The diode implants were inexpensive and enough to keep inaction or an unhealthy diet from negatively impacting a person’s muscle mass and tone. Combine that with the burgeoning industry of “tweaking” babies by choosing the most attractive and ideal combination of their parents’ genes, and the conclusion was clear. The most recent generation had far more people that were in the highest tier of human attractiveness. They were also among the most highly educated generations in history, and enjoyed the benefits of unprecedented technological infrastructure.

Why, then, were they also some of the loneliest and most disconnected people in history?

Academic struggled with the facts for years. Generation A, to use the somewhat debased term that became popular in the media, had in theory every possible convenience and every reason to succeed. And yet they failed in droves, boomeranging home, crashing out of jobs, or struggling by on minimum wage slavery despite abundant opportunities. And the suicides…paramedics in major cities took to calling them “type A fatalities” with their peculiar brand of gallows humor

Most dire, though, was the epidemic of so-called JCVs, named after one Joyce Carol Vincent. Young, attractive, and highly educated people would sequester themselves in a tiny space, often ringed with computer monitors and other technology, and live their lives through the mediation of a glowing screen, only rising to use the restroom or to eat. And many of them died in that posture, either from wasting away or the long-term effects of a sedentary lifestyle that the diodes couldn’t help.

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