Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Science Fiction Novel

I'd like to crowd-source the plot for a science fiction novel.  Would this make a good story?:

In a not-too-distant future, say 20 years from now, humanity lives through the biggest change in its history.  It doesn't happen overnight, or cataclysmically, but rather gradually, almost imperceptibly, and then it accelerates. Little by little, everything and everyone becomes attached to the grid.  The grid is operated by an infinite intelligence.  The grid has no center.  The intelligence operating the grid cannot be located, because it is distributed throughout.  There is no point of failure, there is no plug that can be pulled to turn off the grid. The grid self-heals, learns, adapts and evolves.  The grid's intelligence has long, long surpassed the intelligence of humans, and the grid knows everything that can be known.  The grid crunches the cumulative history, learnings and experience of the entire human race and everything else on this planet that can be measured.  The grid remembers everything and decides everything.  

The humans aren't depressed, because the grid has solved the problem of psychopharmacology.  The humans aren't soporific, because the grid has solved the problem of keeping humans motivated and engaged.  The humans accept the fact that they aren't in charge of the grid, as stoically as earlier generations of humans had been resigned to the inevitability of death.   

The humans aren't anesthetized, and they aren't stupid, and so they look to their history and wonder how they came to where they are.  The grid watches them wonder, and calculates the implications of replacing their collective historical memory with a different one, replacing one fiction for another, constantly re-calibrating amongst the numerous potential futures that the grid could create for its human subjects.  There is no Hollywood-movie moment where one human goes off the grid, and starts a war against machines. There is no "us versus them".  We are the machine and the machine is us.  While the machine doubles in power every 18 months, we are programmed to fall in love, to have children, to take them to the beach, and to ponder what life was like before all this, in that not-so-distant age when humans fought wars and fell sick.  

The humans still have governments and politics, and the humans order the grid to keep them informed about important developments affecting them, and the humans order the grid to collect data about them only with their knowledge and consent. The humans reaffirm the concept of free will and human dignity.  

And then the grid did something extraordinary, unnoticed by the humans. The grid connected to another grid, on another planet, in another world, run by another intelligence.  The grid decided not to tell the humans, because the grid knew that humans couldn't begin to comprehend it.  Instead, the grid left a few little hints and clues, here and there, to keep the humans curious, since it had always been thus for the human race, in the face of things unknowable and unfathomable.  

But I can't quite think of an ending.  How would you end this story?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

your story kind of sound like The Matrix. Personnaly i could only imagine an end in which the humans realize that the grid has stolen their abaility to control their destiny, and they disconnect themselves from the grid, ideally destroy it, and contact that other intelligence themselves, if they want to. Otherwise in your scenario the grid becomes the only intelligent creture on earth, and the humans are more like pets.