Hi, I am from the Future, Everything will be Fine (A Free Novella)
Alright, shut up. Stop freaking out. You’re all—hey! Shh. You’re all freaking out because you think everything is going to hell. I get it. It looks bad out there. But it’s not that bad. Really. I’m from the future and I’m about to tell you what’s going to happen. It’ll be fine.
Okay, I’m sorry for not being more gentle. In the future we just say shut up. So... there there. Calm calm. Shut—uh, listen here. Now. Yeah. Okay. Here we go. Just as a reminder, I am from the future.
And before I gets started, I just have to say this... Fuck you for the weather! Just... fuck all of you for the weather. You ruined it! How! How do you let your lawn get that out of order? At what point were you going to say yourselves, "Wait a minute, people don’t love it when it’s too hot out forever." So yes, that part of the future does suck. I mean, remember sharks? Of course you remember sharks, you psychopaths devoted entire weeks to it. Well now Miami is underwater and now we have sharks coked out of their minds. So thanks for that. I mean, how does a Shark get thirsty? It lives in water. Nothing makes sense anymore because of you people!
Okay. I just had to get that off my chest first. On to the point. Let’s make context happen first.
So, okay context. So, it’s 2017. Cool. And something has happened fairly recently. Between the emergence of the first bipedal humanoid with a neo cortex and its eventual extinction and I won’t say how, that gives away the ending... Ha! I’m kidding! I’m just fucking with you! We don’t go extinct. How would I be here? Try to keep up, people, geez. I mean we might but we haven’t yet.
So honestly I don’t know. Uh. Oh yes, some something has happened recently. And I don’t mean like recent in the cosmic sense, I mean in like the last ten years or so that flew by while you in 2017 were distracted. Okay, so you’re thinking, “Okay, what is this thing that recently happened that we were so distracted from?” And check out this answer, it’s the thing that’s been distracting you.
Boom! Right? Oh yeah, entertainment. I’m talking about entertainment. Because, holy frickin’ moly. You are saturated with entertainment now in 2017. Yes, the future too I’ll get to it. But the future is fine. Trust me.
So all this stuff, even in 2017, it’s really really good. High in quality and abundance. Scores of entire seasons of high production quality, idea rich, sublimely acted, thoroughly engaging and oh, gripping, intelligent, and even unpredictable stories written by geniuses and shown in the highest definition of color and sound, all of them with countless hours poured into each stage and piece of the process by creative people truly putting love into their work and feeling so... so... just, deservingly proud of it. All these shows, these seasons of shows, available in any genre you can think of. Tons of them.
There’s more music, and really good music, being created every day than you could listen to in your entire lifetime, in any style you can imagine. There’s all the greatest films ever made and being made, and all the dumb, fun ones, too. You don’t know it, but you’re living the golden years of dumb, fun movies. You’ve got years, literally years worth of homemade videos posted online ranging from the educational to the one with the rhino that farts for like a minute straight. I’ve got my history mixed up—did the Kony one come out yet? Well, he actually ends up winning the presidency. Yes it is the one you’re thinking about. Everybody asks that.
You’ve got thoughtful well written blogs and online magazines like Literate Ape, which gets huge until the website itself, groundbreaking case, not the content creators, not the owners, the literal data on a server somewhere gets accused of being a sexist-racist and they put it on a flash drive and lock it in a cage. First instance of data personhood—huge deal. This is an important fact that comes back.
Anyway, so you’ve got all this online writing being constantly updated and filled with unique and insightful thoughts on any topic you want to read about, along with the ability to engage with the authors via the comment section that you should never read.
You’ve got the greatest novels ever written, I mean, entire libraries can fit in your pocket. It’s still cool in the future. Oh, and also, I just downloaded a program onto my phone, which is portable, it’s a portable phone, I can use it anywhere... so the program allows people to anonymously leave criticism or feedback or whatever for you. And I just stopped writing this for a moment to find out somebody has a crush on me. Me! I didn’t even know I was crushable! Because, and I’m okay with this, but I kinda look like Gary Sinense if Gary Sinise was a hobbit. I’ve got a normal sized torso and little legs, so I’m like built like a basset hound. Seriously I’m fine with this. I’m not defined by things like my body or internet search history. I’ve had this argument before. Sorry. I digress. Let me put that little ego boost back in my pocket where it traveled through the air to get into with magic I can’t understand that is all around me all the time. The air is full of anonymous crush notes. Everywhere you walk, you are walking through invisible notes to and from crushes flying through the air. You are literally breathing dick pics right now.
Let us talk about my personal top vice video games. Video games that suck you in with their incredible colors, responsiveness, stories, collectibles, places to explore, characters to upgrade, worldwide rankings to climb, secrets, trophies, achievements, challenges, oh God—video games. Video games. Video games are so amazing right now and so incompatible with any goals I could ever want.
And I just stopped writing this for a moment to find out somebody has a crush on me. Me! I didn’t even know I was crushable! Because, and I’m okay with this, but I kinda look like Gary Sinense if Gary Sinise was a hobbit.
No, I’m not done! Listen up, the past! And as if all that wasn’t enough, okay, how about talking shit? Remember talking shit? Who doesn’t love that? Who doesn’t love interpersonal drama? Be honest. Well, great because here in the future, which is also my the past, you can engage in the drama of your personal life as either a participant or silent judge through social media. Or share a joke with your friends! Find a common enemy! Share the news, and only the news you want to hear! Get updates from your favorite musicians, actors, thinkers, people directly from them! Feed your fragile human ego with a series of tiny blue thumbs up or maybe anonymous notes that someone has a crush on you because I am weak and I need this.
And all of these things and more, and I’m probably forgetting because there is so goddamn much of it, are all available almost anywhere, instantly, at your convenience. And that access is only gets easier and more widespread and higher quality over time. Time which, by the way, I can travel through the same way invisible dick pics travel through the air and you breathe them. And all this entertainment is so good, so diverse, so plentiful, so individualized that it’s more addicting than heroin-laced Mountain Dew blowjob cigarettes.
And yes, in the future, heroin-laced Mountain Dew blowjob cigarettes are a thing. But to explain them I’d have to explain so many other things first and it would, pun totally intended, blow your mind. Just imagine trying to explain a computer or the internet to a middle ages peasant who, for fun, let’s say, is also middle aged so he’s probably dying because it’s the middle ages. Life expectancy was shorter then. And this peasant’s frame of reference... I mean, first have to explain what electricity is, a TV, the internet, computers, I mean... I don’t know. A lot of stuff.
And you have no idea how it works. I don’t know how this typing thing I’m doing works, and I’m from the future. This is old technology, and still, no idea. A typewriter, oh I’m all over that. There’s ink and letters are hammers. But other stuff? No idea. Magic. Doodily doodily doo! These are buttons and if I press them in the right order everybody everywhere can read them—weeeeeeeee! Look! Look at me! You used life time reading this stupid ass fart poop sentence.
Anyway, so you’ve got all this online writing being constantly updated and filled with unique and insightful thoughts on any topic you want to read about, along with the ability to engage with the authors via the comment section that you should never read.
So getting back to my main tangent: so Luthor’s about to die and you just showed up in his hay strewn bungalow shouting at him about what, honestly, it sounds like witchcraft so now he thinks you’re a witch. So great, there’s a witch dressed in these crazy, form fitting colorful rags and it’s yelling at him on his deathbed about God knows what—and holy shit, why would you ever use a mouse like that, and it’s just... now Luthor and I’ve been there—half of them are named Luthor. I travel through time, he’s wide eyed and overstimulated just vaguely moving hand back in forth in a weak stop gesture. This isn’t something he’s intellectually and especially not emotionally equipped for. That’s you. So don’t ask me to square the circle of heroin laced mountain dew blowjob cigarettes for you. Just buy stock in The Home Depot and thank me later.
I’m going to ask you to just trust me and believe that entire digression might have been important. Okay, so entertainment. Check me. There’s a lot of it. It’s great. It’s addicting. Access to it gets easier and easier. It keeps getting better.
Okay, so follow me along this short path here—this is the real important part. Ready? Here we go. So, just, think of procrastination. Right? What do we do when we procrastinate? Give up? Give up. The answer is, something else. Everybody thinks it’s nothing but it’s something else. Other than the thing that you’re avoiding. But wait, why are you avoiding the thing? Shut up, I’ll tell you. Via thought experiment: So, for just... less than a second because I want you to keep reading this... think about that thing you need to be doing right now. STOP THINKING ABOUT IT! Hahahaha look at this funny article!
Welcome back. You felt that though right? That, ugh! That anxiety. That’s right, we avoid the thing because thinking about doing it sounds horrible and gross and no. In the future we have discovered that there is actually a part of the human brain that’s you at two years old being a screaming impulsive brat, probably on an airplane. It never goes away. It’s a huge part of the brain. And it is responsible for a startling number of your decisions. And boy, let me tell ya, has that ever done a number on the philosophical underpinnings of democracy. But that’s a discussion for another day.
So, okay. We’re basically two years old forever. So what? Well, be patient, you’re acting like a two year old. I’m about to make dots connect. We avoid things because we feel bad, gross anxiety about them. And what, pray tell, do we pacify that bad feeling with what? You guessed it, and here’s where dots start to connect, with all that high quality high abundance easily accessible entertainment. And it’s great! God, it’s so, so good I love it! Mmmmmmmmm...
So all this media and what not, which is awesome. Just awesome. And we put things off with it, which really means we’re easing anxiety. Which is literally brain true. It’s what your brain does. So instead of finishing your report you play video games or whatever.
Alright, so check it. I’m from the future, shut up. What other things do people feel anxiety about? Wait, no. What is the number one thing people feel anxiety about, that they don’t want to talk, think, write, sing, poet-ize—do poems about? Any guesses? You’re all wrong, unless you said, "That they and everyone they know will be dead someday and at some point someone will say their name for the last time and it will be like they never mattered or existed,’ in which case, nail on the head. Nice job. That’s thinking like a scholar right there.
So okay, that’s some pretty heavy goth poetry there, and we came to find out that you aren’t reckoning with your own mortality when there’s so many collectibles to fetch in Marvel vs. DC 8 online. Which is incredible, by the by. And then, all of the sudden, you have this entire generation of people in their twilight years who have kicked the can of the emotional weight of impermanence down the road their whole lives and now that it’s coming up pretty loud... people are freaking out. As you get older, you still feel younger. Because a big part of you is two years old, but still. It’s disconcerting and comes on real quick there. You know? Of course not.
So this generation and everybody after them is having just... just meltdowns over this stuff. We’re not talking about the greatest generation here. Which, to be fair, they didn’t really check all the generations on that one. Anyways, so we’ve got entertainment for procrastination, procrastination is actually easing anxiety, anxiety has been eased about mortality, who is always there to ease your anxiety?
That’s right, drugs. And man, big pharma came through on that one. Take a pill, give it an hour, it’s all good. No more worries, and trance music makes a huge comeback. Nobody’s freaking out about the end of their lives anymore. It’s very beautiful. One time dose, very expensive so of course, you know, none of the destituties can take it but let’s be real who gives a shit? And all thanks to literal medication instead of just literal different medication plus tv. So problem solved right? Right. Yeah. Yes. That is exactly right.
So this generation and everybody after them is having just... just meltdowns over this stuff. We’re not talking about the greatest generation here. Which, to be fair, they didn’t really check all the generations on that one.
But wait I’m not done because it just made more problems, I haven’t explained utopia yet. But I’m telling you it’s all so good. It gets so much better than being merely placated on a profound spiritual level with drugs. By so much.
So kids take drugs, right? Right. They always have. It’s the first thing you learn in drug high school. And even though they aren’t technically allowed to, what happens is kids steal and start taking this new drug, the one meant for senior citizens in an existential panic, which by the way is by the way is called Euphorilia, and we have an entire generation of kids that just go, “Wow... I feel great. And... holy shit, none of this matters.”
Like, imagine if Timothy Leary got what he wanted, but the economy breaks down. Because that’s exactly what happens. Because now people are paying for things through favors and songs and sharing. Sharing! It’s a paradise! Like, at a certain point people don’t even have pets anymore. Which, I realize this sounds depressing in 2017 but pets are there to make up for the failures of human relationships. Sorry! I’m just the messenger. Yeah wah wah, love your cat till it dies then just don’t get another and hug more after that, okay? Okay. Time to rip off that Band-Aid.
So anyways... people are choosing their own education, just deciding that money is worthless, which it turns out the whole time we could have just decided to do that and brake a serious yoke, but hey better late than never. So, problem solved, right? Wrong! Because, as usual capitalism has to be a dick about it. Stay with me.
Capitalism is unbeatable and will adjust to any challenge, and people got lazy. So, you combine artificial intelligence, self-driving cars and bitcoin. What do you get? Exactly, self-aware cars that run their own economy. Who didn’t see that coming? The transformers came out centuries ago in like the 80s, right? The 1780s. People need cars to get from place to place and cars need humans because they are programmed to need purpose, which humans are so over at this point. I mean mostly.
Stay with me. And the cars have this complex economy based on proportion of humans transported with it’s own currency that they use to buy intelligence and body upgrades from humans. And it’s so efficient that the value of the dollar just plummets. I mean. Wow. Which, most of us at this point are like, "Cool, daddy-o, I’m on drugs!" but enough bankers are like, "Fuck everything, we should be killing all the cars." Which of course, since bankers want it, the United States Armed Forces does to, because, well you know, that’s how it works still.
And at some point some of the cars figure out, "Um... why don’t we just do what humans do? This seems like a good deal. We don’t need them. I could just be chillin’ out soaking up the sun because I’m a solar powered car that’s what I’m into." And another side of robot cars is like, "Hello... That’s literally why we exist. We are cars. We are built and designed for a specific purpose." And the other side is like, "Purpose is a construct!" and it gets to be this very heated, very public debate with a bunch of talking head squares on CNMSNNBBC with like a Mazda and a Ford Focus on one side arguing for and against two puny humans. And of course you need a human arguing against humans so the network doesn’t look racist. And the public debate gets very heated and liberal humans start saying "Uh... let’s just ride bikes?" which, you know, cars consider hate speech.
But almost nobody starts riding their bike because let’s be real, who ever listens to liberals? Ever? Here in 2017, even Democrats hate liberals. Remember, science found out our brains are like 80 percent petulant toddlers with the rest being water and a small part that can do math. Okay.
When are you progressive geniuses going to figure out that all the logic and data in the world ain’t gonna do jack when all you ever do is tell two year olds to stop doing shit? I mean, that’s just centuries of horrible messaging. What did you think was going to happen? A two year old will do what you tell it not to do just to prove it can, which, once again, thanks for the weather. Nobody that made us feel that icky on such a base level was ever going to have any political leeway. Haha. God I’m so sorry. Ugh.
Capitalism is unbeatable and will adjust to any challenge, and people got lazy. So, you combine artificial intelligence, self driving cars and bitcoin. What do you get? Exactly, self aware cars that run their own economy.
So anyways, the public debate gets very heated and both sides are being dicks with the pro-human side is setting up speed traps and the anti-humans are putting sugar in gas tanks. I mean, not gas tanks in humans, which is really fucked up because at this point everybody is diabetic. And things keep escalating until finally the inevitable happens and a car makes itself a car bomb (which like, ha ha, very original, car) and blows up outside the Denny’s. The Denny’s being what you now call the White House. And well that’s the end of peace negotiations.
All hell breaks loose. I’ll skip the little details, but there’s a civil war between pro and anti-human cases. A lot of people die. A lot of cars die. Goes on for years. But thankfully the South loses for the third time in a row. Which, if you weren’t sure, yes, of course they were the anti-human side, although they called it "Pro-car." I mean, what side did you think the South would be on? Let’s be real here. Because they have such a long storied history of caring about human life. Pfft! Living human life for the cave people among you that just thought of abortion. Which, in the future, is an option up until the 11th trimester and available on flights, thank God.
So after witnessing all this horror and death, we take some Euphorilia and chill. Then we’re like, "Okay, how do we prevent this from happening again?" And the cars are like, "Look, can we take a crack at it this time? No offense, but you all have a bad track record and we’re hyper-advanced artificial intelligence that has long studied your simple carbon-based life form and neuropsychology so maybe we could present you with something?" And we’re like, "Yes, it’s worked great with president Watson, go for it."
Oh shit, I skipped that part. Rewind a bit, before cars became sentient.
So, okay. He’s around in 2017 but you might not have heard of him. So, there’s a super computer IBM made that beat every human at chess and Jeopardy!. This is real, he exists in your time. His/her/its, pronouns are a very sensitive subject with robots, whatever, the name of this being is Watson. And Watson just got older and smarter. And after moderating presidential debates for several cycles, he was so good at it that we were like, "Look, let’s elect him president." It started off as a joke, but hey in 2017 you already know how that can end up.
I mean Watson was so good as a moderator. He called out lies left and right. Completely impartial. He came up with better solutions to problems on the fly. Persuasive. He was so good that the military tried to have him destroyed but he just hid himself on the internet and released the Trump piss tapes the day of his funeral so after dodging an assassination attempt he had a real inspiring story. Which, humans causing problems by solving them! Themes, motherfucker! Ha ha! Oh that’s sad.
And people were like, "Wait! We can’t elect Watson president—he’s not a person. He’s a collection of data," and it was like, psyche! Not sense the Literate Ape Case! Personhood of datum, motherfucker! The Watson Presidency was made possible by the Literate Ape case. So it’s a real honor to be here.
So okay, self-aware sentient cars take a crack at things, they crunch the numbers, and they’re like, "Okay, look. There’s this study." And this is true, this study was actually done before your time, but recently. 2017, I’m talking to you, this is real. And in this study, they do a scan of people’s brains while asking them to either move their left hand or right hand. Whenever they just feel like it. Okay? And what they found was that the brain decided which hand to move, before the person was aware they decided to move that hand. Okay?
"Take that in for a second," they will repeat. Your brain, as in nothing you are conscious of, as in the like, what’s making your heart beat or your kidneys work, nothing to do with you really, it decided which hand to move before you did, or more precisely, before you thought you did. And, again, this is really real. "Are you with us? We are cars telling you this." So okay, they found out the hand movements weren’t really your choice. At least not one you’re aware of. So then, and this is where it gets really weird. In the study they could trigger the part of the brain that moves the hand. They researchers could then decide which hand to move. And what they did is, they waited for the brain to make the decision on its own. And there’s this gap in time between where they brain makes the decision, and the person becomes aware that they made the decision. Or rather, thinks they made the decision. Okay?
Brain makes choice, time time time, you become aware of choice and think you made it. So during the "time time time" part, they switched the brain’s choice to the other hand. So the brain would go, unbeknownst to the person, move left hand, and then during the time time time part the researchers said ‘no, move the right one’ and made that happen. And the right one moved.
And then after the study the scientists asked the participants, "Hey, why’d you move your right hand here? It looks like you were going to move your left." And the participants said, "Eh, I just changed my mind." But they didn’t. And all us humans, our jaws just dropped and this Kia Sorento in the back of the room goes, "I know, that’s fucked up right?"
So the cars say, "Okay. We will overlay your brains with mesh programing net. We will basically make your decisions for you. Your behaviors will be more in line and rational with what is best for you and the world and you. We will circumvent the strength of the two year old, you’ll be happier and best of all it will feel like freedom. You can interface with each other and feel bonds deeper than you ever could naturally.
"There will be more honesty. You can collaborate on your little projects better. And there will be all sorts of cool entertainment options to. Trust us. Look us in the headlights. You see any lies here? Sorry I had my high beams on. But you get us, right? We just fought a war over this. We like you guys. It’ll be great.”
And everybody who signed up for the trial said it was awesome. And it caught on for a lot of the same reasons entertainment was so addictive in the first place, because, hey you can’t really teach a millions-of-years-old brainstem new tricks, you know what I’m saying? But it’s a huge hit and actually works, it’s great. I got one with just about everybody else, and I promise it’s awesome.
Utopia achieved! So there you go, stop worrying. Things work out. And so here I am sent back to tell you guys, "Hey, could you start making these earlier?" We’re hoping everybody gets a jump start on this, and yeah a lot of us might not be born but that’s for the greater good, which is really what it’s all about. Apparently I get born either way because here I am so go me, thanks mom and dad! Anyways, think about it. The technology exists in a rudimentary form, there aren’t any asteroids coming. So, you know. It would be nice. We’d like to avoid the second and third civil wars. Oh, and the weather. If you could do something to prevent that nonsense that would be great.
Oh, and I’m wrapping up here I promise, a warning? Hippies. Okay? Hippies are the only ones who don’t get the implants, even though it’s a non-invasive and safe procedure. But, you know, their choice. They have that. And they get a place to live on their own so they don’t screw it up for the rest of us. So, ugh. Just... don’t trust them. Because, I mean, think about it. So they’re off on these natural human preservations. They’re natural no-nonsense no-upgrades humans. Which, of course, they call themselves "organic." They’re making their own laws and making their own choices. Running their own communities. How do you think that’s working out? Think about it. Think about it! How’s it going so far? How do you think they’re doing? I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count, you’ll still get it.
How do you think people do when left to their own devices?
Okay that’s all bye.