2112… Happy new year. We are still here.
The 2023 elections made one thing clear… people did not believe in the future. They preferred to go back. Back to a time when didn’t have to worry about worldly challenges. Back to a normal world, when a boy was just a boy, climate change was nothing more than a wet summer or a cold winter. The government took care of you and frequent flying or using animals for consumption was nothing to be ashamed of.
We were simply not able to imagine a future where sharing was the common value and feeling humble towards other living beings and the earth was common ground.
It is hard to tell what started the change. Perhaps it was the floods that were becoming more frequent. The number of people who left because they were not able to afford housing. The amount of refugees. The wars…
It took a while before we realised they were all connected, and that the 2027 installed waterwall to keep everyone out was not the answer. The Netherlands was like an anthill collapsing, everyone looking for a foothold to find a way back to the group, to a group.
The Moonshield that Nasa installed in 2030 bought us extra time, do you remember how our ancestors were all glued to their devices? They realised that even though we humans were in the midst of a collapse, there was still a chance to change.
We realised that the global and national governments were not going to provide the answer, neither would companies and technology.
From neighbourhoods new tribes emerged and people found eachother in local settings. Growing new connections from the roots, people found each other on shared values. Creating new spaces for connecting, on and offline.
Constructs of stories proved untrue and our believes faltered. It started with AI, the rewriting of books, the endless discussions on social media. It was not long before most sources of information became unreliable. What we saw and heard was not necessarily true.
Arguments and facts diminished in value.
The Homo Imaginatus
To know whether something was true or not, we fell back on our touch, smell and taste. And our empathy… we discovered that it did not matter whether something was true or not, but that our feelings together with the story we constructed in our heads, determined how we behaved. Towards ourselves, each other and our environment.
The homo imaginatus was born.