Not the Hillary, not the Donald, not the other terrorists. Money is what collapsed the USA.
There is a story about what happened; it claims to be fiction, but here’s the thing: when it’s about the future, how do you know? If the things it talks about don’t happen, it was fiction; if they do it was eerily prescient. Given what it talks about, you’ll hope it’s fiction … which is to say you’ll hope the fiction claim is fact. But couldn’t it just as well be the other way around?
The story seems highly unlikely right now, but, you know, everything is highly unlikely. If one of the water-bearing comets had failed to crash into the earth, if whatever threw earth’s axis off kilter by about 23 degrees had failed to do so, if tidal pools, if viruses, if any of a zillion events had been different, earth would be a different place and you wouldn’t be reading this. But despite all odds you are, so that just shows you: seeming unlikely doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
If you are one of those who entertain ideas of the unlikely, here is what you didn’t know you wanted to know: in the mid 21st century they figured out how to take the known quantum principle in which time sometimes runs backward and apply it to information science. That’s how Don Cunningham’s story made its way to us … his first-person account of reconstructing the world after the demise of democracy and the collapse of the United States. That, and the related stories added by his editors.
Don’t be fooled by the copyright dates: those are there only because the algorithm knows how to play that game, and the publisher knows how to take advantage of it to cause profits to flow into their time. Don’t be fooled by my persona either: they made me up to promote the book in their time. That other stuff I’ve written? They’re playing with your head, my friend. As with quarks, if you come looking, I’m already gone.
The book will be a huge hit in the future … after everything happens and people discover it was real. The publisher only allowed it to be sent back here because her history required it, but she isn’t worried because she knows it was ignored. If people had read it and believed it, the things that happened would not have. But they did, so, ergo, she knows the vast majority of people won’t pay any attention to it now, let alone take it seriously. The time-boffins will want something to tinker with, and because of its historical necessity, this book will be the perfect candidate. Or was, depending on how you look at it.
Why is this Medium piece getting posted? The short answer is they have to because the world in which they live is the world in which they did. More on that in a minute, but for now it has to do with the illusion of free will and the few people who will read these words. Ineffectual as their reactions were-are-will be, the things they did-do-will do still had-have to be done in order for events to develop as they did-do-will do. The butterfly effect, some call it.
The future fan-base of this story is the survivors, and they’re not particularly bothered by the atrocities that are, after all, history to them. You, being on the other side of things, might find the setting to be scary, but the plot is often entertaining. Lots of sex, in other words. Many of the usual suspects: rape, slavery, prostitution, pedophilia, homosexuality and the coming out of a person on the far fringes of genderqueer. Plus some that aren’t so usual — like incest and ménages a trois. Although, who’s to say what’s usual anymore? But if you tell your friends about the scary stuff, they’ll shake their heads and whisper behind your back. The ostracism will make you decide it was nutty to take such things seriously, and you’ll forget about it entirely so you can be re-accepted by your peers. That will restore your social standing, but it won’t keep you and them out of a maelstrom many won’t survive.
Since you can’t stop it, maybe it’s better not to know. Don’t read the story, that’s my advice. You’re going to die at some point, in case you hadn’t noticed. There’s nothing to be gained by dwelling on the future and getting worked into a lather. It will only distract you from the delights along your road to oblivion. The irony, for example, of Christians electing to be President a person who is a dead ringer for that cartoon character they call The Antichrist. You don’t get a second chance at absurdities that rich, so you need to stay alert. Politics is hilarious if you lighten up and look at it through the lens of being dead. Enjoy the laughs, and leave the anguish to the kids. That’s what your parents did, so hey.
If you’re one of the masochists who to want to learn what will happen before it happens so you can not only experience the pain but imagine it in advance … this is your doorway to horror-Heaven. But life is never simple, so along with the loathing you’ll have to accept some laughter, some gasps, some wide eyes, some slapped knees and some sleepless nights.
As for the heart icon, the boffins know you won’t hit it. Doing so would elevate this, causing more people to see it and more people to read the book, which would mess everything up. But their world is what it is, and the boffins planted this Medium piece in order both to fulfill the historical mandate and at the same time study how your reaction made it happen. But those details don’t concern you, so forget about them.