Prologue

There are currently 22 Chapters currently available on this blog. At the end of each Chapter you will be able to click to navigate to the next Chapter. Additional Chapters will be available on, or before, March 18, 2019. Currently a preview of Chapter 12 is not available, but the Chapter exists by clicking at the end of Chapter 11.


Our story begins in 2029, just short of ten years from this past January. Before we begin, I think it is appropriate that we review some of the progresses made during the preceding ten years to gain a wider perspective of the rapid developments in science and technology envisioned within this last decade. To do this we must first take a longer view in comparing developments in recent history with the life changing innovations of the past 200 years.

Compare the last 10 years to the 100 years or so that comprised the Industrial Revolution lasting a century that began in the mid-1700s and remained into the mid-to-late 19th century. Seminal to the Industrial Revolution was the flying shuttle, created in 1733, that allowed for mechanization of textiles beyond a single weaver on a job. Thirty years later, the spinning jenny further advanced the productivity of textile mills and was the main contributor to the development of the modern factory.

The cotton gin came about in 1784, which separated fiber making it easier to make cotton goods, and also separated the seeds for more crop growth.

The early 1800s changed communication forever with the telegraph, the forerunner to all modern communication systems. The creation of Portland cement modernized the building industry, and the Bessemer process enabled the mass production of steel from pig iron, allowing industries to use a more durable and stronger material for infrastructure, appliances, ships and tools.

The first rechargeable battery and the invention of the steam engine revolutionized the world’s travel and delivery systems, and the first photographic camera enabled images to be printed and reproduced, while electromagnets, and the dynamo enabled electric motors to become feasible.

Most importantly, the industrial revolution was the 100-year gateway for all or most of the products developed and made commercially in the late-19th to mid-20th centuries.

Advances in the 20th century were vast, changing the way we

viewed the world, fought disease and improved the quality of our lives, while also extending the span. Physical inventions of note included the radio, television,  movies, recording devices and the jet engine, that compressed time and space and allowed man to break the bounds described by his physical being. The splitting of the atom and nuclear fission created a modern fuel source that also became an instrument of war and a method for man to destroy his own planet....all in less than 50 years.

Then the digital computer took less than 20 years to develop, and by the 21st century expanded its tendrils to change day-to-day life in all aspects of industry, science, education and social interaction. By 2018, robots powered by computers had taken over for humans in most production type jobs reducing the needs of a work force to below 20% necessary in the mid- 1950s, and was projected to eliminate as many as 800 million jobs in the subsequent 13 years in manufacturing, construction, farming, trucking, banking, finance and the insurance industry.

Since 2028, we have realized that those numbers were modest and many of the jobs for humans in the world have become obsolete, with many more categories each day on the endangered list.

Older workers were hit first, even those who had kept up on technology, losing their jobs to computers, robots, or younger workers who adapt more quickly to evolving rules, techniques and structures of the modern workplace. By 2028, jobs of caregivers, medical
and teaching assistants, cab drivers, sales clerks and even wait staff have been replaced by sophisticated, and sometimes, human-like robots who never tire, never got grumpy and rarely need repairs or maintenance. Most perplexing is that they also never make errors, as humans always do and will.

With the ever increasing sophistication of self-learning technologies, robots and computers have become proficient at analyzing and proving theories, investigating the sources of medical ailments, repairing and replacing human parts, as well as their own, and of improving the safety and efficiency of nearly every product designed and manufactured.

Surprisingly, jobs in the arts and crafts have been touched much less significantly, even though overall product demand has decreased. Wealthy humans, who own businesses and head corporations, appreciate “human-made” goods and even the imperfections are desired. Machines do not tolerate mistakes, and usually are called on to make multiple copies of a product. Thusly, one-of a-kind items are sought after, and artists are prized for their versatility and their uniqueness of thought and approach.

Large sculptures stand as testaments to the talents and skills of humans, as they mark the landscapes of corporate centers, greet visitors to large and small estates, and adorn gardens of all shapes and sizes.

Many men and women over the age of 50 have taken up lost skills such as embroidery, needlepoint, wood carving and print making in hopes of finding relevance in handy-crafts.

The middle classes have been reduced, and continue to be depleted as jobs, mainly held by highly motivated and educated individuals between the ages of 24 and 45 are lost. The birth rate has declined, except in countries still thought of as developing. In many cases, child bearing parents of the world’s poorest regions are surviving on fees earned for “seeding” and “bearing” children from parents who haven’t the time or inclination to bear their own.

And “yes,” wars and acts of “terrorism” still exist throughout the world, and murder, crimes of passion, mass murder, suicide, and drug addiction are still issues, though the opioid epidemic began to wane in the early 2020s. By 2025 synthetic and more highly addictive drugs reached the market. These less costly drugs have reduced side-effects and break up in the system to prevent overdosing, but create dependency.  Unfortunately, no treatment except severe withdrawal is available.

Lastly, the economy. Despite the emergence of bitcoin in 2009, the U.S. and subsequently the world, works off an antiquated monetary system dating back to the 1970s. Crypto currencies like Bitcoin are still used and seen as possible alternatives while better solutions are still possible that take profit and special interest off the table to provide a more stable system for future generations.