My H2Oh: My Life Story

My parents, both random biological offspring, raised me in a small college town, the term once used for a Designated Educational Area (DEA).  Since money was never discussed, I had to assume that everyone had an equal amount of it except perhaps the town teledontist who did, I was aware, live in a bigger house than some and had a larger transport mechanism.  I also knew that some of my parents colleagues at the university inhabited living spaces that were significantly larger than our own.  Was this simply because they enjoyed having more space than my parents?  I would only later find out that there were extreme differences in the financial portfolio of my own family and many others in the town.  Nevertheless, at that time, no one ever talked about such things.  Everyone in the town was either employed by the university or by businesses that were in themselves dependent on students or those in some other way associated with the university.

While many people's lives changed dramatically with the forced migration, mine and my family's remained somewhat unaltered, the transition from college town to DEA involving the physical displacement of comparatively few individuals.  Really, the biggest change for my family related to the increase in the value of a small piece of land that we owned in one of the newly created Rural Region Areas (DRRA).  For this reason and some others that I will explain shortly, my parents decided to be frozen.  They were always slightly eccentric in their unbounded faith in technology.  Thus, in the hope of seeing what the world would look like mid-century, as well as to give me the opportunity to use the money from the sale of the RRA land in order to re-locate to a UR, they decided they would hibernate for a period of 300-400 Human Years, or just as long as necessary for average human life cycles to exceed 400 Human Years.  They did not want to live forever, but they did hope to see at least the beginning of the 22nd century.  Dreamers in their own peculiar way, they also had the dog frozen in the hope that he, too, would see the next millennium.  

My (nonbiological) father, a molecular biologist, took a rather surprising turn towards Orthodox Judaism when I was in my 20s.  He had decided, he told me, that after 30 years of research and reading, he had yet to find a rational explanation for the evolution of humans as a species.  In the past, he had never needed an explanation, instead rather "blindly" accepting the random but infinitesimal odds that from just this combination of proteins and amino acids humans would emerge.  My (nonbiological) mother, a committed atheist, hoped that the fact of my conception and birth might restore him to reason.  Unfortunately, my birth, it seems, only increased his sense of the mysteries of human existence.  I now suspect this divergence between two people who had had such similar interests and beliefs was not an insignificant part of their decision to freeze themselves.  Surely, by 2499, they felt, there would be a definitive and complete answer to the question of how homo sapiens evolved. 

In my parents' life-times, things were not, in fact, all that different from how they are now.  Nevertheless, the appearance was quite different: most continued to believe that choice and free will were operative in every facet of human existence for the vast majority of the world’s population.  And, though there were some, even in my parents' generation, who acknowledged these traits as merely a facade for a reality in which free will had little to do with anything, my parents, devoted listeners of NPR, did not share these beliefs. This continues to amaze me since the fact of economic inequality has been glaringly evident since well before they were even born.  In 2005, 1% of the U.S. population collected 16% of total income and by 2075, they collected 64%.  Thus, while my parents continued to believe with the vast majority of the U.S. population in the prospect of upward mobility, it was, even in their prior biological lifetimes, a myth generated and propagated by what was then the remaining operational sectors of the U.S. nation state and its governing bodies. 


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