[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
ROBERT J. SAWYER
Hugo and Nebula Winner


SFWRITER.COM > Futurism > Y3K: Daily Life

Y3K: The Science of the Next Millennium

Daily Life in the Year 3000

by Robert J. Sawyer

Copyright © 2000 by Robert J. Sawyer
All Rights Reserved

A thousand years from now, human life will be very different — and damn near perfect. With almost unlimited power being harvested from the sun, now enclosed by a Dyson sphere (see my speculations on the future of the solar system), and with some people living almost forever as biological entities [see my speculations on the future of the the human body), and others existing as uploaded consciousness inside a virtual-reality world (see my speculations on artificial intelligence), human beings — in all their myriad forms — will be free to pursue personal interests.

The most adventuresome will have left for other stars, or even other galaxies (see my speculations on interstellar travel), but those living in any one of the hundreds of thousands of varied communities on the inner surface of the Dyson sphere will fill their days unfettered by physical wants or needs.

People who wish to engage in cooperative projects will advertise their availability via their computer-link implants. These implants will screen the replies, notifying their owners only of appropriate possibilities.

For instance, a playwright who has been working for the last two hundred years on her masterpiece may decide it is time for a performance. The playwright will put out a casting call, and those interested in acting will respond. And, when they are ready, another call will go out for an audience. No one need travel to see the play, of course; it can be transmitted anywhere, with the audience members appearing together via telepresence.

Some activities, though, are more fun in the flesh. Those wishing to play a game of football will look for others wanting to do the same, and come together via a magnetic-levitation rapid-transit system that can bring people thousands of kilometers in less than an hour. The game might be brutal by our standards, and played without helmets or other protective gear, since almost any physical damage can easily be repaired.

Speaking of coming together — perhaps someone else is planning a family reunion. His clone parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, his genetically engineered half-aquatic sister, his "brother," whose DNA was designed piece-by-piece in a lab, and his cousin, who is a disembodied consciousness living inside a computer, may all congregate in one place.

And that place will be one of great natural beauty: there will be no old-fashioned cities inside the Dyson sphere, for there is no need for centralization. And with so much room, every individual, or group of individuals who choose to live together, will have large amounts of verdant land. A trillion people might live comfortably, and without crowding each other, inside the sphere.

Of course, humans are industrious animals: huge building projects, rivaling the greatest monuments of the ancient past, will be erected simply because it is something we enjoy doing. But there will be no poverty, no disease, and very little death: humanity will spend its days thinking and creating and providing company for each other, enjoying the benefits that a thousand additional years of science and technology have made possible.


More Good Reading

Rob's speculations on the future of:

Rob's essay on life in the future: "The Age of Miracle and Wonder"


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