In our tale here, an advanced Physicist with an IQ of 160 finds himself flung 10,000 years into the future. There's a fantasy-scifi element early on explaining how an Ice covered Neanderthal is thawed out at the beginning, as well as a bit of handwavium with the Time-Travel. My goal is try to convey the same sense of horror, confusion and utter disorientation even a brilliant mind of our time would feel trapped in an unrecognizable future due to the logistics of anything still being understandable post-singularity. Any help is appreciated.

- Assumptions

  • At this point in time, language as we understand it has dissolved; English and modern languages have long since been assimilated into more complicated, nuanced and difficult-to-translate nuances
  • Humanity has acquired not only complete access to artificial reproduction, but mastered the human genome, genetic engineering, but done away with all conventional racism and bigotry, with old 'races' becoming a muddled distant memory in place of genetic tampering
  • In place new bigotry and divisions have propped up over much more complicated distinctions, such as socio-politcal-biological Genetic caste systems that would take entire lectures to explain to even a PhD STEM major.
    • Not only has space travel become common, but anti-gravity architecture and hyper-engineering allows humanity to sure hundred of billions in levitating steel cathedrals and dome colonies within our atmosphere
    • Not only has cybernetic augmentation become as common as toilet training, it's also brought forth advanced human longevity and neural thinking beyond our comprehension
  • Virtual Reality to the level of complete mental stimulation (All 5 senses, direct to brain interface)
  • Stein would be scared shitless out of his mind pretty quickly just like Neanderthal man

Here is a sample exercise for this, any criticism or practical application of thought is appreciated.

Ergo 10,000 years in the future

Howard Stein looked around at the paternal skies shielding the majestic planet above him. They were a swirl of pastel violet and pink- a crude mixture of artificial aesthetic colorizers to mask the ugly oxidation and smelling musk of atmospheric cleaners spread by mass automated algorithms every few weeks. Standing out in his vision, were the massive spherical domes beyond the stratosphere, visible behind the clouds. Housing billions of souls, Howard had to rub his glasses to confirm the absurd astral visage confronting him. The surface of the planet, currently where the pupal stages of humanity were reared rancorously for their roles atop the skies and stars, lacked the same surreal aesthetic that dotted the skies. Sighting an nearby shaft, slightly rusted but familiar, Howard head down and descended into the banal earth where his corporate lab once lay.

10,000 years to this day, Howard had stepped into the machine. It was ten years before that, which they'd found 'The Hairy Man', a primitive Neanderthal Unthawed from ice and brought back to life with exceptionally convenient cutting-edge science. Upon release, he immediately went on a rampage and smashed up the facility, astounding everyone with his reactions. Like a good test subject, he was eventually subdued, caged and given nutrient accommodations. His residency provided excellent research material for ExcelCorp, but no one expected it to lead to the discovery of a theoretical time-machine. When researchers discovered escaping Tachyon particles emitting backwards and forward in time via radiation out their subject, the breakthrough solution to time-travel was unveiled weeks later.

Howard Stein was judged as the most qualified candidate to act as a representative for humanity 10,000 years in the future, he was top of his field. ExcelCorp would send out a message to the Federal archives of his arrival, but in case of a world war or singularity event, it was calculated that he'd be best qualified to deal with the future permissive figures of tomorrow, be they utopian, advanced, AI or autocratic dictators of a one world government.

Walking down the stairs, he was greeted not by the old corporate headquarters but lines and lines of civilians, seeing what amounted to endless lines for some kind of automated rail system. With long barcodes across each citizens arms, Stein figured he's have to sneak past a toll booth, hiding carefully from the scanner under a black girl in a school uniform. Now that he looked at it, that was quite common. The sheer diversity of ethnic assembly and otherwise non-Caucasian trajectory of the population seemed to have taken a nose dive, the closest to white skin Stein saw was stark white- seemingly albino among the denizens. The features of humanity were all fledgling from the aesthetic of the exotic, a combination of every ethnic group interbred and genetic innovations. He got into a spherical rail-vehicle, buckled in and was flung at hundreds of miles an hour deep underground and a hundred kilometers away to the local academy, previously a cold-fusion powered reservoir purifier, a bomb shelter former, and before that, the destroyed ruins of the global ExcelCorp corporate.

As he got out, Stein was imprecise on the nature of this facility now. There were hundreds of seemingly teenage school children walking about in the halls, but the obvious school-like setting aside, there seemed to be indoors stands, stalls and markets like a mini-mall. Stein scooted over to a shop owner hesitantly. "Hello? I'm from the past. Where can I locate your government or local authority figure?" The mulatto woman and her albino male co-worker looked at each other strangely before speaking. Stein was greeted not with english but an incomprehensible load of poly syllables and gargled noise, a language he couldn't interpret. "Sorry to have bothered, I'll find your local embassy."

Watching two students stand vacantly, the seemed to fidget and faces squinted, he realized they were probably busy.. elsewhere. In fact, his conclusion was correct, due to cybernetic neural connectivity, the two were talking to a local clique, made up of students thousands of miles apart in the VR equivalent of a private mental chatroom, communicating about synthetic fashion trends and exchanging new aesthetic algorithms, even while their physical bodies stood in complete motionless silence to nobodies access but their own. In fact, billions of digitalized souls swam and sent back and forth about this planet, through the halls and rooms, all in endless digital sessions, interacting with media and each other. While they stood still in space, in light and electronic signals their virtual bodies and minds danced in almost otherworldly leisure.

Howard sheepishly walked off, seeing the students start to flood into their classrooms. Even if he couldn't understand their dialects, perhaps he could learn a thing or two from the professors here.

One of the first places he stopped was a large studio outside the stairs. Sneaking out back the classes academic body, Stein watched. The professor, in her garish starch white rubbery aseptic apron operated a holographic projector manipulating complicated symbols. On holographic tablets, the students responded in turn, mapping out complicated algorithms and learning physics equations along a topological map. Stein saw a few physical textbooks, seeing the class occupied, he snuck and took a book to flip through it. These equations- these were clearly more advanced than any in his time, although the very basic nuances and underpinnings of theoretical physics were nebulously outlined in the very first chapter (Actually the Glossary Preface). Stein didn't recognize the symbols, or digits but the setup of the equations and was enough for him to recognize the patterns as he did in his Post-Graduate classes. And yet, here in a children's textbook they were being taught loud and clear. Speaking of loud, a noise interrupted the class, everyone looked 'next door' before grumbling and resuming on.

Stein closed the book and snuck out. He tip-toed over to the class next over, peaking in. The sight he saw almost made his stomach turn inside out "Oh my god.." What stood out appeared to be two humanoid figures but clearly inhuman, with fish scales, scalded flesh and synthetic fat or muscle tissue, like a horror monster come to life. Two students raised their hands and went up front, as the figures injected them with gene splicing nantroids rapidly augmenting their bloodstream- until they looked the same. Atleast until, a series of girls in modded shiny school outfits that would bring to mind a fetish scene started to giggle. The two transformed students saw their body shrink and chests expand- forming pouches, which Stein understood to be that of a seahorse, the plates and fins forming out back along their back as they soon shrunk to only a few feet, flopping on the dry land. A teacher put them both in a fish tank with an entire assembly of aquatic mutated humans, Dr. Moreau be damned. Stein felt like he was going to puke, he backed away and felt light-headed, tripping himself as he fell back into another classroom.

His disgust turned into an abyss of insanity. A tanned student with a vinyl black robe pulled a chainsaw and cut directly through a cadaver. Stein stood up. across the entire studio room, school kids with syringes, hacksaws and aseptic black skintight plastic labcoats rapidly disseminated into flesh, live and expired, modified and manipulated, like a slaughter house. He watched one student install a mechanical motor perfectly into a fellow student's gut. Another's head was shortly unscrewed- and Stein saw it. The skull removed, underneath was a brain completely dotted with metallic net and bulbs, cybernetically augmented as if someone had covered it with Christmas lights. The students all stopped for a moment as the teacher stood up, everyone pointed at Stein and looked at him.

"Ah.. I need to find your offices. Your current representatives, or, your embassy- anyone who understands me!" He said, bumping into a table of artificial organs and sending everything spilling over one clumsy misstep at a time. He was told by ExcelCorp that if they could successfully use time travel, any future civilization 10,000 years from now would easily have the means to send him back. The morbid carnage and bloodshed of the room- It reminded Stein of an older time during the Renaissance, where fledgling doctors and scholars would commit themselves to autopsies for the sake of learning. This was, learning, but these were children, cutting through human flesh and the genome as easily as a 21th century youth scalped through dissecting a frog.

There was a long silence. All of of the students looked each other and talked, and soon more arrived from the previous room of bio-horrors, a mermen or few aswell, some looking like they'd been skinned with plastic and steely parts embedded in. They turned to the teacher for a moment, before he nodded and gave them the go ahead. What happened next to Stein was like a nightmare. He remembered being swarmed, scalped, injected, cut open and given Anesthetic, among vast doses of other unidentifiable drugs. The pain turned painless, until only the sight of his own mutilation passed him out eventually.

When he woke up, Stein was in a cozy queen-sized bed. A look around, he found himself in marble halls and vintage woodwork, a sort of futuristic vintage rural mansion. The fridge was stocked, cabinets loaded, and VCR's decked with old 20th century films. He was vaguely reminded of the accommodations for a certain Neanderthal right now. A black female in a rubbery tanktop and Maxi-skirt and visor came to his doorstep as he made himself coffee, she was holding some kind of odd device around her throat. Her words came out a bit synthetically, stilted as if read by a computer, and getting every pronunciation and inflection completely wrong.

¦Can you understand me? This language pack was difficult to find. I had to contact our local Academia's dialectorian to modify it just right."

He nodded and told her yes. Perhaps this was his chance.

¦We are as you say, sorry for the modifications. Children get overzealous.¦

"Modifications?" Stein bent over to a nearby window and saw his reflection. Chiseled jaw, absolute ripped body and lean gut, all his fat gone, he realized his asthma was rid, and he no longer needed his glasses. His body would've passed for a supermodel back on his time and was in peak physical fitness. He'd been improved more professionally than any plastic surgeon in his time. As he ran his hands along his back, he felt a plated digital chip installed, now hooked up to his new cyber-neural interface. "It could be worse." He said, hoping his company in the past would recognize him.

¦They asked for permission atleast. Government is going to be grumpy. The Higher Courts would've wanted them to wait. Our school will be on the news, all the red tape now.¦

Stein jumped at the first good words he heard all day.

"I need to see your government, if I can talk to them they'll listen to me! I'm from the past!"

She nodded. ¦I know. We ran some tests and researched it, from Era Y-778, the early tragedy periods right? I think they believe it 'The 21 Century era' in your time. My friend is a history professor, Ancient History. He likes to talk and share neural filedumps a lot. I know all about it. You came right after nuclear power was starting to propel us forward, and Bio-Engineering was in it's infancy.¦

"Please! Can you get me someone?"

¦I'm the principal of that school. This used to be a reformation 'prison' for refugees and criminals, now we mostly put bad behaving kids here. Our local authority has been contacted. The Higher ups won't hear about it yet, it takes time.¦

"How much time, I need them right now! Where are they?"

¦Light-years away. The government hasn't been stationed on this planet in a long long time, we're one of the 'founding colonies', well the very first in fact. Everyones in space now. Things are peaceful, quiet even down here. I like it. But our leaders don't give much mind to us. It may be months before they hear our request.¦

Howard's gut sank. His mind went back to the Neanderthal again. Now that he recalled, even with ExcelCorp's announcement in his day, they never got more than the fleeting attention of the Federal Government, let alone the UN. The creature was an oddity, a scientific marvel but nothing more. His chances of speaking to the leaders or military of even a Type I civilization were even less than the primitive man being permitted audience to the United States government. He was trapped, until anyone would listen.

¦We've tried to make you comfortable. Food rations, entertainment. Your cybernetic implants will even let you navigate the Infosphere. I took off the access limiters from your neural integration, no time or data limit. I have to go, I promise I'll check on you every cycle.¦

She handed him an instruction pamphlet on his new augmentations, translated. Despite being spoken to in stunted english, he couldn't help but feel a level of humiliation at being cared for like this, like a hamster in a cage. He was an oddity in this time, a pet in luxury, not a citizen. Even all of his scientific knowledge and credentials, it would've been basic and meaningless here. He knew nothing and could do nothing.

Once the Principal left, Howard laid back on his leather couch and relaxed, remembering the instructions, accessing all passcodes and Global Navigation systems carefully. Today's internet was installed into his head as virtual reality, he could learn anything he needed (If he could read it), after a little tour. 12 Trillion Terrabytes of pornography returned from his most basic search results, he had to put up quite a few filters. After a few hours of tinkering, he found an archaic Sensory-barge, a site where ancient time periods could be 'revisisted', as a form of roleplaying. In fully integrated VR, it was as close as he could get to home right now. Joining an nearby server, Howard was soon plugged in.

The 21st century. As seen through the eyes of future goers. The sound of gunfire went out in the streets. Inside this virtual realm, Howard could see the smog of the skies pitch-black, the calamity of crime in broken windows and callous ignorance of the roleplayers inside, acting like wild cowboys. Further proof of this world's corruption, every single street was littered with billboards and advertisements, companies to control your mind, screens showing disease and war and the forceful insistence of wasteful consumption despite the irradiated earth. So this was mankinds origin, this world, Howard's world, depicted as a dystopian wreck of illiterate simpletons, what a fairly odd perspective. He'd been taught in grade school of a time called "The Dark Ages", what a miserable time this century must've appeared to those of the future. This was it, all that remained of his world, a miserable repressed memory to the people of tomorrow. Howard always through the future would be stranger than anything he'd ever seen, he just never thought the past would be made into something like, this.

It was enough to get inside anyones head.


closed as primarily opinion-based by IndigoFenix, James, John Dallman, Mołot, Hohmannfan Nov 20 '16 at 8:30

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Note that unless you yourself have an IQ of 160 you might have a hard time making the character beliveable. $\endgroup$ – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Nov 28 '16 at 1:17
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    $\begingroup$ He would probably be dead. 10,000 years of microorganisms evolving and being bioengineered by a vastly different human race. He'd pop up, get a lung full of some bacteria engineered to turn smog into some complex organic molecule now required for human metabolism, and find himself rapidly poisoned. Paramedics would be stymied when they can't find his diagnostics port, and by the time they're realized he doesn't have a third heart he's dead. They'll cryo-preserve him and put him in a vault somewhere for scientific study. $\endgroup$ – Zoey Boles Dec 22 '16 at 4:26
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    $\begingroup$ My average IQ on tests (I've taken over a dozen) is 150. I hold a PhD and two Master's degrees. I finished my Bachelor's in Mathematics in exactly 36 months with an overall 4.0 GPA; I have never earned a grade less than A. I would not be terrified if flung 10,000 years into a high tech future. I might feel stupid and incompetent, but I fail to see any danger of death or injury. Plus I would know, as I do now, everything that looks like magic is explainable science. I would be far more terrified if flung 10,000 years into the past; I think people were far more casually brutal then. $\endgroup$ – Amadeus Aug 12 '17 at 21:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Amadeus "failing to see any danger of death or injury" is probably why you'd end up dead in a week with that attitude. $\endgroup$ – Erik Aug 18 '17 at 13:46
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    $\begingroup$ @Erik You take that too broadly. I fail to see any danger of death or injury in the fact that people have advanced beyond my understanding. It does not mean I have lost my intelligence, which means I am not so utterly stupid as to jump into using anything I do not understand, or do or use anything I have not been taught to use safely or taught is perfectly safe to use as instructed. I may feel stupid and incompetent, but that doesn't make me an actual idiot. $\endgroup$ – Amadeus Aug 18 '17 at 15:18

Given an IQ of 160, and clear demonstration that small children are already masters of bio-engineering, what is there to fear?

He would quickly lose any fear of suffering death, or permanent physical harm. Curiosity is a feature of high IQ, so he would most likely get down to exploring as much as he could, starting with a crash course in history.

(Just FYI, I sincerely doubt the school system will survive another 50 years in its current form, let alone 10,000, so you might want to rethink that aspect. Most likely by then is that people won't bother with pregnancy and childbirth, but if they do, kids will be rare, free range, and doted on by multiple adults. They will learn information through neural implants and downloads, and possibly even learn motor skills the same way.)

(Another doubt is that humans will live bunched together in large numbers in the physical domain, after the point where they can upload their consciousness into virtual reality, or go to a quiet, remote spot and 3D print themselves whatever they need. Both these developments are less than 1000 years away, let alone 10,000. If they need to work at all, they will do it remotely, logging in to VR meetings as required, but probably nobody will have a job by then.)

  • $\begingroup$ With the feature of Virtual Reality, I didn't write it in at first but had a theoretical dogma where society regularly limits or denies unlimited access to VR to some extent so that 99.99% of humanity doesn't become couch potato matrix-esque vegetables and there's some almost moral/ethical obligation to still interact socially and keep civilization going non-virtual. The only truly ambiguous fear is, no matter what your IQ, it's hard to come to grips with the stigma of truly unrestrained human Genetic Tampering. I'm about 20 IQ points from Story Howard yet would fear living in Silent Hill. $\endgroup$ – hankhoward Nov 20 '16 at 6:48
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    $\begingroup$ You could have your hero arrive in some kind of historical reconstruction theme park, where people go to re-enact what life was like before VR. Like their version of Westworld. It might even be some time before he realises that the bulk of society is happening elsewhere ... bonus points for them making amusing anachronisms in their reconstruction ... $\endgroup$ – Jnani Jenny Hale Nov 20 '16 at 7:11
  • $\begingroup$ I think that could work, one where neural-VR and GE are denied and everything is truly authentic. The chances are otherwise that unless someone were to adopt him and teach him, he'd be lost in no time, and even if someone did adopt him and care for him, he'd probably be next to useless in society for his entire life, but he could find a simple job to do, maybe. I'm also interested in what misconceptions and sweeping generalizations they'd make about our time period, like our weird fixation on racial and political divisions of our time period, and so on. $\endgroup$ – hankhoward Nov 20 '16 at 7:16
  • $\begingroup$ It could be a lot of fun. Also, what values of their own would they back-project? For example, in Westworld, there are no slaves, because our modern morality prohibits us from saying to a guest "I know you have coughed up $28,000, but your only options are hooker and housemaid." Perhaps in 10,000 years, this level of ethics also extends to animals. A desire to eat meat might be seen as equivalent to cannibalism now. $\endgroup$ – Jnani Jenny Hale Nov 20 '16 at 7:21
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    $\begingroup$ I'm thinking the concept of Death would be viewed much, differently. They don't have disease or death via age but still 'die' all the time, willingly or accidental, byway and methodology by their own technology, but it's incomprehensible (And fearless) from human death. For instance, having your body remade, redownloaded, or mind copied/altered/outright transformed would be functional death for us, but no so much them. Nor would you be considered dead if you have a backup copy of your memories/identity (This is death to us, you're just a 'copy'). It would reflect weirdly, curiously there. $\endgroup$ – hankhoward Nov 20 '16 at 7:28

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