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finding qauntopia.

here is a cold hard fact: many of the smartest brains in the world are working right now to build artificial intelligence machines that will keep you addicted to one thing, your screen. i know how you feel about this fact. you’re looking at a screen right now and you’re a clever person with agency. i know how you felt the last time you saw a mother plonk an iphone in front of her two year old, who navigated it with ease.

the screens are here, we’re addicted because they bring us pleasure. you don’t have to be the smartest brain in the world to know that. you couldn’t do what you do without yours anymore. we are reliant on screens for our livelihood. the next generation knows nothing else.

finding quantopia is a not-too-distant futuristic dystopia. almost everybody has migrated to cities where dose screens provide the masses with the pleasure the relative world cannot. it didn’t happen overnight, it happened slowly through a series of steps in the wrong direction. in a world corrupted by likes, celebrity worship, targeted ads and self obsession - the only way was down. civilization as we know it ceased to be.

pockets of resistance lie dormant with disconnected citizens who denied the attachment to the screen.

 

our protagonist, a son of a local librarian, finds himself the last survivor in a backwater town far enough from a city of screens that hadn’t yet infiltrated. spurred by necessity and curiosity, our teenage adventurer sets out to find out what happened to the world. along the way he meets philosophical servers, self-replicating construction bots, a love interest, his mentor, some misfits, a band of mountain rebels, a truck named beatrice and ultimately himself.

he is lovable because he is naive to the world. we connect with him because he wants to understand one of the fundamental human mysteries. what is love? the key themes of finding quantopia are finding love, growing up, how ideas spread, technological influence, coming home and nature. deep explorations of the innermost thoughts of our character subtly reveal the boy to man transformation. the structure follows the trials and tribulations of the classical hero's journey. it’s a coming of age story, it’s a coming home story.

the world imagined in finding quantopia is not fantasy, it’s entirely possible, which is why this book cuts so deep. this is the book i wish i had when i was fourteen. spoiler alert: it’s the book that would have reminded me, there’s a whole world waiting out there to explore and no matter what happens everything is going to be ok. the fundamental conclusion. there is hope, but change starts from within.

 

how do we start? read the book. like good ideas, this book will be shared. for some it will be the most important book they ever read. it will grow more prophetic with age.

do not pass this book. the world needs it like we all need a digital detox.

your friend barron

 

key excerpts


“In my opinion, boy. It’s all about how ideas spread. From the beginning of time good ideas were passed from person to person, tested through generations. Over time only the best ideas survived. Then came the printing press, and good ideas passed from person to person through books. The original mass media. Society progressed at the rate that good ideas were shared. Centuries later came the radio, then television and finally the internet. The mass media evolution. The difference with the
internet was that anyone could post an idea regardless of merit. Celebrity worship became the norm. They cultivated the biggest audiences. People became famous for being famous. Untested ideas and unrestrained influence created a dangerous marriage.”


“It happened slowly at first. People barely noticed. An upgrade here, a convenience there. The upgrades came quicker and convenience turned to dependence. Dependence turned to independence, people no longer needed each other. Each individual became the governor of their own desires. Social distancing became the norm. Individuals reached digital nirvana where all purpose beyond the DOSE screen became meaningless.
Construction bots built skyscrapers, solar panels and DOSE
screens. The human race accidentally built itself a sustainable self destructing system. Happiness fulfilled, basic needs covered and as long as the sun shined the system worked. A new era of sustainability was celebrated. Those who subscribed to DOSE screens lived blissful realities. The human race was finally free of displeasure, happiness in artificial comfort.
Some compared it to the perfect dream, in perpetuity. Humans evolved to the point of least exertion for greatest pleasure. Yet the idea was never tested, and spread by people who didn’t understand it. The Universal Principle ran free without a moral code. The entire planet became an empty vacuous place. Purpose drained from the souls of humans. People withdrew into a private abyss of imagined reality and few were ever seen again. One code, spread virally. That’s all it took for total collapse.”

 

"As if being hit by a truck it all became clear. The resemblance was enough to warrant questions of paternity and she always had a bad memory. There was no doubt this boy was his son. A cold sweat rushed over Rocket, as if his body felt it before his mind. The boy stood clenched fists staring him directly in the eyes with a dangerous look. Rocket held the boy's stare, the
eyes didn’t lie. The boy's whole childhood flashed before him. All those
sleepless nights he longed for his father. All those lonely times when his father should have been teaching him the things that fathers teach. The times when his mother needed help that the boy couldn’t provide. The feelings hit like a flood, then overflowed."

 

"Campfire smoke wafted slowly through the leafy streets, the evening was perfectly still and it hung low as if a painter had placed it there with a brush. The houses were built in an era where people took great pride in their homes. White picket fences hemmed in overgrown gardens and abandoned homes that were once filled with families, warmth and love. The town brought welcome relief after being in the city with its never ending rows of homogenized skyscrapers. Giant jacaranda trees lined the
streets with their striking purple flowers. Flowers grew from cracks on the streets where cars no longer drove. The boy had never noticed the beauty of these streets, especially this time of year. It’s not until you travel that you appreciate you home, you observe it with a new lens the boy thought to himself."

 

"This is the essence and the missing part of the equation in today's society. When you do things from a place of love you become selfless. When you become selfless you are no longer concerned with your own ego. And when you are no longer concerned with your own ego you are strangely free to live. Asan apple seed attracts the nutrients from the soil, it must
first let go of being a seed to harness the magic of sunlight to become a tree."

 

“When I left your mother, which was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I was suffering my own existential crisis. I was unsure who I was. I was unsure of who my true self was. I felt like an imposter, a ghost in a shell. Walking through a life I wasn’t sure whether I chose or was chosen for me, shaped by an algorithm of how to be. On the outside I was happy but on the
inside I felt disease."

 

“I thought this might happen, our approach was all wrong. Good ideas are meant to spread person to person, not en masse and not with a leader. Leaders can inspire but they can also fail, and when the leader fails the entire idea can collapse, humans are but mortals and we are all flawed. Good ideas stand the test of time, handed down generation to generation. The boy and I have found a place. A place where we can start again, the only rule to join us is you must bring two people. From there we will
learn from the mistakes of modern history to live a way of life where we are connected with nature, with one another and our souls.”

 

"Alone once again the boy thought to himself. Love itself is pain. But in his entire pursuit of love he felt alive even when he’d almost died. Maybe he thought love was purely the feeling of being alive in all its sorrows and all its ecstasies. He wondered whether he would ever see the girl again. Her
luminosity filled his heart with joy and he could feel her presence even though she had disappeared from sight. The boy kicked his bike into gear and trailed down the abandoned highway until the bike lost all power from the fading sun. There were no buildings in sight, the boy had been lost in a sea of thought he’d hardly been on the lookout for somewhere to sleep."

 

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pages: 153

digital copy available upon request.

 

contact me.

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