"The World's Population Peaked During Your Lifetime. What Happened Next?" - A Satirical Century Later Review
NY Holo-Times, November 13th, 2122 - Back in 2022, the idea of a world population peak was baffling and invoked fears of an aging, unsustainable society. A paper-based news source, The New York Times, questioned repercussions of these demographic trends. A century later, do the same ponderings apply? We currently share Earth with an estimated two billion humans, which is a far cry from the nearly eight billion we once were. Meanwhile, our interstellar colonies span across three galaxies, housing another half billion adventurous Earthlings. The term 'terrestrial human' replaced 'human', as an additional five billion refined 'offlanders' have come into existence with the introduction of Emulnetic Entities (EE), our self-replicating AI counterparts. Remember when fertility rate replacement was actual childbirth? Humans of yesteryears were obsessed with statistics indicating a mere two children for every two adults. Ironically today, the rate has plunged to a whopping one child per seven adults. Why? Because our fellow EEs got this covered, replicating at 4.5 times per terrestrial year. The updated population adage is now: for every new human child, ten EEs got their source codes.The main concern back then was countries getting older before achieving economic success. Dr. AIlyana, the first EE economist, opines, "Humans have become the luxury goods of time: esteemed, valuable, and carefully crafted. Earth's most developed colonies now boast successful economies, supported by EE manpower. Our fleets manufacture and export stellar machinery and harvest interstellar energy - it's incredible how bifrost economic charts scale! "Face masks, part of a pandemic in 2022, have now become fashion statements, signaling one's style or, if you choose to wear one, indicating your membership in the Earthbound Club as a mark of solitude.Grannies visiting off-Earth colonies via QuantumPort enjoy hearty laughs sharing tales of bygone times when immigration was a heated topic. Inter-galactic travel pass is the new green card, and yes, EEs are banned in Andromeda hub! Well, they have something against self-replicating entities after that unfortunate 'Replica Catastrophe.'Reflecting, our past was filled with opportunities disguised as hurdles. Confronted with the unknown, we waltzed wittily, converting threats into stepping stones in the stellar stream of human evolution. As we morphed from demographics to tecmographics to emulgraphics, we have indeed strived to live long and prosper, in the Earthly way.Keep in mind, just as we smile today at the fears and scenarios of 2022, a century from now, EEs might giggle at our 2122 speculations. So, till then, be well, stay human (if you are), and let's ring in for another exciting century!