Life in Space

In the future that I saw, these are possible comments from the perspective of a new visitor to Humanity’s space civilization:

Inside my bedroom, the white wall was crawling with “beetles” that emitting a soft, orange glow. These robots were about the shape and size of mice that gently scrub the walls clean. As I thought of how to change their color to pink, these beetles started to emit a pinkish glow. Realizing that they can read my thoughts, I commanded the lights to dim. Outside the room, a multi-segmented “snake” robot slid past, taking environmental sensor readings and checking for any fires.

I thought of contacting a friend. As I called up a picture of her to my mind, I visualized a place to meet. Instantly I was with her in the garden under the tree that I visualized. Every breeze, word and object was as real to me as it was in reality. I was stunned: this was just like magic.

My friend told me that there were also many people using the same server as us, and yet we will not be able to see them. I requested to see how this system worked, and she told me to close my eyes and open it after a second.

When I opened my eyes, I found myself at the Niagara Falls. There was a huge crowd of people all over the place. A young couple sat perilously on a small tree hanging from a cliff. Many people were levitating in mid air. Some sat chatting with their friends on the edge of the waterfall.

My friend waved her hand, and suddenly, all the people disappeared. I realized that each person could have the entire world to himself or herself in virtual reality, in any manner that they chose. They could share fantasies, memories and dreams effortlessly.

I saw a spaceship docked to an asteroid. Within it, a young couple was building a home for their new friend from Africa. The microscopic robots embedded in the wall of their spaceship was digesting the asteroid and creating a new spaceship.

This used the same technology as the mini-factory. About the size of a wardrobe, it could manufacture almost any desired item from daily life. Simply go to the Internet to download a blueprint of anything you like. Throw some rubbish and asteroid fragments inside. The machine will then construct the desired item at the molecular level. There was no need for the money, shops or factories of the early 21st century.

The successor to the Internet hosts massively distributed databases that function much like the Wikipedia in early 21st century, providing the totality of all human knowledge and technology free to everyone. With their survival assured by technology and computer automation taking care of mundane chores, people could volunteer full-time to be product designers, robot programmers, galactic explorers, scientists, child guardians and more. Personal armies of supercomputers and microscopic robots backed every individual with the power and resources of a mammoth organization in the early 21st century.

This is a world of peace, diversity and open disclosure. It must be, for everyone held God-like powers and could potentially destroy the entire human civilization with the technology available in their home. Yet the idea of committing such terrorism was unthinkable and unnecessary.

Personal factories fulfilled almost all material needs. Virtual reality provided fully immersive entertainment, adventure and education superior to physical experience. There no longer existed any need to attack or hurt another being to obtain whatever people desired. If they wanted to have the experience of harming another person, virtual reality can allow them to do that as many times as they like without actually harming anyone.