This is supposed to be a series of rather spontaneous short stories about a vision of the future.
Edit: It’s ok to post comments in here. I will republish the story cleanly on other platforms anyway.
I’m not sure for whom I am writing this, but I feel the need to reflect on all of the changes that happened this century, especially during the last 15 years. It seems to be characteristic for our time that half of all people complain that our current largest problem is that things are changing too fast, while other half complains that things are not changing too fast enough. It is not an accident that I’m writing this in the year that Ray Kurzweil picked as date for the Singularity. Was Kurzweil right with his predictions? Yes and no. In some areas he turned out to be slightly too optimistic, but in other areas he was definitely too conservative.
So, it seems that I have to summarize the world I live in right now. What should I say? We managed to solve some of the greatest problems of humanity: Poverty, ageing, disease, and the worst forms of involuntary suffering. On the other hand, many people are scared about the future, since they fear that the AIs will soon take over, and then this short golden age for humanity will have passed. This is certainly not the fear of the Upgraders. They believe that we can upgrade ourselves to become as good as the AIs and eventually merge with them completely. The Upgraders are opposed by the Aurelians who claim that today’s nootech is good enough for all practical purposes and that we shouldn’t allow any individuals to become very much more intelligent than the average human.
Note that I’ve written “individuals”. There has been this talk about Superintelligences all going back to the 2010s, and even before. But now we actually have them, and they are not individuals – they are the nets! Collective Intelligence (CI) is the thing that enabled the exorbitantly rapid progress of the last 10, or 15 years. Few futurists saw that coming, and none of them could have predicted how things actually turned out, because reality sometimes turns out to be crazier than any fiction. Today, the nets rule supremely, and it’s the best thing that could have happened to us!