I Believe in Humanity

The internet has recently been swept up by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Is there a cause — social, political, cultural, or other — you passionately believe in? Tell us how you got involved — or why you don’t get involved. From the Daily Post

I don’t believe in one single cause. I believe in humanity. I believe in our ability to transcend our animal roots and reach for the stars. I believe in science. We have delved into the cell and manipulated the very building blocks of life. We can create new species, discover new worlds, and dream such wondrous dreams.

Yet, no matter what epoch of history you throw a dart at, you’ll find those attempting to oppress. Attempting to enslave, to put down, to dominate. There have always been people who are willing to limit the potential of humanity.

Then, there is another type of people, like the one featured, Sam, in the short vignette below. This is the person who recognizes what is wrong with the world, who understands the injustice, yet still does nothing. The ol’ 9-5 daily grind. I must confess, I too exist in the shadowy, unsubstantial population of people. There are often times when I can barely work up the conviction to care about my life, much less the lives of others. But, like I said in the beginning: I believe in humanity. We can overcome our apathy, our indifference, and if we really truly believe, we can cause meaningful change in this beautiful world we live in.

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Sam sat down onto his media-cliner and waved listlessly at the viewport to start up his feed. It had been a difficult day at work – his boss had been jacked up on a stim, adreno he supposed, and had been all over his ass about those goddamn TPS reports. Who even reads those anyways? He sighed as Transgene’s “intensive security measures” into Haiti flickered across the viewport. Reaching for a dopa-stim, he pondered once again the futility of it all. He pressed the patch to his inner elbow, barely noticing the microneedles puncturing the delicate skin. I mean, I’m just another cog in the wheel, less than essential, less than vital, Sam thought. And the goddamn machine, fueled by the rapacious appetite of Transgene and its satellite corporations was too behemoth to be budged by a peon such as he. But maybe, maybe if he found some like minded people, they banded together….

Sam’s head lolled back as the dopa-stim took effect. Sighing happily, he thumbed the sonic pulsator and let the music vibrate over him. The music was auto-generated from an algorithm predicting patterns based on stim injection.

One door over Lucy was languidly swaying in her media-cliner to an opio-stim.

One door over the same.

In fact, everyone in the entire building was on one stim or another, often in their media-cliners. Each discarded patch on each dimly lit floor in each dungy too-small apartment was labelled with the iconic intertwined T and G of Transgene.

All cogs to one massive machine, grinding, grinding away.

Tunnel to Equality

You’ve been given the ability to build a magical tunnel that will quickly and secretly connect your home with the location of your choice — anywhere on Earth. Where’s the other end of your tunnel? from the daily prompt

“So, I just walk through it, and that’s it?”  Sam looked at the swirling vortex uncertainly.  His father, wild hair sticking in all directions nodded enthusiastically.

“You see Sam, I finally did it!  I call it a temporal interference device, or TID for short.”  What he was referring to was a large circle of steel, with cables as thick as a man’s wrist protruding from it in all directions.  The smell of ozone filled the air and there was a harsh crackling accompanied by a deep, thrumming hum.  The oddest feature of the circle though was the center.  It was nothingness.  Utter, black, nothingness.

“Uhhh, dad, what is in there?” Sam asked, pointing a slightly shaky finger at the void before him.

“All of Time Sam!  All of it! Isn’t it incredible?”  Sam’s father was jumping from foot to foot in his excitement, his eyes gleaming with a fanatic intensity.

“Where, er, when is it supposed to take me?”

“I programmed it to jump to societal equilibrium.  I don’t want you growing up in a world where people get shot walking down the street just because of the color of their skin Sam. You deserve better my boy.  Of course, I’ll be right behind you.”

“Have you tested it?” Sam asked, speculatively.

At that, Sam’s dad grinned, and adjusted a few dials.  Turning to look at Sam he lifted his watch and said “See you in five-” then he stepped into the void and disappeared.

Sam looked frantically about, panicking.  As he was about to call for his stepmother he heard a voice behind him as his dad stepped out of the portal “-seconds.”

Sam’s jaw dropped.  “How did you do that?!?”  

He laughed, “I didn’t do it, the TID did!”  

Sam was convinced.  Taking a deep breath, he stepped into the portal and prepared to meet a society that had ended all strife having to do with social issues like race, gender, and class.  He disappeared into the blackness.

 A profound weariness settled over Sam’s dad, and he turned to trudge up the basement steps.  His wife looked expectantly at him.  “It’s done,” he said.

Ten thousand years in the future, a young homo sapien stepped into what had been Ferguson, MO.  He didn’t know it, but throughout the whole desolate landscape of Earth, he was the only living human – a true societal equilibrium.