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Post No. 20 (It’s me again and again and again and …)

November 19, 2008

I’m currently reading Kil’n people by David Brin. The story is set some time in the future where means of communication are implanted into human bodies and computers have personalities. The really interesting thing about this story, however, is the fact that people can create colour-coded “clay-y” copies of themselves. Greens are good for chores, e.g. The more elaborate the task for which the copy is intended, the more expensive it becomes. At the end of a 24h period the ditto (i.e. the clay copy) has to return to base and inload the day’s memories into the original’s brain. The fantastically good thing is that you can create several copies so you can get several jobs done at the same time e.g. a grey copy to go to work and a black copy to think for you … or something like that …

It’s an entertaining story – easy on the mind and a very good break in between more involving reads. But I still struggle with the concept. Look at it this way. I’ve spent a whole day doing chores, I’ve been at work the whole day and I’ve been watching TV and playing playstation all day. At the end of the day, I inload all the memories gathered by all the “mes” into my brain and I would have experienced three days in one. And the interesting thing is that each ditto, though knowing that it’s disposable, is still an extension of me and acts in my best interest as though it were me.

I can’t wait for this technology to be available in good electronics stores near me … just imagine… I need to tell the wife something she doesn’t want to hear. I have 4 options:

a) tell it to her ditto and she only gets to hear it when she inloads the day’s memories, so it will be “taken as read” and she would have known what I wanted to tell her without me actually telling her.

b) get my ditto to tell her ditto with the result being identical to (a)

c) i or my ditto tell her ditto and observe the reaction. If the reaction is unfavourable, we just throw away the ditto – it is not morally a crime to eliminate a ditto – and start afresh until I like the reaction then let her inload that. The studied approach, I would call it.

d) get my ditto to tell her in the flesh – at least only the ditto gets the earful of invective 😉 and I can decide not to inload from that ditto on the day. Downside: I get the silent treatment without really knowing why … but hey … what’s new? 😀


Writing this has given me the urge to pick up the book again … I’m no sci-fi fan, but the narrative’s gripping me, to borrow a phrase.


From → Misfires

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