Same As It Ever Was
War, poverty, global warming, starvation, racial inequalitythese, among many others, were all trivial, long overcome matters of the past.
Generation ZZZZers glided around in auto-piloted, eco-friendly, space/time ships. They communicated with each other via holographic telekinetic mind messages. (Though there was always the occasional hippie, of course, who'd pull out a vintage, non-functioning wePhone 2000 or whatever technological dinosaur was making a comeback these days. Lame, if you ask me.)
Televisions were 5-dimensional, 360° capable, and 27K resolution, at the very least. Scientists had cured cancer, the common cold, wrinkles, pimples, death, and were nearly on the brink of curing stupidity.
The economy was booming, the art world was booming, the literary (but long paperless) world was boomingheck, the whole world was booming! With the exception of the Baby Boomers, that is.
But more importantlythe delicate art of musical reproduction had taken several gargantuan leaps forward. Vinyl had made its umpteenth comeback and record players were now palm-sized, weightless, and cheaper than ever!
The latest, greatest GadgetGizmo 4.0 had just been released! It was an indestructible waterproof, shockproof, weatherproof, drop-proof, theft-proof magical creation that was futuristic, even for the future. It was the size of a dime (for reference, as actual physical currency had long been eradicated), could hold as many as 8 trillion albums of music, and had a battery that lasted forever. Perfect for tiny hands and even tinier attention spans.
Advertisements for the GadgetGizmo 4.0 had catchy phrases like "8 trillion of your favorite, most listened to tracks, all at the tip of your finger. Just because you can." And "You talked and we listened. Thinner, faster, and better than everything else on the market, because that's what matters."
Sometimes the occasional hippie would pass by the advertisements and ask the GadgetGizmo 4.0's A.I. "What about the quality of the music? Doesn't that matter at all? Am I the only one who cares about that?"
And the A.I. would chuckle and reply, "Poor hippie. That never really mattered to anybody. Don't you see? The world has always and will forever continue to move forward in every other possible way unless more people start caring."
"But how do I stop it? How do I make fidelity matter again?" The hippie desperately begs the A.I. for an answer.
"I don't know. That's for you to figure out."