(Time being of the essence today, without preamble, here’s part 2 of the message from the future.)
To continue, then. Those who fail to contribute the necessary data they are capable of are measured on their performance and can have their corporeality revoked since it is not functioning according to the contract made with the City. These then become free minds seeking and sharing information based on their mental abilities. They function fully as individuals but can no longer perform physical tasks, nor experience the material world except vicariously. Since they are not taking up material resources, no one bothers them as long as they do not go rogue and commit serious infractions, for example by telling lies or using corporeal entities to commit crimes.
They cannot seek to return to corporeality unless they apply for residence on newly terra-formed worlds, or re-activated worlds where their basic skills may be of value and where no current corporeal entity wishes to exercise such function or is available. They are then given a vacated body, or one is cloned to their specifications (function needs apply). I cannot tell you how this works here, partly because it’s not my area of expertise and partly because that information is privileged to our time.
Back to my day: When the agency calls, it gives me all the information I need to carry out my function – what to wear, where to go and how much time I am to function at the place. For example, I query “wear” and am told to wear, say #5 – a simple short translucent dress that wears as comfortably as a second skin, very appealing, both for the wearer and those who are inclined to look. I query “weather” and am told it’s light drizzle and to wear # 12 – a light, transparent cape with a large, comfortable hood where my naturally grown very thick and long wavy auburn hair can be tucked in without messing it up. Query “transportation” and I’m advised that walking is good exercise today. Most people choose to walk barefoot now. Body enhancements have made wearing shoes an affectation that is discouraged as it adds to waste and body odour. Synthetic deodorants, though still available on the open market, are frowned upon. As are most items of make-up.
Except for the morphs (temp or permanent) it is considered socially unacceptable and akin to lying, to hide one’s body. Part of our social evolution has made us proud of our bodies and we take good, natural care of them. There are no “ugly” or “turn off” bodies any longer. The more we accept one another, the more beautiful we become to each other. Beautiful minds are naturally reflected in beautiful bodies.
I don’t carry a bag or purse or other personal luggage of basic essentials. The agency arranges all details of client personal preferences in hygiene needs and those are sent directly to the client and await me in a sealed container. For I.D., implants, through my torc, communicate my status, function and purpose to the checker at the entrance to the client’s residence. If the checker is a male he will usually escort me to the client’s apartment. Knowing I am a provider and if he is interested, he can be as personal with my body as he wishes while we travel together. If he interests me I can reciprocate the pleasure. If he is more interested in information sharing which is usually the case, he will seek out new information from my mind and likewise I will query him. Any information not yet available on the infonet, usually gathered from my clientele, is highly prized and when I provide such I’m guaranteed future first class service wherever he (or friends of his) may be functioning. Word gets around.
Believe me when I say this: being “informed” (even if only theoretically) is rated the highest goal. Information and understanding can eventually get you off the planet and unto other worlds. That’s our dream, our passion: to create and experience the future. Imagine yourself being able to do that; how you could fulfill your greatest dreams instead of living in the dread of coming disaster, totally at the mercy of madmen and psychopaths as is the case for you in your time. (More on that)
Any new information can be traded or “sold” for future consideration. This is not stealing – it is encouraged. The more known and demanded you are, the better your chances are of not only retaining your right to your corporeality, but of moving ever higher into the strata of society. Not that you want this to lord it over others – it’s the opposite. The “higher” strata are those who possess greater awareness and openness thus able to receive more information. They also carry the greatest responsibility.
The highest echelons one can reach are engineering in planetary development, space travel, communication, bionics and bio-genetics as well as mind-enhancement. To your day, such things sound scary – Brave New World sort of thing. To us, it means greater acceptance by other humans and means of advancement beyond earth. As I said before, we now readily and consciously sacrifice what we have if there’s a chance we may gain what we desire. We have become “upwardly mobile spacers” in our thinking. We are no longer “arriving” – we are forever “leaving”.
Our great plan is to develop a fleet of transports that can take the entire remaining human population of earth out into space, beyond this galaxy, perhaps (and likely) never to return. We envision an earth devoid of human life – except for a few observers, anthropologists and non-biological self-maintaining androids and monitors – its life left to re-develop as the planet sees fit, without any pressure from any other mind but its own.
We are in the process of re-programming surface inter-species behaviour on the planet to a totally non-predator/prey relationship. When this is complete, probably in a hundred years or so, it will be interesting to see how planetary life finds its own balance again. Many predict the “wildness” will eventually choke on itself and the planet become barren of life. I totally disagree with that assessment.
I think that a great intelligence which we still refer to as “Gaia” lies within earth. That is what we have not yet learned to communicate with properly (on the basis of equality). I personally believe, and have said so in many meetings, that when we leave for the stars this world will surprise everyone – or just itself if no one is here to see it. So often we judge “others” (including non-human entities) on the basis of our own follies, foibles and limits.
Explanation of the torc: I must back off a bit. There is one item, apart from implants and function-wear that everyone wears practically all the time, often even in sleep. It is a multi-purpose torc (look up torque for your day) that can be disguised in many ways, collar, necklace, scarf – my choice is the choker. My choker has a small diamond shaped attachment equipped with several micro-chips in constant communication with my implants. The purpose of this torc is to be able, for example, to communicate thought-forms in symbols or images – a personal short-hand we call picting – so that large numbers of people can “speak” simultaneously without interfering with the conversations of others, breaking the silence or interfering with music or verbal communications, as during a dramatic performance.
The torc also serves as a flood light if I find myself in some darkened building or need to temporarily blind a potential attacker (sadly, that can still happen). It also detects warm-up of any inimical laser activity and can diffuse the most powerful beams of personal laser weapons. I have yet to see this – and I hope never – but it does happen that non-corporeal rogues “escape” and by manipulating a bodied entity, attempt to steal bodies by attacking corporeal entities, or (extremely rare) throwback deviants and aberrants attack and a woman to rape her.
Not a perfect world, but: So, as I said, not a perfect world. But remember this: no one is exploited, oppressed or kept in prison (except as noted above regarding discorporate deviants). No one is tortured, no one lacks basic necessities. No one is without help from the community. You will appreciate this: no one knowingly dies of preventable causes – and that should make you feel validated. We have no poor, no homeless, no addicts, no habitual criminals. Any such entities, if they refuse treatment or fail to realize the necessity of change, are sent to memory storage and their corporeal parts re-cycled or passed on to someone who can exercise proper responsibility for physical expression and can perform a needed function.
If I seem to make much of corporeality, it’s simply because we have only so much space and so many resources that can accommodate corporeal entities. We have reached our current limits to physical growth and we must recycle even ourselves as physical beings.
We are currently attempting many new ways to increase body availability for those in mind space. Tiny bodies is one way; several minds inside one body is another. Human minds in androids, another.
Another idea being experimented with that stems from your times though without any proof of having ever been done successfully is called “breatharianism” or the ability of a body to exist normally and healthily strictly by breathing. It’s always made sense to me that we can do this but so far, no success. This would not help in the matter of space but would go a long way in alleviating food availability.
The ‘no private property’, ‘no hoarding’ and ‘instant sharing’ has helped to alleviate resource restrictions but no more normal size living bodies can be added to our population. I would say that perhaps fifty percent of our supracity population exists in mind-space. That, to me, is neither a good nor acceptable situation. However much vaunted our parity and equality, mind beings retain an aura of second class citizenry – another point I have brought up often. The point is now recognized: we just need to find a solution to this glaring problem. So far, that solution means space: we need to find, or create, more space!
From your viewpoint I suppose there is callousness about this approach. But think of the alternative. Look at your world and project yourself 200 to 300 years into your future. “See” the Great Death swallow up an entire planet, destroying most life and not just human life. Sense the horror of from five to seven billion pseudo-humans and countless billions of other life-forms as they die, some in excruciating pain, some of horror, some from despair, most from lack of sustaining necessities of food, shelter and protection against elements, including a complete break-down of medical intervention. See in your mind simple diseases decimating entire cities and nothing to stop them.
That is what the vaunted “freedoms” of your time managed to accomplish. Only by turning away from those lies did we manage, if barely, to survive and re-build – with help from our galactic friends.
Back to my day: When I’m ready, I palm my way out of my apartment and into a grav-well (what you would call an elevator) that drops me down the 35 floors in seconds without giving my body any discomfort. The non-cabin adjusts automatically for g-pull, maintaining a constant 1-g. I step out on a street that is bright (even in rain) and silent. Traffic slips by unobtrusively. It too moves at high speeds and like the grav-wells, compensates for change in g-force.
Grav-wells or gravity wells are force fields contained by traction beams that you can step into and stand – in what appears to be emptiness, yet holds you more securely than any physical object ever could. It is, of course, frictionless. A gift from the stars – very handy.
As I walk I put my face into the light misty rain. We have weather control and clouds are engineered for maximum efficiency. Storms are controlled and electrical discharges are funnelled automatically into our energy grids. Today the clouds are almost translucent. You can see the solar disc through them. The rain is warm and soft. I like the feel of the pavement on my bare feet and the rain running off my cape onto my thighs and down my legs feels alive. You can feel the cleanness of the water and the air. Try to imagine this: I am breathing pure, clean, natural air – no man-made pollutants in it!
I pass many places of business with clear unbreakable plazed windows that absorb reflections while providing light and heat for the building, revealing all that is contained in the interior of the shops. Throngs fill the streets yet we never feel crowded. Our implants are ever scanning any presence and automatically compensate our movements to the available space. No one is accidentally bumped or shoved. This may put you in mind of your current obsession with self-driving cars, a silly, pointless invention, one of so many useless and wasteful technological foolishness of your times that was used to blind us to what was happening behind the scenes.
Of those who walk past me, some, male or female(!) eye me appreciatively (remember I’m wearing translucent skin covering, or what you call clothes) and smile, picting hellos or more suggestive greetings. All know my function by my dress and torc signature. I smile back and activate my torc in response. A man picts a symbol for “encounter” and I reply with the symbol for the agency. He thanks me, giving me an image of an oversized cartoon smile as he slips gracefully into a grav-transport.
I chose my purpose and function so well, I believe. It fulfills the physical me.
End of Part 2