Meritocracies were imaginary places where people achieved their potential. No one was relegated to a station below their capabilities or elevated above their potential.
However, in the real world position and status occurred not by what you knew but who you knew. It was the fortune of birth or the mystical notion of providence that seemed to make the difference.
Why did one person find him or herself in the lap of luxury and opportunity when someone else could only view that world from a distant vantage point?
Liz didn’t recognize that poor people existed even though she was a child of parents with no connections or advantages. For her everyone seemed to be in the same situation.
Oh sure there were those people who occupied positions of leadership and responsibility. There were those who from outward appearances were different and in some smaller minds were envied but even in those cases the envy never really materialized into jealously or most of all hate.
In this world if you wanted something there was an achievable way to get it. It might take some time, devotion, and especially effort but the most intriguing thing is that not everyone wanted it and the concept of need versus want was not exploited as it had been since the beginning of time.
The old adages of if it was worth doing it was worth doing well, was accepted and promoted. If you really wanted something then working for it was not a chore. Good things came to those who wait had taken on a different meaning. They were no longer platitudes or sayings about unachievable ideals but operatives. They were axioms of a world where merit was recognized, encourage, and rewarded not in the old sense where it was not always justified and always misapplied.
Liz could watch her favorite episode of whatever show or feature she desired on a gigantic monitor if she was inclined to. She could eat whatever whenever she was inclined to and there were many who did just that but not in her realm because you see she and countless others like her were not inclined to want or do those things. they had better things to do for better reasons.
Occasionally the creature comforts and once avoided pleasures would elbow their way into her conscience and less than occasionally she would indulge her wishes but the cost of such behavior would be registered on here telecom device for her to see and consider.
A piece of pastry was permissible, but not readily available, if she wanted it. It was a short distance to the vending Oasis where one could get anything and everything. As she approached the pastry island the different view ports either cleared for view or dimmed to obscure it. Her choices were dependent upon how much value she had and based on her preferences. She could over ride the preferences and view those delicacies or delectable pastries and desserts but at an observable cost on her heads up display. As she pondered her choices the Head Up Display would continue calculate and display the immediate cost and extrapolate the future costs as well. Not only could she see the value of her available choices but the trend lines of her past choices. Which were, in her case, unpleasantly visible and trending downward at present. The display was sobering because the trends had only recently reversed their ascending paths resulting in an unsettling downward trajectory. Her resolve was strengthened and she decide that she was not really hungry all she really needed was a drink to replenish her waning strength and something else to do but think about food. At that moment her ear bud chimed. See in who was calling, she touched the emulate and said hi Ralph. Ralph was here immediate mentor and aware of her activities. He called at the precise moment Liz’s resolve to stop happened. Good choice Liz said Ralph. I can see that you have been waging a battle with you ‘will’ to choose differently and I want to encourage you. Would you like to talk about it?
Deciding then to go for a stroll at the arboretum she first had to summon a taxi the ubiquitous vehicles that were computer controlled and within a few moments arrive at the arboretum portal then park itself to await the next passenger.
Now that the trial of her will was put to rest for a short time her HUD now showed the options of her travel and with an interested glace at the corner of the display she could see her relative merit had gone up. Her healthy choices and decisions have helped to raise her value to the community. People didn’t much think about who was determining the standards by which their lives were being evaluated against and they didn’t actually realize that everyone of them had chosen a different computer application as their guide. But the what was in common was that applications were governed by the populism of the community. If you behavior was in sync with everyone else then your value would be approximately equal. If you behavior was better than most your value to the community would go up. It was not a absolute standard determine by someone or some group but it was in respect to everyone else and what their value were. The global mind aggregated the preferences of every individual in close proximity and in relation to the aggregate community preference to Liz and calculated her relative worth to the community. Because of the laissez faire governance It could be possible to eat yourself into oblivion if you wanted to but when it came time to compare yourself with the aggregate values of the community your choices and ill health didn’t score well. It would soon become obvious to others that your choices were harming you and the community. However, as part of the global mind community a mentor was aware of your choices and would be calling upon her soon. The only consideration was to what degree could you afford to continue with your life style before your value to the community was in fact negative. As each factor was ignored the relative cost for treatment or medicine would impact the community until you simply could not get medical help and you would be allowed to die of your own volition. In those instances where nature chose your outcome but all of your actions were commensurate with a healthy and productive life style your merit would be equal or greater than others less challenged but not practicing similar self-mastery efforts. As in the past dealing with the emotional consequences of self mastery were no longer the individual’s sole responsibility but there were numerous mentors and guardians aware of a person’s need and would assist and encourage. Starting early in age even if nature was unkind in its selection for you the global mind and god complex made it possible for most people to develop the skills to mange their challenges successfully.