III. The Problems that Led us Here (1820-early 21st Century)
Long has mankind depended on technology. With the discovery of that Promethean fire, early humans were able to have light, warmth, entertainment and cooked food. Nobody would argue against this development.
Through early human tribes, to the Middle Ages, to now, mankind has become dependent on another kind of technology: weapons. This led to the conquering of one tribe by another, one village by another, one city by another, one country by another and eventually one planet by another. Some would argue against this development though it is quite clear that weapons are necessary for one reason or another.
Starting with the Industrial Revolution, mankind has become dependent on another type of technology: machines. This is where steam engines, automobiles, the seed plow, early computers and the telephone come into play. Few would argue against this development though this could be considered where it started to go wrong for us.
Beginning in the 1980s and 1990s mankind started its love affair with advanced technologies. Personal computers, laptops, beepers and cellular phones all gain in popularity. Technology is growing at an exponential rate and human beings are not prepared to cope with it. Looking back, many people, HuFis leaders among them, would argue against this development and this era could be called the beginning of the end.
In the early 21st century, mankind’s obsession with technology reaches absurd levels. Cell phones, television and personal computers reach an almost comical strata. In the early 2000s, almost every home has between 2-5 televisions. Almost every household in America has a computer in the early 2000s. By 2010, almost all homes have multiple computers including portable laptops. In 2015, children as young as 7 have personal cell phones. Children are thrown devices like iPads, cell phones and tablets to distract them while mommy and daddy are busy watching television or using their own devices. This dependence on technology by the younger generation in the early to mid-2010s led to far worse repercussions in subsequent generations. The addiction of young people to their cell phones, tablets and Apple products allowed the next generation even further dependency. And the next. And the next. And the next.
In the mid-21st century, the Feed has taken over much of the world. People are fed information, television, advertisements and the internet directly into their brain by an implanted “feed” they receive in their infancy. This feed becomes something of an AI itself as it comes to know your tastes and desires. It aids in the creation of something of an Idiocracy (footnote 5), where life and enjoyment are based solely on commercialism and consumerism. Improperly implanted Feeds lead to the deaths of thousands of Earthians (footnote 6) and a small awakening in some others (footnote 7).
Footnote 5: A reference to the science fiction film Idiocracy directed by Mike Judge where the use of technology and commercialism has dumbed down society to a staggering level. The citizenry is fat, lazy and stupid (not unlike the future humans in Wall-E).
Footnote 6: A reference to Feed by M.T. Anderson and the one character that did not have the traditional Feed implant like others. She, Violet, is the only character to fight the Feed and have thoughts of her own before her untimely death.
Footnote 7: A reference to Titus in Feed who finally, frustratingly, seems to come to a realization about the Feed’s harm only too late to help Violet.