|"The wildest speculations of today may be the facts of tomorrow."|
|Edward Cornish, World Future Society|
People working? No!
They're living at home — concentrated into cubicles without openings, packed into office-like complexes. Each is content to exist in an four-foot-square domain containing everything needed to live comfortably in the year 2065.
Incoming to each cubicle is a tube dispensing a prescribed paste — PolynutrimentTM — custard-like and tailored to one's unique dietary and biochemical needs. Bodily wastes are similarly funneled out through outgoing tubes. Exercise is no longer required to stay physically fit. The consequence? Lethargy! (Human nature being what it is; Why exert oneself if it's not necessary?) Hygiene is maintained with the occasional use of skin-rejuvenating evaporative towelettes.
Does everyone live this way? No, not the well-to-do. The one percent of the world's populace fortunate enough to have inherited significant wealth still live in detached houses. Their Polynutriment is consumed with some panache however — with a spoon! There are no outgoing waste tubes either, and their towelettes are personalized with their preferred fragrance!
Because it's nearly impossible to rise to this stratospheric socio-economic level from below, most of the world's population is cubicle dwelling.
This scenario is preposterous!
Admittedly, it's hard to fathom now. However, as the third-world educated their masses, they became competitive intellectually; thus raising their standard of living from poverty, starvation and homelessness. Conversely, the already-developed nations, as a result of "globalization" and its consequence — overwhelming competition — found their living standards falling.
What was well known for many years — that the earth could not support 20th-century developed-nation living standards for all its inhabitants — finally was made evident. The once economic polar extremes converged somewhere well below the middle. Fortunately, Phrenicea provides the means for large numbers of people to exist "happily" with very little amenities.