Chapter 10 Summary
It is a time of peace and prosperity. Though human beings have always aimed for an age of reason, this is the first time that one has actually taken place; there are drawbacks, however. The newspapers are exceptionally dull. There is no crime, no mysterious murders to be indignant about; in fact, they are reenacted on television so there is no mystery about it, since the Overlords have the ability to see and record all human activity. This technology was not available to the common public. Rupert Boyce’s full projection machine was limited to the boundaries of his animal preserve. In the rare cases where there is serious crime, no one is so ill-bred as to want to find out about it.
The average working week is twenty hours long. Most production is done by robots. Humans are needed only for trouble-shooting, making decisions, and planning new enterprises for the manufacturing world. Education has taken away the fear of boredom. The standard of Earth’s culture has risen considerably. The average human intelligence has not increased, but for the first time everyone is given the opportunity to use what brain he or she has.
Most people have two homes, since travel is easy and science has tamed the wildest areas of the Earth. Two of the most popular regions are the Arctic and the Antarctic, where people travel back and forth to take advantage of the extended daylight of the summer days. Deserts, mountains, and even the oceans are sites where people now build their homes. Some people dwell in exotic locations, such as the summit of Mount Everest or behind Victoria Falls. Inevitably, accidents will happen, but it has become almost a game to watch the rescue efforts.
The military forces of the world have been dissolved, so this has doubled the amount of time and money that the nations have. The necessities of life are free for the taking, so no one hands over money for things such as food or shelter. The average human being has earned this right by being a productive member of society. There are very few idle people, and it is less expensive to deal with them than to provide mundane unskilled jobs whose sole purpose was to transfer items from one ledger to another.
Nearly a quarter of the total activity of the human race is spent on sports. This has resulted in the extinction of the professional sportsmen, since common amateurs have excelled in their skills. Entertainment has also progressed, though the films coming from Hollywood in the twenty-first century would be considered extremely high-brow from the viewpoint of the twentieth century inhabitant. There are some who begin to question, “Where do we go from here?”