2031. Many of us expected, at the beginning of the 21st century, that we’d be walking on Mars and living on the Moon by 2031. That was before the oil crash, before food became increasingly difficult to find outside of the world’s largest agricultural producers, before almost three decades of constant, and increasingly savage, war in the Middle East. The fact of the matter is that when EtherDrop came out in 2029 the world was a shitty place. And now, two years later, it seems like only EtherDrop has a good chance of bring the world together in a meaningful, peaceful way.
The last decade has seen some striking changes in the way people have lived. Constant advances in technology have occurred in tension with dwindling natural resources. Few but the very rich drive regularly, and the rising oil prices have also led to an increase in city populations. The culture is very urban, linked by rail and bus, and cars that run on electricity. Well, that’s what the United States has developed into. The poorer nations of the world have not been so lucky. Hiroki Sato desperately believed that technology could solve the problems of society, especially in the third world, and since his death the Sato Foundation has set up computer centers and EtherDrop terminals in many third-world countries.
Despite the bleak news of the 2020’s, now, in 2031, there is a sense of optimism. I think it’s due in large part to the EtherDrop. As I’ve said, the drop-net changed everything.