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CONTENTS of entire timeline

CONTENTS of 2082 AD-2183 AD: The virtual telepathy of the shush net emerges; active electro-chemical mind alteration is becoming common; heavy commercialization of space is proceeding; historical stress levels on average citizens (as well as mass species extinctions due to growing human numbers squeezing out other lifeforms) are both peaking now

This page last updated on or about 10-19-05
a - j r m o o n e y h a m . c o m - o r i g i n a l


2110 milestone: Single PC-like devices of this time may possess raw processing power equivalent to a billion Earths worth of human beings

Some experts expect single new PCs to process information as fast as all the people on a billion Earth-like planets might, by 2099 (This much raw power will enable even deficient software to often output results not much different from what hundreds of millions to a billion human minds could produce, regarding many matters).

-- ABCNEWS.com: Man and Machine Blur in Next Millennium By John Lang, Scripps Howard News Service, October 27 1999

The hybrid human/AI intelligence resulting from the various resources of on-person computing power, super fast net connections, and remote support facilities today would likely terrify observers from the 20th century. The average adult citizen of a developed state circa 2000 AD would be far less capable than the typical three year old child of today's developed nations. These same three year olds will average a ten fold increase in their effective memory and processing capacities about every year or two, over their next ten years of life. After that they will be gradually indoctrinated into the much greater adult level capacities for same, of this era.

Human beings may reach their greatest brain complexity and energy utilization between the ages of two and three, using twice the energy of adult brains and possessing one quadrillion synapse connections at that time. Many of the synaptic connections will be subsequently dissolved and the energy usage rate lowered, sometime after age three, as feedback from the environment causes a re-prioritization of brain performance and structure.

-- The new convergence: Infotech, biotech and nanotech By Steve Jurvetson, February 14, 2001, CNET Networks, Inc

And just what sort of intellectual powers may typical adults possess with today's technology? Well, they can be masters of improvisation, achieving amazing things with very little in the way of physical resources. For example, let's assume an adult from this time which-- except for his computer implants and the advanced global network of 2110 supporting them-- is virtually 100% biological (physically near identical to an average 20th century person). This condition would be quite rare in 2110, but let's go with it for purposes of comparison.

This computer and net-enhanced 2110 person, dropped into 2000 AD USAmerica, would be an extremely self-sufficient individual, capable of acting and being alone for years with little or no ill effect-- largely due to the robust virtual companions and world he can create and carry around in his head. These imaginary personalities can be as real to him as any physical being, and sufficiently independent in their own respect to be as intellectually interactive as any real peer in 2110. These beings and their world, of course, are in large part created and maintained by the AI(s) which accompany the traveler from 2110-- though exactly where the artificial beings ended and the traveler's own imagination began might be very difficult to discern.

The virtual world and companions could also operate at speeds within the traveler's mind that far outpaced most real world events, thus providing the traveler with much of the advantage required to perform the feats listed here. Too, the included testing and simulation powers would be the envy of the entire Pentagon and all the business corporations of 20th century USAmerica. The traveler could often play through hundreds or thousands of different scenarios in his mind to find an optimal solution to a certain problem, within less than a second.

This traveler could likely get most stalled 20th century automobiles running well again in minutes, get and perform well practically any job in the country, from engineer to computer programmer to CEO to top chef to President to doctor, lawyer, etc., etc. They might not be able to stand toe to toe fighting with an armed forces commando or martial arts expert, but they could likely defend themselves well enough to quickly escape the situation-- and throw together deadly traps for any possible pursuers with remarkable speed. They could also devise weapons from almost anything. Such a person might never make a single mistake from which a 20th century enemy could draw significant advantage. They would be masters of persuasion and negotiation, able to read facial expressions and body language and combine this with careful listening to come near to mind-reading others. They could hypnotize many folks. They could use sleight of hand like the best magicians of history. They could escape a great many types of prisons, bindings, and traps. They could play the parts of con men extraordinaire.

They could construct powerful bombs or biochemical weapons from common household or farm supplies. They could build all sorts of useful items from junk and trash. They could successfully rob the best protected banks in the world-- usually from thousands of miles away, electronically. But they could also do it physically, in person, without much more trouble. They could disguise themselves better and faster than anyone else alive in 2000. They could absorb considerably more physical punishment and injury than an average 2000 citizen, simply due to the various aids provided by the implants. And administer their own first aid and many other medical procedures on par with the very best trained Navy SEAL and other such personnel of 2000-- perhaps better. They would enjoy photographic memory and powers of observation that would do the fictional Sherlock Holmes proud.

If contemporary networked personal computers existed in the time they were dropped in-- and they could access same-- they would be even more formidable.

Though human consciousness and behavior itself likely remains somewhat recognizable to theoretical observers from the 20th century, such aspects would appear more like that of a highly efficient 20th century corporate organization than a single person. Most human beings are becoming more computerized, and thus (at least for much of the time) much more logical, eerily brilliant, in possession of photographic, near infallible memories, and displaying real emotion much less often than human beings of past centuries would be comfortable with.

Human emotions and passion still exist, but they are tightly controlled and rarely expressed in unscheduled moments. Yes, the word "unscheduled" was intentional here. For that's pretty much how emotions are managed today, with the help of computer-controlled drugs, electro-chemical brain activity management, and other techniques. Today many people pick and choose the emotion or attitude they will use at a given moment like 20th century drivers selecting a radio station. Heck, often people don't even do their own selection or scheduling of emotions/attitudes, letting an AI do it for them instead. A large part of the criteria for which emotions and attitudes are displayed depends upon a person's immediate through long term goals, and the surrounding circumstances of the moment. Such people will display behavior which best fits the moment and related priorities, be it telling a bedtime story to their children, or fiercely pushing their agenda in a business meeting.

As horrific as this might sound to readers in the 20th century, it actually works quite well for most people today. The practice has vastly improved individual efficiency and productivity. Education and training stints are far easier and less time-consuming-- even fun! It's almost impossible for such folks to panic or become hysterical, or caught up in a mob frenzy. Thus, many lives are saved, and troubles avoided. It makes adolescence a calm and much more rewarding experience than what previous generations endured. 'Crimes of passion' and accidents due to folks becoming overwrought are practically impossible under such conditions. Parents and children alike behave much more like ideal family members than could have ever been possible in the past. Implant owners are pretty much immune to even the slickest corporate marketing or government propaganda. It's a lot like everyone so equipped attained the highest possible educational degrees, plus spent a lifetime achieving enlightenment and self-control, all before they even reached adulthood.

The flipside of this much improved self-control and higher productivity is a strong demand for highly advanced and sophistocated recreational and entertainment options during leisure time-- most intensely interactive-- that would be astonishing to 20th century observers. The result is attendent virtual reality and other industries where 'the sky is the limit' in terms of what a consumer may experience during his or her off-time.

Advanced knowledge of human consciousness and physiology, precisely customized via possibly many levels of AI for each individual, results in recreational/entertainment activities which rarely fail to refresh and reinvigorate users.

Not all the randomness and misunderstandings and mistakes involved in growing up and/or managing interpersonal relationships are squelched by the new technology; it's just that for the most part the worst extremes are moderated, and people usually express their concerns more openly, and are more willing to listen to others (keep in mind new mental multi-tasking capacities make true comprehension and real empathy possible even as a user is also processing one or more other intellectual tracks at the same moment; i.e., no boredom here). The ever-present AIs help tremendously by gently guiding all parties into mutually beneficial decisions and actions, and helping them carefully choose their words in dialogues. Everyone is thus more coherent and self-realized, among other things, than would be possible for most events involving people equipped only with 20th century capacities.

Of course, this is not to say that there are no problems related to all this, or that some people don't find ways to corrupt the process and use the technology for less desirable ends...

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