Jayan Pillai’s Letter From the Future
In 1999, as the new century approached, Futurist.com sponsored a writing contest, offering a cash prize for “Letters from the future.â€ We picked several award winners, whose task it was to imagine the world 45 years in the future, and to write a letter back in time from then, addressing the people living in 1999.
Dear fellow denizens of the Earth in 1999,
I know this sounds weird, but I’m writing you this from the future. It was an assignment for my English class, and when my letter was judged, it ranked the highest and therefore qualified to be the letter sent back in time. Of course only one letter can be sent back in time, because of the indescribable power needed to do so. This letter will hopefully help you decide whether the future is good enough for you, or if you want to change it. Well, the language changes might pose a problem, but I’ll have tried anyway.
I live the in Western World United Federation, a peaceful combination of all the countries in the western hemisphere. Yes, you do finally learn how to live in peace. I live in district 46, and am 15 years old.
The district is broken up into rexons, or groups of 100-150 people all living in the same area in the rexon. The rexons are consisted of a central area with all the essential needs of a community, and are surrounded by the more luxurious life paraphernalia. This set-up makes it very easy for us to get around in the high speed, levitating magneto trains. The early ancestors of these machines were developed in the 1990’s. The public trains are fitted with identification units which automatically deduct the amount of the fare from your account, Which makes getting around much easier. They’re the main means of getting around, except for the occasional solar powered techno car.
Computers are a basic part of daily life. We’re implanted with high-capacity chips at birth which identify you at most public places and allow you to speak with people on a telepathic basis. The computer chip also monitors body functions at all times, via the micro-machines inserted in your bloodstream, so that many lethal diseases an disabilities are detected pronto. School courses are very rare, since all non-experiential learning courses are transmitted to us directly into are chips. Other courses take place on the “PC” in a distance learning regimen or at the rare but quite improved educational facilities, which are optional but required for most high level degrees.
Unless there are special arrangements for meals, almost all food is served in spyro pellets, which are small blue pellets that morph into any taste you wish inside your mouth. The pellets are exactly measured into small groups so that you get the exact right amount of each essential substance your body needs. This drastically changed the face of health care since your generation. It also solves many problems with children & eating, because the food can taste like the child’s favorite flavor by the mere thought of it happening.
Houses in the future are nothing like shelters of old. The architectural knowledge has grown immensely. New light weight metals and wood synthesizing paint can give you the feel of an antique home, but it still has the gargantuan strength to hold back the most powerful forces on earth. Most houses are also shape shifters, meaning that you can correspond to the computer in the walls to make it smaller or bigger. Of course even today we have limits.
Virtual reality mechanisms have overrode the TV and take youngsters and adults alike by storm. Offering a broad new world of experiences, the virturons can give the feel of the most dangerous and breath-taking stunts, or give you the sensation of a fantastic vacation in your own home. Other great technology that you only dreamed of are the levitating shoes, and hyperboards. The future is not all good though, since we still have many problems.
But one of the main problems with the future society will be the powerfully contagious and invincible disease of boredom. With almost no new experience to turn to, or useful things to many humans have gone crazy from having nothing to do. Another problem now striking the world, and in that I mean the united peaceful world, is that the society depends completely on the efficiency of computers. Clothes, houses, water, air and all essential needs are controlled by computers. If anything goes wrong with them, the human race is doomed. That’s why the WWUF & EWUF have worked together to provide survival classes and gear for all their districts. For 15 min. a day, all of our lives, we learn and improve on the actions we’ll take in the event of a technological crisis at a holographic classroom right in our home.
I’m not sure what else to tell you about the new world, as you would put it. Though we have been able to solve most of the environmental problems, some still occur. The pop. crisis has been overcome by the gigantic space stations which are encircling the earth like a ring. A great many of my people live there, and it is quite convenient for vacations & field trips. Soon the population & environmental challenge will soon creep up again, and the 2150 prospect is to find a new planet.
Plans have already begun to form on how we will do so. Until then, I hope the colonies on mars and the moon will last. The plan in mind is to find the new planet and stay there until our technology has advanced to the point where we can come back and fix the damage we have wreaked on the world. It is our wish, and will be most definitely fulfilled. We will come back for you, Mother Earth, and make you the center of our civilization.
I have told you everything I can about the future. It is now up to you to decide whether you like the future or not. It gives you much more weight on your shoulders now that you know what is expected of you.
Remember, you drive the future, and you can make it not as good, the same, or make it infinitely better. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!