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FleshFactor: re: anima / animus

A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"

In response to Tom and Laurie and Sheryl's recent posts -- got me thinking ... 


That how it will be, this relationship between you and your 'computer' (what
an inadequate word!!) -- it will become (once we get past all this nonsense
about operating systems and file formats and proprietary software packages,
and it no longer matters one whit what hardware platform you're running
things on) a sort of lifetime companion or shadow self, recording angel, a
home for your head, an advocate and mediator and intercessor that knows you,
having grown up with you from your (and its) infancy, to be your telephone,
library and schoolroom, and post office, your stereo system and home theatre
and medical clinic, which will connect you to everything, and all the
traffic that flows through it over the course of your years will be kept in
it, never discarded, permanently archived. It knows you better than you know
yourself -- your daily 5-HT levels, what you had for breakfast (got a neat
little home tricorder and urine-assay unit, right in the toilet bowl), your
moods, blood-sugar, the neuro-peptides that percolate up through the
brain-stem, bacterial colonies in your gut, the whole nine yards -- it'll
have all your words, and all the words of everyone you've ever shared words
with, living or dead (the line perhaps starts getting a little blurry) --
and it can read your mind, read your face, can read your pulse from across
the room, it knows, if anything can, what it might be like to be who you
are. Could be pretty useful I think. Personally I wouldn't mind being looked
after, looked out for, to be cherished as long as I live. Not that any of
this could ever, I shouldn't imagine, make it any less lonely to be human,
and aware, and separate from the object of one's regard.

Pieces of this have been imagined by Donald Norman (he calls it 'Teddy',
like a kid's teddy-bear) and David Gelernter (the 'Lifestreams' software
which he and Eric Freeman are now marketing) and probably by Robert Heinlein
somewhere too. It's all quite do-able, right now, with standard-issue PCs &
hard-drives. Only thing that's needed, I'd say, is just to start thinking
about what it might be like to have a world that's organized this way, how
it might change things, how to do it right. (Yeah, that spectral
'Panopticon' looms rather large, donut?)


As you wander through life, Brother, 
What e'er should be your goal --
Keep your eye upon the donut, 
And not upon the hole.


Derek Robinson  <drdee@interlog.com>


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