Monday, October 11, 2010

The Peace Project: A Short Story

Date:  310418211.3a7
Subject: The Planet known as 'Earth'
Entry#: 4473811
Last Entry Date:  21948372.2s1 (approximately 250 Earth years.)
Watcher #: L7487-924

Since the last entry, the planet known as 'Earth' has changed more rapid than usual.  The life span of the humans who live on this planet is significantly shorter than ours -- thus the need for quick adaptation.  In order to make an accurate report, I have spent some time reading their archives for this entry to determine what caused this change to the species and the planet.  This is what has been determined.

On the night of the 11-12 of December 2512, war as the humans knew it ended, and with it -- some of their species might say -- so ended humanity.

It began long ago.  Attempts at peace.  If what their literature says is true, it began some time in the days of their pre-history.  Wars were fought for peace. Tribes attempted to establish peace and control the whims of humanity.  Later, politicians, clerics, philosophers followed in suit.  "Peace" they all preached, and "War" was their answer.  A tool was made, and the tool was misused.  This was the state of humanity as accounted for since the records of their pre-history. 

A noticeable shift in humanity could be seen by those who were vigilant in the year 2213.  It was the year when the Peace Program was first invented by several undergraduate students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  As computers became smaller -- desktop, to laptop, to netbook, to handheld computing, to wrist computing the size of watches, and credit card computing -- the ever shrinking technology allowed three MIT students to hypothesize a way peace could be had by means of the computing devices all people carried with them.  When the Peace Program was first released, no one expected much from the program -- not even the students' professors.  It had every indication of being a failure at a lofty humanitarian effort of peace.  But the program survived through the years and developed with each advancement of technology.

The Peace Program gained its biggest support and push in 2315.  During this age, people installed and implanted computational devices in their bodies 8 days after birth.  This was the law of the world and none were exempt.  The race to be the first nation to reach the outer planets is what initially drove the implantation of the Limbabellum Stimulation Devices (LD) in citizens across the world. The LDs enhanced the computational thinking power of the mind and senses by tapping into the long dormant recesses of the brain.  Some years after the mandatory implantation of said devices, the IQ of the entire planet rose on average 100 points.  Fifth grade students were doing advanced physics and first grade students were reading and writing commentary on the Shakespearean Canon. 

Though the LDs, implanted near the cerebellum, were regulated and monitored by the World Union Government (WUG) -- an informal unionized government whose laws had no bearing on the populace but were obeyed by all, this did not stop the commercial industry from tapping into the device and using it for their own means.  Soon an entire industry existed solely to produce products for the device.  Many aimed at tapping into the neurotransmitters to which the device was connected to produce a variety of effects.  The most common of products were ones that caused a decrease in the learning curve for whatever was being learned.  Instead of it taking years of laborious practice and numerous failures, master musicians, writers, mathematicians could be had in a mater of months.  By means of the LD, the Peace Project was able to take hold in society, instead of creating a virtual world one only heard and saw, the Peace Project engineers were able to tap into multiple senses and stimulate a release of serotonin into the brain producing a state of peaceful bliss in the person using the Peace Project.  Users reported a dip in stress levels, better sleep, and more productivity.

The government allowed for the Peace Program to use the LD, but strictly regulated with harsh penalties which transmitters and sections of the brain could be stimulated and which could not.  Moreover, with the advent of the marriage of the LD and the Peace Project, the World Union Government (WUG), exercising reason, saw it fitting to limit the amount of time a person could use the Peace Program with the LD.  Each Peace Program was sold with a timer that would shut down the Peace Program after using the system for the maximum time allotted by the WUG (45 minutes).  The Program would then not reboot for a full 48-hour period.

Though the regulations were in place, it was only a matter of time before some one worked around the restrictions and blocks put in place by the government.  As it is with humanity, the good is often twisted and misused.  An un-authorized Peace Program was put into secret use in the Maximum Security Prison of Louisiana, which violated the Cerebellum Convention documents that set an international standard upon which sections of the brain can be stimulated and for what length of time those areas may be stimulated, and was used to stimulate the neurotransmitters that were, by law, not allowed to be stimulated by the device.  The Peace Program harnessed the neurotransmitters and increased the dopamine and serotonin levels in the mind to create a world of peace for the individual who was plugged into the Peace Project terminal.  The un-authorized version included, not for public release of knowledge, sensory receptors and stimulators that covered the head and eyes. Sensors and receptors were even inserted into the nasal passages, ears, and mouth.  Those who were plugged into the terminal were in a different world and not only electronically by means of a computer, but there in the senses also. 

The Peace Program was first put to use in the prison on the most violent of inmates who continued their violence in prison despite their location and condition.  The goal of this un-authorized Peace Program was to aid in the rehabilitation of the violent criminals.  It was used both as a disciplinarian tool as well as a learning tool.  It was deemed more humane than solitary confinement; yet, more effective than other programs: group therapy sessions, psychotherapy, and pharmaceuticals.  So the warden at the Maximum Security Prison of Louisiana saw the program as no problem. 

Ted Robicheaux was the first inmate sent to the un-authorized Peace Program.  He was sentenced to life incarceration for the killing of ten individuals over a course of 5 years.  He killed his victims by means of a systematic removal of the flesh.  After the removal of a strip of flesh, he cleaned the wound in an attempt to make His victim live as long as possible.  He kept pints of his own blood on hand in order to supply the victim with more time before death.  He would cook and eat the strips before the victim's own eyes, all done without the aid of narcotics and in a sound proof room in an upper alcove of his house in the Garden District of New Orleans, Louisiana.  Robicheaux said it was a "spiritual experience."  "Ecstasy" he said.  It was "like Theresa of Avila wounded by beauty's arrow."  Robicheaux continued his violence in prison, which resulted in the majority of his first two years in solitary confinement.

Having no living family, Ted Robicheaux was the perfect candidate for this experimental implementation of the un-authorized Peace Program.  At first Ted responded well to the program.  While attached to the machines, he was peaceful and never bothered a person.  When he attended his mandatory group rehabilitation meetings, he produced a level of calm that none had seen him with before.  While attending those meetings he said little.  Though calmer, he was more withdrawn from those around him. Finally, and unexpectedly, Ted became agitated, full of anxiety, anger and wrathful, ready to snap at any person who did not let him be in his own mind.  He exhibited symptoms of depression and often had mood swings from rage to tears.  Systematically, his violence returned, all the while he kept asking for the Peace machine.  He wanted to be hooked back into the machine.  It was there, he said, while covered with electrodes and wires that he "could be himself."  It was "more real than the real world, more sensual than the senses," and "more peaceful than peace itself." Ted Robicheaux got what he desired.  He was permanently installed into the Peace Machine after killing the members of his group rehabilitation during one session.  Due to the Life-to-Life Act of the World Union Government (WUG), which stated, "all measure must be made to ensure the survival of all peoples.  Regardless of their state of life."  steps were made to ensure Ted's survival while installed into the machine:  feeding tubes were placed for nourishment, orderlies were present to assist in his cleaning and changing, and technicians were on site full time to monitor both the machines and Ted.

As months passed, the guards at the Maximum Security Prison of Louisiana reported a positive boost in morale by not having to manage Ted.  The reports were so positive, that soon, other prisoners were installed into the Peace machine: first the violent, then the uncooperative, than the emotionally disturbed, the troubled, the sad, the happy, and it continued over several years till finally the entire prison population was installed into the peace machine.  When the reports came out that the Maximum Security Prison of Louisiana violent incidents had not only decreased over the years but submitted a report 10 years after the installation of Ted Robicheaux in the the Peace Machine to the World Union Government Office of Correctional Institutes (WUGOCI) a violent incident rating of 0%.  This report resulted in the prison being audited by the WUGOCI.  What the WUGOCI Czar found upon his arrival pleased him greatly, and he started a mandatory implementation of the unauthorized peace program across all correctional institutes in the WUG region 10 -- formally known as the United States.

The same pattern was followed and over a course of 10 years, the violent incidents in the WUG region 10  correctional institutes dropped to an all time low of 1%.  Other WUG regions, impressed with the success of the unauthorized Peace Program in WUG region 10, began adopting it in their prison systems with similar results.

Years later, Judges and juries began sentencing people to the Peace Project for a length of time.  Like with Ted, after released from the Peace Project, anxiety increased in those released, and eventually a more serious crime was committed so they could be reinstalled to the Peace machine; repeat offenders were permanently installed. The connection was never made that the Peace Program might be causing the anxiety and crimes.  Causation was never proved and a correlation seemed to have been ignored.  As the crime rates fell, Judges began sentencing individuals to the Peace Project for even the least serious of crimes:  speeding (for it showed signs of aggression which would lead to violence); littering and plastics  (it showed signs of disrespect to the earth and humanity and leads to rebelious behavior and contempt for positions of authority); speaking badly against certain people, parties, ideologies and beliefs (this showed even more aggressive behavior and aggressive behavior begot only more aggressive behavior); and even certain lifestyles were sentenced to the Peace Project.
 
Wars were non-existent on every front: political, spiritual, and economical.  Jihad was no longer the fear of the world.  From a certain point of view, peace stretched across the world. However, Friends turned friends in to the Peace Project.  Son was set against Father, and Mother was set against daughter.  During this time, the world became scared.  At any moment, a person could be taken away by the Peace Patrol, those officers sworn to protect Peace and the Project.

In the spring of 2400 A.D., WUG agencies across the globe opened Peace Centers, for a nominal fee and a promise of donating their body to the Peace Project upon the end of their life.  People who did not want to live or who couldn't function in the normal world would go voluntarily to these centers and get installed into the peace machines never to be seen again.  Their athletic stadiums, skyscrapers, missile silos and other monolithic structures of every age were transformed into these centers.  Humans in rectangular boxes measuring 6 feet in length, 3 feet in width, and 2 feet in height, were stacked upon each other creating the appearance of massive storehouses.
 
So, on the night of December 11-12, 2512, Edward Johnson finished fully automating the Peace Machines to function without the aid of human intervention.

His final entry into his log read:

    I am finished.  A lifetime of work.  I can now join my brethren in the Project.  Though when I install myself, as the last of my kind, peace will be and war will be naught, the hungry are fed, the naked have become clothed, the sad rejoice, the sick have been healed, and the dying live.  The Kingdom of Heaven is now.

We will the planet known as Earth, we will continue to monitor.  Though I suspect that monitoring will be less frequent now that their world is installed into their Peace Program. 

This ends report #4473811.



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