A Day in the life of Future 0

Schmolly (my son’s son’s son’s son’s) wakes up in the morning. He’s really exhausted, his bed cum massager didn’t work properly last night and his automated dream program gave him a rather unpleasant one. He has to go to work today, damn! His robot brings him his food and maneuvers it in to his mouth, the spoon apparatus scratches his gums (mental note-must get that idiotic thing fixed soon. Wait! He can’t possibly remember that much; where’s a good storage device when one needs it????). Promptly, the ligament stimulator in his lower jaw sends an impulse stimulating the muscles in that area and causing him to chew (apparently there’s some new form of energy intake that doesn’t require muscle movement; it just dissolves in one’s mouth, it probably doesn’t leave that rather unpleasant aftertaste either).

He turns on the information portal via a thought mechanism; even though he’s surrounded by incompetence he must keep up to date. What’s new? Apparently the CFICI (Centre For Control of Conflicting Identities) has come up with a new security standard regarding function clones, now they have to be surgically implanted with positioning devices, people have been using clones to commit crimes (not of physical violence – clones are not allowed to harm humans). Just recently there was a public scandal when someone created a clone of the owner of an MPC (multi-planetary company) after getting hold of her DNA and used this clone to withdraw an enormous sum of money in her name.

It’s not as if crime is rampant or anything, these are just freak cases ever since moulding became legal. What moulding means is that before a child is born, its parents can choose one of the 500 possible personalities that have been chosen by a panel of qualified doctors, sociologists, and life simulators. These personalities have been so constructed that everyone fits in to society and at the same time the necessary individuality is maintained. A child’s profession is decided upon by various factors such as current or possible future requirement for that profession and upon the child’s maximum intelligence level. Though this program was faced with much opposition in the first few decades, it is now impossible to imagine a life that wasn’t predetermined.

All this thinking makes Schmolly tired. He switches on the controller and programs his function droid with the housework for the day (disinfecting, preparing the energy intake etc.) He had bought the droid just a few months ago after a lot of consideration (being a robot technician, he had heard many horror stories regarding droids that went berserk and disobeyed even the zeroth law of robotics (robots shall not harm humans). The most common urban legend one heard of as a child was the story of an attention starved droid that killed its master and then took on his identity. However, this is only an old wives tale. the truth being that robots, droids especially, have no emotions (he should know, he helps repair them) so the question of an attention starved droid does not arise. However, there had been freak cases where robots ‘ceased to protect their masters” but as soon as these emerged, some big robotics conglomerate payed off the victims” family fearing that the leaking of information to the media would further fuel the anti- robot groups and send them out of business. Not that Schmolly disagrees with this tactic, after all his own livelihood depends on robots.

With this in mind, Schmolly steps in to the translocation tube in his house ( a perk that came with his extremely important position in his company). Most people have to use the public translocators filled with rude robots, long-haired freaks and sometimes even animals that had escaped from protective reservations which had become necessary after the rampant felling of trees due to the ever-burgeoning population).

Having translocated to the tube in his office, he finds his day’s work flashing on the screen of his computer. It is a piece of instruction code that needs debugging. After painstakingly sieving through the code the testing each line with small alterations, he finds the glitch – an erroneous loop causing the robot to store irrelevant information in its primary memory bank thus leading to overload (which was everyone’s worst nightmare as an overloaded robot has no regard for the laws of robotics and is as dangerous as an animal loose in the city).

Thus after finishing his day’s work, he translocates back to his house. Stepping inside, the first thing he does is to deactivate his an droid. Then, after ‘eating”, he retires to his bedroom, sets the automated dream program to dreamless sleep mode, switches off the massager in -built in to the bed and drifts off.

OPSINGH
NEW DELHI