"Origin of The Effort", Part I
Since earliest memory I have been puzzled by the world. This life of ours makes no sense. The Natural things are all harmonious and well, but anything to do with humans is drenched in shit and blood.
By the time of the advent of my little physical body on this planet a lot of the really severe crap had died down just a little, but still the casual horrors of the current status quo are enough to convince any observant thinker that things here are proceeding not as they should.
It had seemed for a time that the simple advances of technical knowledge might suffice to undo the effects of the madness of history, that our problems were more-or-less ones of production and distribution and, solving them, we could look forward to a Golden Age.
Sadly, this has not obtained.
Despite vast, even unthinkable, progresss (elimination of many diseases, food production requiring less than 5% of the population to feed the rest, men on the Moon, our achievements go on and on...) most people are still miserable, and many of them even have reasons.
However, the practical perfection of technological knowledge and art (nanotech and fusion) have unlocked the temporal limits on our abilities to take care of ourselves. There is no reason to suspect that nanotechnology and fusion power do not grant "ultimate" achievement, at least on the physical, temporal, secular plane.
Quite literally we can do anything that can be done with atoms.
But all this has really done is thrown us squarely into a contest with our own baser aspects. The elimination of physical limits as such forces us to confront our emotional and psychological limits.
Our power is such that we must become good or destroy ourselves. There is no middle ground. Star Trek or North Korea: choose the form of the destructor!