If you can’t beat them (robots), join them. The “quantified self” will evolve to the “optimized self,” meaning humans will be supported by extreme wearable and embedded sensoring enabling real-time, on-demand guidance from a commercial “cloud coach” (Google?) for every step, move, and decision they make whether it’s at work or on the playing field; i.e., becoming more machine-like. The dark side is that humans’ born-with intelligence and cognitive skills and capacities will atrophy just like a broken leg in a cast.
algorithms will do the thinking, people will simply execute
She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door. She sat down in the grass and sobbed.
It was 2025 and she did not know what would come next.
* * *
Thirteen years earlier in 2012, she was a struggling graduate in an uncertain world. She was very smart, but she didn’t know how to convert that intelligence into happiness. She had no job, no health insurance, and the world looked very bleak. She stayed up nights in constant worry.
And then she read about VIRTUAL NATION (“VN”) which was the fastest growing startup company in the world. VN promised lifetime security for every Citizen who opted-in at no cost to VN’s all-inclusive closed virtual economy.
If you became a citizen…..every step in your life is a certainty, and it is a certainty every step will move you forward.
Citizens consented to being outfitted with wearable sensors and a personal surveillance drone that wirelessly communicated with VN’s vast global network of servers continuously logging citizens’ biomechanics, wellness, fitness, diet, audio, video, TV, digital content, location, route, and computer browsing and keystrokes. Streaming real-time sensor data fed VN’s predictive engine to score each citizen’s Mean Annual Market Earnings which was allocated 65% to VN and 35% to the citizen.
In WEEK 1, VN mapped each citizen’s Whole Person Genomics used to generate a daily step list designed to achieve whole life optimization.
She signed the Agreement.
And in that singular moment she no longer carried the burden of struggling over what she should do that day and miraculously, a fog of depression lifted off her shoulders. She woke up with crazy-energy ready to execute each step. It was such a relief to have somebody unlock the mystery of her life!
By WEEK 2 she was working on projects as an outsourced VN project team member. She was addicted to the accelerating power of her step list which included an extreme physical and personality makeover. She made more money than she could spend, all from the remote comfort of home. The years passed and she relished every step of the halcyon arc of her life.
When VN passed the 500 million citizens milestone, the core algorithms were rewritten to launch “VN+”. She volunteered for alpha-phase human trials of VN+ which meant the classified implantable sensors were not disclosed to her. The install took one day under full sedation.
She had hands-free, brain-wired, two-way broadband communications with VN+ servers which now optimized every step in real time. Her performance gains were off the chart and then one day, she went backwards a bit, and it shook her to the core. She was sure it was a bug in VN+ which they would quickly patch.
She had forgotten what it felt like to lose confidence. Flooding emotions fragmented her concentration. She speculated that a decade of stepping had compressed her emotional bandwidth. But something (or somebody) pressed the reset button and <EMOTION was On!> and wreaking havoc. VN+ immediately detected and responded with a corrective-action step list.
It was Year 2025 and her VN+ world was unraveling when, out of the blue, she received a book from an anonymous sender. The book was an old family album.
Tears welled up in her eyes.
She turned the page to a picture of her family, arm-in-arm, leaning against the old van parked on Galveston Beach. She stared at the picture, paralyzed with regret.
What have I done?
She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door.
Will the rise of Bitcoin bring a monetary paradigm shift that will forever change the world?