by S. Fowler Wright
In the year 2044 the control of Atomic Energy had roached a point which made work a luxury, and those who were unable to obtain it either by merit or purchase�which applied to 99.3% of the population of Europe (the position was far worse in the Western Hemisphere) were unavoidably bored, to the limit of endurance, by a life in which almost every variety of dangerous or novel experience had become fantastically improbable, and inequalities of health, pleasure, or comfort almost entirely removed. The hopes and hazards which had vivified the events of earlier centuries were no longer experienced, and such words as poverty or fear had passed from the minds and the lips of men.
It was not wonderful, under such conditions, that the question: Is life worth living?, which had first been publicly raised in Victorian England, when the scientists began to interfere with its natural order, was heard again, and in accents of greater bitterness. It seemed ironically that it had become the sole theme of debate by which men might be roused from the boredom in which they existed rather than lived.