A concise blog reporting on articles of importance to the future of human and social development.

Friday, July 25, 2008

What I did today...

Today, I discovered an Essay contest on Dr. Steel's forum for Toy Soldiers, the members of his army of fun.

I didn't have much else to do, and the subject seemed fun, so I figured I'd throw my hat into the ring (Though the prize is an embroidered scarf... not much call for those in Texas). The topic for the essay was to put down at least 500 words about our personal view of what a Utopian Playland should look like.

For those that don't know, Dr. Steel is a mad scientist bent on ruling the world with his Army of Toy Soldiers, fighting against philosophies of hate and fear to build a new world where Fun is the top priority, a world he calls a Utopian Playland.

Anyways, here's my entry.

Utopian Playland Essay
By Toy Soldier Continuity Gradient (Aka, Craig Blaylock)

Dr. Steel's philosophy of a Utopian Playland starts and ends with fun.

Through the use of fun, we, the Toy Soldiers in his army, seek to change the world for the better; Culminating in the creation of the Utopian Playland of lore. The question, then, is what exactly a Utopian Playland looks like. Here is my vision.

From a distance, the daylight side of Earth looks much the same. The oceans perhaps a little bluer, the land a little greener, Antarctica and the Arctic Circle a little more pristine in their shimmering whiteness. Twelve timezones away, the face of earth is much different. The former sprinkling of stars across the human settlements on the face of the planet exploding in a carnival of lights that bathes the night sky in a blanket of twisting, swirling aurorae. The clean earth and iridescent night sky are only the first step, promoting happiness by alleviating the fear of environmental decay and the shadows of night. In the right light, you might be able to catch a glimpse of slender threads reaching out from the equator; a ring of orbital elevators giving Humanity room to grow beyond this singular orb in space.

Zooming in a little closer, we find that the bustling cities, packed highways and choked sea-lanes have vanished. Commerce and urban life have moved underground to free up the land. America, an example formerly scarred with a spider's web of interstates, is now a pristine parkland sprawling from sea to shining sea. Those that visit or live on the surface are nomadic, wandering wherever the whim takes them. Their needs fulfilled by compact fabricating machines that produce whatever they need with the materials at hand, then recycle them whenever it's time to go see the next natural wonder of the Earth.

A hundred feet beneath the surface of the planet and honeycombed throughout the crust, humanity lives and plays through billions of miles of tunnels and underground cities. The People of Earth gave over their paltry half-million square kilometers of surface area to populate the sixteen average kilometer depth beneath. Deep down near the mantle, giant fabbers siphon off geothermal energy and liquid rock to supply billions of people with whatever they need through a massive network of vacuum tubes from as wide as a bus to as small as a letter. People can travel through these as well in capsules with life-support, and can move at many times the speed of sound because of the lack of atmosphere in the tunnels. Specially designed fabbers devour rock to build tunnels, leaving behind structural supports and housing in their wake. With futuristic technologies in place, these tunnels and houses can be almost whatever the residents want them to be; sunny tree-lined streets for homes, toyshops, and theaters dug into the earth's crust.

With all their basic needs met and their material desires provided for, Humanity's greatest threat is now boredom. Fortunately, Mankind is a diverse lot and the production of amusement is now the world's largest industry. The population is much larger than the paltry six billion that were crammed together on the surface, and so there are enough people to fill every niche market for curious entertainment. One of the more popular fads is the manipulation of the human body, and a corps of dedicated scientists and engineers gladly donate their free time exploring the human genome and finding out how to tweak it in amusing ways. A stroll down a busy street in this underground metropolis would feel much like wandering through a contemporary convention of sideshow attractions, yet as friendly as a sci-fi convention of that same era as things such as racism and body-chauvanism dissapear when you can spend every other week as something new and different.

No more fear or hate. Nothing to do but explore and have fun. This, to me, is an ideal Utopian Playland.

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