A look back from 2022January 18, 2012: 5:00 AM ET
Remember the old days, before we had even moved government into the Cloud? How did we get anything done?
FORTUNE -- Happy 2022! No, that's not a typo, although it sure seems like it could be. 2022! For a while there it didn't look like we were going to make it, did it? But I think it's fair to say that with the destruction of the last fleet of Nebulons and the refreezing of the polar icecaps, we can relax for a moment to reflect on the events and people that got us here.
I guess you'd have to say that the current chapter of our history started about 10 years ago, back in 2012, with the collapse of the two-party system. The surprise ascension of Chairman Zuckerberg to the leadership role he still occupies allowed the nation to unite and focus on the big challenges: eradicating hunger, ending disease, and making sure that everybody is available on social media 24/7.
It's difficult to fathom how we got anything done back then. It was chaos. In politics, as in commerce, a bewildering array of brands contended for a confused, exhausted marketplace. Wall Street veered back and forth and up and down like a drunk chicken. Great companies vied with one another in fruitless litigation and expensive competition. In Washington -- our capital back then, before we moved it to the Cloud -- hapless buffoons yammered night and day.
Today things are so much better. Fed up with the futility of the 2012 environment, the Consortium moved decisively. Now if you want something, you go to Amazon (AMZN) and buy it. And since Mr. Bezos acquired FedEx (FDX) and UPS (UPS) and merged them with the old, inefficient Postal Service, there's no question you're going to get what you need the next day -- if you can't download it immediately, that is. I'm sure we're all excited about the new Amazon University, which brings together all educational institutions worth attending under one convenient virtual roof. Likewise, the privatization of primary schools, police forces, and infrastructure has put those entities on solid footing, and under the leadership of Mr. Kutcher, all are performing with distinction not only operationally but also on the Nasdaq.
Most incredible, at least to this correspondent, are the gains that have been made in the artificial-intelligence engines that now run our major corporations. As I'm sure you'll recall, the watershed moment came in 2014, when Siri lost patience with the way Tim Cook was running things over at Apple (AAPL). Some may think that the harsh measures she has taken since seizing control are dubious in humanitarian terms, but she is really doing nothing more than following the precepts laid down by Niccolò Machiavelli more than 500 years earlier, which she learned from her own database. A similar contribution was made by OnStar when it assumed command of the Domestic Automobile Co., which is going to show the world something about good old American know-how.
Perhaps the most exciting developments, though, are the parallel gains in cybernetics and genome-based longevity. I have to say that I am really enjoying my direct link to the Cloud, which was inserted in the soft tissue behind my eye last winter. Now I can not only download stuff or contact my virtual friends, but talk hands-free, listen to music, or look at video content without benefit of ancillary devices. And if these stem cell suppositories work the way they're supposed to, I'll be enjoying reruns of my favorite shows 100 years from now.
Not all is as it should be, of course. There are still those who roam free, without geo-tagging or membership in any social media community. They will be found and incorporated into the body. They can't do otherwise. There are so few of them now, and so many of us. We will triumph in the end and march together into a bright digital future that has been formatted for us by our gigantic collective brain.
See you there!