Just two days ago, both Mrs 15HWW and I were spending a nice sunny afternoon in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. Basically, we were just lazing around on the cushiony grass patches, feeding birds and watching children running them around. Surrounded by the breathtaking harbour and the vast blue sky, I really wanted to freeze this moment in time. =)
And we really have more than that to be thankful for. By most measures, the modern Singapore that we live in is close to being a utopia, especially if you compare against 100 years ago.
Coincidentally, August 2014, this month, marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. Millions were injured, tortured and killed and for those who survived, they lived in fear for the next 30-40 years. I know it because the History Channel ran a special series and I was watching them on most nights in the comfort of my hotel room with a Messina tiramisu gelato in my arms. What a contrast.
And 100 years really isn’t that long ago. For instance, our great great grandparents (or great grandparents if you’re more mature) probably lived through that tumultuous period and could you imagine their delight if we could teleport them to our age?
You probably don’t need to because one of my favourite bloggers, David Cain, has written a wonderful piece about the amazing world we live in today recently. Reading it should help us to renew our gratitude and appreciate our incredible fortune to be alive in this day and age.
Congratulations on winning our sweepstakes!
We’re pleased to welcome you on a most-expenses-paid, open-ended trip to The Future, where you will enjoy fantastic technologies, abundant luxuries, exhilarating freedoms and opportunities, an inexhaustible supply of entertainment, and other truly ludicrous privileges.
You’ll be so awash with options, you won’t know what to do with yourself! Take a stroll through our modern cities and towns, free of threat from animal attacks and most infectious diseases. Wrap your body in a variety of warm, protective garments, available for next to nothing at garage sales and thrift stores or — if you’re feeling extra-luxurious — at one of thousands of retail shops.
Or perhaps you feel like eating something. That will almost certainly not be a problem! Beans, rice, legumes, flours, and — unbelievably — any amount of safe, fresh water you desire, are all widely available for little more than pocket change. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. For a little more you can get fresh fruits and vegetables, and even game, transported to you from exotic locations around the world. We even offer a “super-luxury” option, where you can pay a modest premium to have professionals find, prepare, and cook your meal, and even place it right in front of you, with additional doting provided by trained servants.
Here’s a partial list of other features you will enjoy here in The Future:
Protective walls, roofs and floors! We have these virtually everywhere, available on both a public and private basis. Weather will no longer run your life and make your decisions for you. Shield your possessions from thieves, as well as dampness and rot, with ease.
Answer virtually any question you have in seconds, with our Space-Age “Inter-Network.” Talk to friends, relatives and strangers anywhere, even across oceans, in real-time. Find the nearest coffee merchant or automobile-for-hire in seconds, or simply find something interesting to read or skim.
Many reasonably peaceful civilizations to choose from, with sophisticated and exclusive amenities such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from slavery, abundant parks and public spaces, growing respect for differences, non-despotic governments, police protection, relatively advanced labor standards, and a general “live and let live” ethos.
Endless art, music, literature and computer-simulated adventure! You could listen to a new musical performance, or read a new story, or gaze at new artwork, every hour of every day of your life and never run out of options. And we’re making more all the time! You can also watch fictional events unfold on an electronic “stage” in your own home, changing the actors and storylines with the push of a button. This is a very popular activity among our guests.
Truly incredible technologies, everywhere. Medical advancements that can double your life expectancy. Futuristic machines that can perform most of your cooking, cleaning, and thinking duties for you. You may be able to leave manual labor behind almost entirely! But don’t worry — with all your extra energy you can still keep your body in shape, by performing non-productive manual labor such as moving weighted steel rods up and down, or running circles around your neighborhood, even with nothing chasing you. Effective treatments are available for thousands of physical maladies, and a small but growing number of mental illnesses as well.
A wide variety of rights, privileges, work and educational opportunities. Learn to articulate your thoughts to others with beautiful languages, refined over millennia. Knowledge of basic math, geography, history, and science are all matters of course for nearly all of our winners, and much more advanced knowledge is always available for those who are interested. Using our revolutionary “Inter-Network,” you can even learn in the privacy of your own home. Seek mastery in one of hundreds of careers and thousands of hobbies. Shakespeare, French lessons, salsa dancing, meditation, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu — you can have it all.
Absurd levels of luxury. Enjoy material comforts the kings and queens of old could never have imagined. Hot water on demand in virtually every home, no fire necessary. Heaters, fans and “air conditioning technology” allow you to even adjust the temperature of the air itself to match your preference, any time of year. Enjoy fine soaps, lotions, textiles and perfumes. Even spices and teas are readily available, in hundreds of exotic varieties. Be shuttled around the globe in automobiles and flying machines, even if you have no royal blood at all.
Nature! Listen to birds chirping, squirrels singing, and insects buzzing. Sit under a tree and enjoy its shade and muted rustling. These simple and beautiful pleasures are available in nearly every locale, for free. Coastal regions also come with sand or rocks, salty breeze, and 24-hour wave action. There is also a significant amount of nature remaining outside our lovely cities. Tours can be arranged easily.
Friendly and experienced support staff. While you’re off practicing ballroom dancing or sampling exotic fruits, teams of professionals are standing by, ready to assist you in a medical emergency, rescue you from fire, clean your streets, repair broken amenities, and even help you fend off wild animal attacks-in-progress.
Clearly we must be out of our minds for offering such a rich spread of prizes! This is certainly more than any human being could reasonably hope for — and it’s all yours.
So what’s the catch? How can you offer such an unbelievable deal?
There’s no catch! At least not for you! Most of the expense has been paid by generous benefactors, hailing from previous generations, as well as today’s. Sweepstakes entry is automatic and free, and if you’re reading this, you are one of our lucky winners! All we ask is that you don’t forget to enjoy your wondrous prizes, and that you respect our other guests.
Welcome to the future. Enjoy responsibly.