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Welcome to 2030: I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy and Life Has Never Been Better (Tales From the Great Reset)
Welcome to the year 2030. Thanks to the Great Reset, you will own nothing and you will be happy - just like Ida in her city...
Welcome to the year 2030. Welcome to my city - or should I say, "our city." Thanks to the Great Reset, I don't own anything. I don't own a car. I don't own a house. I don't own any appliances or any clothes. And I am happy!
It might seem odd to you, but it makes perfect sense for us to live like this in our city. Everything you considered a product is now a service managed by the government’s Ministry of Plenty or large, and now benevolent and socially responsible corporations. We have access to clean green transportation methods, environmentally-friendly accommodations, healthy soy-based or synthetic food grown sustainably, and most of the bare essentials needed in our daily lives for basic survival. One by one, as all these things became too expensive to own, it ended up not making sense for us to own much.
First, communication became 5G digitized, and thanks to net neutrality, the government had to take it over and manage it. Sure the Internet is much slower now and less reliable. But at least it's a free service that does not spread harmful disinformation or offends.
Then, when clean energy replaced fossil fuels, things started to move quickly. Owning our own car and using ridesharing services became too expensive. And besides, they could only be used when there was enough sun and wind for the solar panels and windmills to create electricity.
When public transportation ceased to function reliably and became
too dangerous less safe, we learned to harness our own leg power. Today, neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep us from transporting ourselves in a much more environmentally sustainable and healthier way as we now bike and walk everywhere.
Now I can hardly believe that we accepted carjackings, congestion, and traffic jams. Not to mention the air pollution from internal combustion engines. We are so much healthier now from having to run and speed bike everywhere as there could be unsocial people who might
rob attempt to take advantage of us. What were we thinking before the Great Reset?
When I use my bike to see my friends who live in more distant parts of our city, I enjoy the many hours of exercise I get from the ride. It kind of gets the soul to come along on the journey. It's funny how some things never seem to lose their excitement: walking, biking, standing in long lines waiting to buy the bare essentials or services we need to survive, interacting on social media, playing video games, living in virtual reality all day, and growing my own synthetic soy foods to replace what is not available at our co-operative markets. It makes perfect sense and reminds us of how our culture emerged from a close relationship with nature.
In our city, I don't pay rent for my co-housing sleeping pods. They are now owned by benevolent and socially responsible corporations and investment funds in partnership with my government (who pays my rent).
Living sustainably also means no longer having private living space beyond my small sleeping pod and locker. And when I am not using my sleeping pod during the day, it's being efficiently used by somebody else who would otherwise be homeless.
Thanks to the Great Reset, we learned to live sustainably without privately-owned kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Such luxuries take up too much space, are a terrible waste of scarce resources, and are bad for the environment.
Now I can hardly believe that we accepted such big private living spaces that need constant cleaning and maintenance on our part. Not to mention, it's impossible to lose or misplace anything in my sleeping pod or locker. Again, what were we thinking before the Great Reset? Life is so much simpler, sustainable, and more
communal social now.
Once in a while, I will choose to cook for myself as a juicy synthetic soy beef Gatesburger cooked by my own hands will often hit the spot. However and when we shifted to communal co-housing, we gave up all the unnecessary things crammed into the cupboards of our private kitchens, closets, and other living spaces. Why keep a privately owned pasta maker and a crepe cooker? They all became community-owned.
Most of the necessary kitchen equipment can be reserved in advance from my co-housing’s communal kitchen (or ordered from others in my neighborhood). I use an app to put my name down on a waitlist a week or two in advance, and voila! Most of the time, most of what I need is available on my appointed day and time. It's that easy!
This also made the breakthrough of the circular economy easier. Products were turned into services that cannot be easily replaced because there are no spare parts and little energy available to make new ones. Thus, no one wants things with a short life span, and everything is designed to pass a duct-tape test and for recyclability.
When most materials stopped flowing in our economy or became off-limits for environmental reasons, we were forced to improvise. Old products can easily be transformed into new products with duct tape and sewing needles. And we now mine old landfills for the stuff people used to mindlessly consume and throw out after short use. What were they thinking before the Great Reset? Many of the things they mindlessly threw out are now worth their weight in digital currency!
And environmental problems now seem so distant since we are only allowed to use clean energy and clean production methods. Sure, it can get cold in the winter without much heat and hot in the summer without A/C. And it can be annoying when you want to do something important and must wait for the sun to come out or the wind to start blowing.
But the Great Reset has taught us to live and dress according to the seasons.
What's important is the air is clean, the water is clean, and nobody would dare touch the protected areas of nature - our Ministry of Peace ensures this. In our cities, we have plenty of green space strictly off-limits to people who can enjoy these spaces strictly reserved for nature from afar. I still do not understand why, in the past, we filled all free spots in the city with concrete.
Shopping? I can't really remember what that is! There is so little to buy or barter for beyond the bare essentials supplied by the Ministry of Plenty. When something potentially becomes available, I usually just want the algorithm to decide whether to put me on the waiting list for it. It knows my taste better than I do by now.
When AI and robots took over so much of our work and the rest was outsourced abroad, we suddenly had too much time on our hands. The concept of rush hour makes no sense anymore since there is little meaningful work left to be done. Even if we could be paid to do something, there is almost nothing to buy or spend money on beyond the bare essentials. The time that used to be consumed by work is now thinking-time, creation-time, development-time, play-time, and
getting high relaxation-time.
Before the Great Reset, everything was turned into entertainment centered on consumerism.
People did not want to bother themselves with difficult issues. It was only at the last minute that we found out how to use all these new technologies for better purposes than just killing time.
For example, our COVID contract tracing app evolved into a health monitoring app. Then it evolved into a happiness monitoring and social credit system that keeps most of us happy and well behaved.
At first, some people expressed hesitation about using such technology. They screamed nonsense like "My body, my choice!" and "Freedom!" These Luddites and science deniers were influenced by disinformation spread by conspiracy theorists. They refused to trust science, public health authorities, or our now benevolent and socially responsible pharma corporations.
When the new
Ministry of Truth Disinformation Governance Board finally eliminated silenced them, it was just like when clean energy replaced fossil fuels. Things started to move quickly, and things are different today.
You see, and although I am not particularly unhappy or really ill, we are all required to take a free little yellow pill daily. Our public health authorities call them "little helper" pills as they help us on our way and get us through our busy day!
Every day at a set time mandated by our public health authorities, my phone app alerts me to stop what I am doing. I turn on my smartphone camera, record myself taking the little yellow pill, and hit the send button. And at the end of the day, I must answer a short questionnaire to record my mood or mood swings. If I am a little upset or agitated (or the app’s AI suspects I am), an appointment with my doctor is made where I can ask for more "little helper" pills to calm me down and get me through my busy day.
Things are different today, its what everyone says. Life was much too hard before. But now, life is no longer a drag! I cannot imagine living my life without taking my mandated "little helper" pills! Because happiness is science! And science is happiness! And the pursuit of happiness is no longer a bore, and it’s no longer a drag getting old!
My biggest concern is all the people who do not live in our city. Those we lost on the way. Those who decided that it became too much, all of this science and technology. Those who felt obsolete and useless when robots and AI took over most parts of our jobs. Those who got upset with the political system and turned against it. And those who refused to become happy by taking the yellow "little helper” pills.
These miserable and unsocial people live different lives in rural areas or small towns outside of our city. They have formed their own self-reliant communities with no support from the government, our now benevolent and socially responsible corporations, or "little helper" pills. How can anyone choose to live like this? It’s like living back in the 19th century or the days of pioneers!
Once in a while, I get annoyed about having no privacy beyond my small sleeping pod. Nowhere I can go and not be registered, and everything I do, think and dream of is recorded somewhere or monitored by my peers. I just hope that nobody, like the Ministry of Love, will use anything against me during the next struggle session or
But what difference does it make? I now realize how important it is for everyone to monitor the lives of others to prevent them from engaging in antisocial behavior or extremism.
I keep my thoughts, actions, and interactions clean and pure as everyone keeps an eye on everyone else. I always support the current thing whenever it becomes clear what that will be. And if I am still feeling down in the dumps, I just take some extra "little helper" pills as that's the one thing there is never a shortage of. So I should be completely safe.
All in all, it is a good life after the Great Reset - much better than the path we were on, where it became so clear that we could not continue with the same model of growth. We had all these terrible things happening: wrong-think, people expressing themselves in anti-social ways, lifestyle diseases, climate change, the refugee crisis, environmental degradation, completely congested cities, water pollution, air pollution, social unrest, and unemployment. We lost way too many people before realizing that we could do things differently.
P.S. For the original story:
Welcome To 2030: I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy And Life Has Never Been Better By Ida Auken, Young Global Leader and Member of the Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization of the World Economic Forum
In 2016, Auken wrote a piece for the World Economic Forum (WEF) titled "Welcome to 2030. I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better". In an update clarifying the intention behind the piece, she said "Some people have read this blog as my utopia or dream of the future. It is not. It is a scenario showing where we could be heading - for better and for worse. I wrote this piece to start a discussion about some of the pros and cons of the current technological development. When we are dealing with the future, it is not enough to work with reports. We should start discussions in many new ways. This is the intention with this piece."
She’s on Twitter at @IdaAuken - be sure to say “hi” for me IF you still bother to use that “service.” :)
While we are bombarded with woke propaganda buried into every story line from Hollywood to fiction literature these days, there is hardly any NON-WOKE satire (beyond the Babylon Bee etc) and/or fictional/satirical writing along the lines of George Orwell, Ayn Rand and the like. And besides, publishers won’t touch such material these days - meaning there is little monetary incentive for such writing…
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COVIDsteria: An Oral History of America’s Great Reset (Table of Contents) is a fictional satire along the lines of a Studs Terkel oral history or Max Brooks' World War Z published as a serialized book on Substack while Tales From the Great Reset is our occasional satirical short-story series:
* Updated as of June 6, 2023.
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