, in a way, we’ve all becomes cyborgs, in the sense that we delegate mental functions to computers. At the beginning of the twenty first century, pocket size computers were carried everywhere, then they became microscopic and completely hand-free. We could have access to memory stored, calculators and all kinds of computational aids in the blink of an eye. Our brains became specialized on creativity, troubleshooting and innovation while computers became completely in charge of pattern recognition and date processing. Today, computers are so intrinsic to thinking that I need to block them while writing this novel; otherwise they might auto-correct 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 when describing 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, which are psychological realities, but it enhances them. However, this is an acquired taste, I must say, and if I wrote a novel in this way, you might find it too dense, non readable. That’s why I decided to do without computer help.
Computers, as I mentioned, are on almost every surface. Computroniom is smart matter made up of microchips in a viscose substance. This, combined with active matter, that is nanorobots, work wonders all around us. They read our vital signals and control every variable of our human ecosystems. In nature, they are present in the form of insect-like drones, but over there they don’t interfere but merely to collect data and help us develop solutions to potential problems.
A technology that indeed took off was nanotechnology. Nowadays they are able to self-replicate, as any common bacteria. First we developed 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 creation. 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 only be found in labs. They need the raw material and an artificial stimulus to start their self-replication process. But basically what this means is that, when in nature they deactivate a peer or find one out of order, they can use their waste 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, they try to recreate human intelligence, and they’ve got really human-like, but we know it’s impossible in reality, according to the law of sentient discrimination. We simply can’t create living beings, let alone sentient beings. We can replicate them and alter them genetically to make them look and even act as we want, but we have no 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, so as 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 rain to the positive ones. Negative variables are, for instance: illnesses. Yes, it’s true that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, but it also 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 towards 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 our weaker because we’re taught viruses and bacterium 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, let’s say. You could probably readapt, but that would take at least one generation. The same would happen with us if we had to live in the conditions you currently live in. Positive variables are those who 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 towards 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. Those keys have been forgotten for a long time, so why now? And what keys are we looking for? There’s 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.