Future America

David Mack
5 min readJan 30, 2022

We first knew of time travel’s invention by the sudden inexplicable ascension of a handful of scientists to extreme wealth.

It was not the time travel that we all imagined. It did not take people back to see the dinosaurs, or forward to see humanoids in silver suits at the end of the galaxy, it simply took the quantum state of a subatomic particle nanoseconds into the future. But to a scientific mind, this was mere induction away from something great.

Dominos of these little sub particles were chained together across ever vaster stretches of time, building a bridge across the otherwise empty unknown. Just as in the transistor era, more and more of these particles were put together. The power of binary systems is not just being a zero or one, but it’s when you have an unfathomable amount of zeros and ones, you have movies, the Internet, people on opposite sides of the world sharing their evenings together.

Physicists built all this, in secret for they knew that even knowing that this existed would be explosive in the world. And to fund their scientific endeavor they pulled a few stock prices back in time.

As comprehensive as those scientists’ grasp was of the physical world around them, they did not foresee the fast and total response of the US military. Behind closed doors all sorts of things happen that would be publicly unthinkable. It took just 24 hours for military and CIA cunning to prize the invention from the scientists hands’ and bind their mouths for the rest of their lives.

In the hands of the military, any invention is a weapon, and every worst possibility is imagined. The balance of power is a tactic employed by the weak to try to keep their will possible. A military, born of war, understands only domination. Politics, democracy and dictatorship are words that happen after the fact. Democracies do not build bombs, but ask for them indirectly.

A senior military scientist calculated that just one second of information preview could buy almost unlimited advantage in every major domain of modern life. The expense of longer previews was unnecessary, and instead the focus should be to apply this as broadly as possible.

Global markets, weather forecast, military intelligence, political monitoring, autonomous navigation, information security, the entire military might was put into augmenting all of these with information preview. When a missile always knows one second earlier what its adversary will do, the compounding advantage grows exponentially.

The military scientist’s foresight was spot on. Before other countries could even guess what had happened, they were so far onto their back foot that they had no chance of recovering their balance.

It is sometimes joked that youth is wasted on the young. And in this case, power was wasted on the powerful. After a couple of months the military’s spectacular success in everything they did could not go unnoticed had to be explained to the president.

Every political problem and presidential agenda became a military priority. If the economy did not respond well to the doctrine of the left, then the results would be forced with some financial engineering. Voters could be manipulated, pushing their desires slowly as one steers a container ship. The president could not help himself to securing another term, and then to allow for a couple more since nobody else knew the important things he did.

The original scientists were all killed, their knowledge was a threat too large to the executive body of the country.

Despite regaining its place as a superpower, and the economy running on a superficial prosperity, somehow people intuited that something was not quite right. Literature scholars began to write about a crisis of free will. Physicists published papers about missing informational entropy. People felt like they had lost some thing.

The great success of modern day inequality is that the system itself is almost impossible to see. People struggle to raise a fight against a threat runs like water around them. The system of information preview, it’s slight affect magnified a hundredfold in every single part of life, wrapped around everyone as an invisible cage.

When an animal feels that it is trapped, it will flail its limbs despite not understanding the workings of its captor. Riots, lootings, vigilante violence all follow this primal response. And so, despite the clockwork order imposed on America, the populace became ever more chaotic. As has been the sad response in modern days, Civil unrest was quickly met with military might, discontent turned into bloodshed.

Conflict never resolves the upset that gave birth to it. Suppressing riots is a Band-Aid to try to get through whatever civil issue is plaguing society. When those issues are not transitory, when they are being daily bolstered by those in charge, the country becomes an echo chamber of breaking glass and rounds of fire.

Organizations form their DNA from times of success. The things that worked for them become the tool set for every next problem. In this way organizations catch a wave and flourish, then eventually become moribund and are doomed to diminish.

The sitting president, now more dictator than democrat, desperately tried the same tactics again until the weight of his failure was inescapable.

Compared to a military campaign, the vicissitudes and foibles of politicians seem ridiculous. In times of chaos, military coups succeed because they are a beacon of certainty. Of course, their limitations in civil governance will only later become clear.

The military’s ruling did not bring a change of approach from the previous president, but it did bring more bloodshed. There are limits to how many civilian casualties even the most capricious military dictator will accept.

An elected governing body of the people was presented to the military command, with a list of demands that amounted to returning to a sensible democracy. The emergency commander in chief truly did care for the country, the present carnage was something he inherited, not something he ever wanted.

In a surprise as much to himself as everyone else, at the handover of power he also handed over the secret of information preview to the entire public. Secrecy and supremacy had not gone well, and the world was ready to try a different approach.



David Mack

@SketchDeck co-founder, https://octavian.ai researcher, I enjoy exploring and creating.