Dr. Lionel Dejean
One could say that the evolution, or rather the race toward a super-organism-level of functioning – with the participation of nearly the entire human population of the planet – had been a gradual process. One could go back at least a millennium, perhaps to the development of metallurgy or thereabouts, or at least to the invention of electronic communication devices, to already see the first steps, the beginnings, of the unanimity process. But certainly there can be no doubt that by the mid 21st century “unanimity”, as it was called, had been largely accomplished. Surely there were exceptions, bumps along the road. Records and even memories of the ancient religious leaders – the prophets of the Bible, Jesus, Mohammed, Siddhartha and the rest – still kept popping up from time to time and often had to be addressed and handled by force. But with the atrophy of books and reading, the so-called “great” teachings became “program capable” and were eventually incorporated into the fourth P axis. The teachings themselves, the actual words, were largely incomprehensible to the bulk of the population by this time.
Some of us today in our 22nd century supertubes may think it sad to reflect on our history. We believe that all men should be free, have rights, etc., etc. These are familiar arguments to the student of history. We have seen the power and the persistence of these arguments and ideals for many centuries. But the same students of history who would cast blame on the Grid, or on those who, in the late 20th century and early 21st century, made no attempt to oppose or try to halt the development of the Grid, will also be the first to agree that survival must be the foremost priority of any system. In this case, survival of the Grid. So, for better or worse as they used to say, from the perspective of the historian all is forgiven.
To summarize and to conclude, the world was quite different in 2064. The surface of the earth itself had changed significantly. Larges areas of land had become parched and wind-blown in many places on all of the continents – and much of it was no longer fit for traditional, low-energy agriculture. Land masses had been reduced by nearly 15% by 2055 due to the melting of much of the icecaps and the loss of island and low coastal areas. Worse yet, the land that remained had been rendered increasingly barren as the glaciers and river systems had also shrunk. It was an empty spirit that rested over the bare earth. People were without the ability to create or build something for themselves. Handicrafts and art had atrophied by this time, of course. The Grid was dominant. People were consumers and they were “connected” at all times. Wires were no longer necessary and chips were microscopic. Remaining “connected” became synonymous with being alive, being part of the world. There was some brave resistance, but the Grid was dominant in the end. The P’s were only the final step. As we have briefly noted, there had been many steps leading up to it. And resistance had been negligible. By 2050 the struggle was done. The “Freedom Fighters”, the “Wire Cutters” and the other reactionary groups had been marginalized or placed “off system”.