Monday, August 16, 2021

Microstory 1691: In All Things

Biological optimization was always sort of in the back of the minds of the people who lived in Moderaverse, even before they earned their name. I couldn’t explain why it is that this version of Earth was so different than others. I couldn’t explain why such a thing ever happens at all. What changes are made that cause this divergence, and why? I suppose that it doesn’t truly require an explanation. It just is. The Moderaversals just reached what they would call technological completeness, and left it at that. That’s what it really comes down to. Most cultures develop a high level of curiosity, and nothing can stop them from pursuing knowledge. They might be held back by religious hangups, or they may be limited by other conditions, such as pandemics, or extreme gravity. But the strongest of them will survive because they had a drive to be better, more advanced. This, I suppose, is an extension of the evolutionary concept of the survival of the fittest. The reason humans always become the dominant species of their world is not because they decide to be better at life. They’re better at life because those fit to survive are the only ones who will survive. Nothing evolves to be subservient, weak, and averse to survival. Such traits always disappear, because anytime they show up in an individual, that individual will struggle to persist, and pass on their genes. So once the species evolves enough to have intelligence, they’ll start using that intelligence to improve themselves. Then it will just keep going until there is nothing left to learn, if such a state is even possible. The Moderaversals, on the other hand, experience no such desire. They have determined that life itself is good enough, and as long as it never ends, they shouldn’t worry about advancing beyond it. They don’t need faster ships, or cooler tech. All they care about is relaxing, exerting as little effort as possible, and living in harmony with nature.

It was a long road to reach this point. As I said, the dream was always there, but it wasn’t always practical. Everyone starts somewhere. No one quite remembers how exactly the movement got started, or who started it, but it was kind of like a nonreligious religion. I guess it was more of a philosophical way of life, where people started to reject modern technology in favor of simpler lives, but still with less work. A true simple life would involve waking up while it was still dark, and working until it became dark again, but they certainly didn’t want that. That wasn’t chill. They got rid of most of their worldly possessions, which included a lot of art. That was one interesting side effect of the movement. Art does not require technology, but the enjoyment of it often does. For them, it meant no more movies, no more television. If they wanted to see a play, admire a painting, or hear music, they would have to go witness it in person. Over the decades, even as technology progressed, the movement grew. The great thing about it was that it was adjustable. Some people eschewed all electricity, while others just tried to unplug more often. Eventually, there wasn’t as much demand for certain things as there are in other universes. Most people didn’t care about looking for life on other planets. They didn’t care about cooling down supercomputers, or building extremely realistic virtual simulations. They just didn’t ever want to die. So that was the kind of science that students started getting into, and the more that started the help them, the less they relied on other things; from the hyperfast pocket devices, to even just clothes. When you can regulate your own body temperature, clothing seems a lot less necessary. There wasn’t really any sort of opposition to this movement. No one decided to move off, and do their own thing somewhere else. They all just fell in line, and got with the program, until doing anything all day other than pretty much nothing was essentially unthinkable to nearly everyone.

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