This Reader’s Guide provides background information on every day life in the world of The Life Online books. This is a summary of how humans live, work, travel and manage under the surveillance and environmental constraints of the 22nd century.
Beginning reading below or download Readers Guide – Every Day Life for a PDF copy
Discussion Guide – Every Day Life in The Motion Clue
For Readers, Book Clubs and other interested thinkers
What are we talking about?
The Life Online book series envisions our world around one hundred years from now when technology has surpassed most humans’ ability to think. Thanks to technology, most of the world’s ten billion people live in developed cities but with limitations and constraints. To begin, we can discuss the key differences that today’s humans (that’s us) would note between our world and the world in The Life Online series.
Daily human life
- Everyone carries or has embedded a com device that provides wireless connectivity to The Network
- The Network provides all information that people need to function – from a wake-up alarm to work schedules to product purchases – all automatically
- All human activity is pre-programmed. People do not have to think or do any task outside of The Network’s instructions
- The Network’s program reconfigures and aggregates data based on a human’s actions and is constantly updating
- Renewable energy resources have been implemented in most advanced economy countries, but the battle still rages over oil and natural gas
- The world’s attempt to reverse environmental damage has been restrained by widespread conflicts. Sea levels have risen, temperatures have swung through extremes, hurricanes, tornadoes and tsunamis frequently damage infrastructure and disrupt lives. Most people never go outside.
- The majority of the world’s people live in high-rise cities where buildings are connected by underground transportation tunnels, sky-bridges and electronic walkways. Manufacturing, offices, services, sports, education, recreation and medical facilities are located within high-rises.
- Energy and water use and waste management are strictly controlled and managed by each building, neighborhood and city
- The dense high-rises are surrounded by wealthy suburbs with single-family residences maintained behind high walls and electric fences
- The only people who go outdoors are agriculturalists, environmentalists, adventurer and outdoor sports enthusiasts, and “back to the land” rural dwellers. And of course…anarchists
- Anyone else found outside is likely to be an “outer.” A person who decides to live “off grid” out of the cities. But these people are still under surveillance via satellite.
- Cameras and sensors provide blanket coverage in every urban center and track every human at all times
- Advanced satellite technology means that there are virtually no places left to hide
- The Network is able to back-track through the data at any time to determine a human’s whereabouts and activities
- Driver-less transports roll or fly in all directions. The machines operate automatically based on the human’s pre-defined destination. There are no more transport accidents even in the most densely populated cities
- Planes, trains and boats all exist and all are faster than you have ever seen
- The unemployment rate is at historical, chronically high levels and is one of the key reasons why the government took control of human lives through The Network. People who do not obtain STEM – science, technology, engineering, mathematics – skills generally work in the service industry. But the service industry automated many jobs, especially in retail where stores were replaced by warehouses that use drones to deliver directly to consumers from automated or robot controlled manufacturing facilities.
- The unemployed receive subsistence benefits and have no work instructions.
- Skilled and specialty workers are in high demand and earn commensurate salaries. Creative people, computer programmers, doctors, lawyers, bankers, knowledge professionals, designers, hair stylists, carpenters, and prostitutes are all among those considered “pros,” or professionals meaning they have a specific, customized skill set, and for the most part are independently employed.
- The entertainment and sports industries are among the biggest and most lucrative businesses. People spend hours watching programming from all over the world.
- Indoor sports and group activities are more prominent because of the environmental constraints of playing outdoors
More guides about the characters, global locations, conflicts between rogue and official techs and more from the Life Online stories