"Visualizing the future is not for the faint of heart."
Doug Michels, Visionary Architect

Hitchcock's The Birds was more than a scary movie — it was prescient.

We knew that Hitchcock was a cinematic genius. But a futurist?
(He probably didn't realize it either.)

Once some of the brain's secrets of genetic-based behavior were uncovered, gene reengineering geared towards behavioral modification was first attempted with simpler life forms exhibiting instinctive behavior — such as insects, birds and small mammals.

At first the genetic manipulation was pursued with good intentions, for example:

  • Rather than using pesticides to kill crop-eating insects, which tend to outfox that strategy by becoming resistant to the toxins, it became feasible to permanently alter their behavior by making unpalatable the object of their voraciousness.
  • The insect-based formula of Polynutriment, which eventually replaced fresh food by mid-21st-century, became feasible by directing insects near the end of their life cycle to crawl or fly to the nearest Phrenicea entrapment center — lured by the emission of pheromone-like chemicals.

As time passed
Imagine being able to direct birds, rats or insects to attack designated targets.
however, a self-serving free-for-all ensued with various competing groups and individuals trying to top each other for dominance or bizarreness in behavioral modification. Worse, the esoteric scientific knowledge initially required was distilled into simple cookbook-like tasks requiring little formal training or knowledge.

And it wasn't long before the capability was used to disrupt society and civilization.

Imagine being able to direct the instinctive behavior of birds, rats, insects or other species of number to gather and strategically attack designated targets with pinpoint accuracy — from a single individual to an entire city.

The mind boggles...

Fortunately, Phrenicea was "implemented" just in time — and was given the ability to simultaneously monitor every person's thinking and behavior constantly. Those generally recognized as "law-abiding," whose moral or intellectual beliefs precluded what is considered anti-social or criminal, had little to be concerned about.

On the other hand, individuals not irenically inclined — with mostly violent or destructive thoughts — were subjected to constant behavioral manipulation for the sake of everyone's safety.

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