Monday, January 25, 2016

Writing exercises - Week 2

I've neglected this for a while, mainly because there didn't seem to be a lot more to add on the firearms guide section. But, I'm taking an online writing course and part of that is posting exercises. This is the first one.

By way of a set up, the exercise was to do about 500 words on the first thing I heard when I turned on the radio. It's 2016. We don't have a radio. We have dozens of streaming services and personal mp3 libraries. I don't even have one in my car. It broke a few years ago, and between portable Bluetooth speakers, headphones and a phone with 96 GB of storage, I don't miss it. So that's what I went with.

This is unedited, and I've not even read through it after finishing it. Feel free to ignore it. 

The Future

Radio? People still have those? Funny old world.

Dave never was one to cling to the old technology. Streaming music killed radio. Streaming services eliminated the need for a television. Mobile phones eliminated the need for land lines, and computers as far as home use went. There were people who still used them because the screen was bigger, or whatnot, but for the average person, a phone was good enough.

The future. He was living in it. Electric cars that drove themselves were coming soon. Three dimensional printing would soon advance to the point that the only thing that needed an actual physical delivery to the house was the raw materials. Everything else could be made from plastics, bio-gel, various metals, and wood paste. Most of that could be harvested from the personal waste reclamation systems that were only ten years out.

Friends were available through the Internet. So were jobs, music, culture of all kinds. Education too, was out there for the taking. In twenty years, there would be no need for face to face human interaction at all, unless you wanted kids or some kind of disease.

The future was going to be incredible.

“And that’s the attitude that brought on the most recent global extinction event.”

Billy’s voice rang out of the back of the group. “Miss Jefferies, I don’t understand. How?”

The tour guide smiled and gestured to the row of benches, waiting for the class to settle before explaining it.

“I’m sure you’ve all heard the idea that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That’s basically what happened here. You see, for thousands of years, people were hunters and gatherers. They went outside and worked hard just to survive. Many died at relatively young ages, mainly because they could no longer get their own food and there were no others willing or able to share.

“When people started living in permanent places and learned to farm, things got better because the strong could provide from the weak, and the old could pass on the things they knew to the young.”

“Like you’re doing now?” asked Mary.

Miss Jefferies, blushed. “I don’t think of myself as old, but yes. Sort of like this. As time went on, those little towns grew into cities with millions of people living and working together. Then, in the early 21st century came the technological revolution. Small gadgets that could do all the thinking became popular. People talked through those gadgets rather than to each other, and this resulted in a loss of that sense of community. People grew outraged at things that happened thousands of miles away, but cared noting for things happening outside their own doors.

“Eventually, the lack of interaction caused deficiencies in their immune systems. Contact with others carried a terrible risk, and since they had found virtual sex, the reproduction rate dropped off to the point that only handfuls of more primitive communities that lived like they did in the beginning survived.”

The class rasped their wings together, buzzing to show they had enjoyed the presentation.

“If you follow me to the next exhibit, I’ll explain how the loss of humanity resulted in the end of insecticides, and the birth of our society.”

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