Tag Archives: noir

If you could, would you erase a memory from your past?

Erasing memories

Back on page 55, we discussed the idea of erasing memories. But here are some things to ponder along those lines.

In 2159, the process of medical erasure is common, though not without risks. As reported earlier,

“… Under normal circumstances, portions of the brain that house memories can be accessed and much like tracking through a DVD selectively erased, but the procedure is more difficult than it sounds. Memories are stacked, like thin layers and they are not always sequential. If the procedure samples too deeply, or grabs a snippet that doesn’t belong, the subject can awaken missing key components of their personality or identity map. In extreme cases, illegal intrusions using cheap, makeshift headjacking devices can disrupt the autonomic nervous system affecting heart rate and respiration and ultimately resulting in death.”

In Sean’s case, the consulting physician has already recommended erasure. This is probably due to the severity of Sean’s injuries, the fact that he was raped, and based on the evidence, probably by a synth. This presents a problem for the police who, with access to Sean’s memories, could replay the whole scene (from Sean’s point of view) and identify the perpetrator(s). While that sounds like the fastest and easiest solution to finding the bads, it might not be that easy. The brain, all by itself, may have already suppressed the memories deep into Sean’s subconscious and digging them out might cause more damage. Some latent memories, may linger, remnants of what was sent into cold storage by the brain, but they may be erratic and fractioned. Playing around with memories can be a challenge.

However, non-trauma-based memories have been routine medical procedures for a long time. If you would prefer to wipe out most of your memories of your ex, other than a familiar face, it’s possible. Of course, the more you wish to erase the more likely you are to experience subtle behavioral changes. Whether we like it or not, what happened yesterday or last year or twenty yeas ago affected you and possibly helped to define portions of the personality you exhibit today — both good and bad behaviors. Most people in the 22nd century, however — possibly realizing that they have a couple hundred years to get over it — have adopted a casual attitude toward messing around with the body and the mind. If it’s a quick fix for momentary discomfort, most people will opt for the change.

What do you think? Would you erase a memory from your past?

Bookmark and Share

In the cyberpunk future: A day in the life of our domestic android (synthetic human).

2159: Journal entry (excerpt)

Ed. note: Ever wonder what the average day is like for a domestic synth? Since we met Marie-D last week, here is an excerpt from her memory logs, in synopsis style removing the technical details.

 

Marie-D

Domestic Au Pair in the employ of CSO Kristin Broulliard, New Asia Police, Residing at 180-22 Carrillon Tower, Hong Kong, New Asia

Activity log for 7.11.2159.

0445

Disengaged remote power restoration and diagnostic. OK. Internal systems check. OK.

0449

Systems check for Carrillon Tower. Floor 139 power surge. Relayed to building management. TG-7AK. 180-22. OK.

0451

Activated Maitre-deux™ kitchen food and beverage replicator. Model FVX-GNN42H71000. Configured French Roast Beans, ground semi-fine. Settings: French Press. Temperature: 92.6 C. 325.309 ml. Bone China tea cup with Heather motif, and matching saucer, serving tray, ebony.

0457

Kristin Broulliard’s Bedroom. Actuate sound system on 30 second fade. Mozart – (K.622) Clarinet Concerto in A.

0501

Miss Broulliard awakes. Recommend chem adjustment to alleviate grogginess. Coffee meets her approval.

0503 

Miss Broulliard requests 2840 ml. non-fat Greek yogurt, slightly sweet with almonds (toasted and salted on top), and a refill on coffee

0505

Prepare requests at thé Maitre-deux refilling the coffee and serving the yogurt in small ceramic bowl. Garnish with orange zest.

0511

Return to Miss Broulliard with breakfast. I inquire as to which of her NAP bio-suits she would like to wear. She requests pearl. I lay this out on the aqueous mattress and complete a systems check on the bioware sensing of the suit. Diaphoresis sensors are not functioning properly. Diagnostic reveals that axillary nodes require replacement.

0517

Replacement nodes are replicated and replaced while Miss Broulliard stretches and does yoga routine. Observe.

0542

Prepare steam bath for Miss Broulliard.

0557

Towel Miss Broulliard and help her into her bio-suit.

0600

System check for mag shuttle. No delays this morning.

0600

Miss Broulliard asked about the success of Chloe’s trip to the Luminous Implants store with me on 07.10.2159. I told her that Chloe was shy at first but the Sales ESS put her at ease and the installation took only a few minutes. Chloe was surprise because it didn’t hurt. Later that day we practices the hand gestures from the infusion program. Chloe knew all the child programs. I told her she would be very proud.

0601

Miss Broulliard enters Chloe’s bedroom and wakes Chloe. They talk about Chloe’s trip to the Luminous Implants store. Chloe shows Miss Broulliard her new implants. They talk for several minutes. Chloe tells Miss Broulliard that I replaced the eye on Mr. Hall the teddy bear. Miss Broulliard and Chloe agree that Marie-D is, “the best”.

0618

System check for mag shuttle. An accident is reported at the Old Bailey Station and there is an 8 minute delay on the Charter Road Line. Miss Broulliard mumbles, “Another suicide,” and says she should get started for Police Headquarters because of the delay.

0622

Miss Broulliard leaves for work.

0622

I inquire as to what Chloe would like for breakfast.

[END OF EXCERPT]

 

Bookmark and Share

Futurist glossary for the year 2159. Part 2.

p64

A few weeks ago, I posted Part 1 of a cyberpunk, futurists’, design fiction glossary for the year 2159. This week I’m adding Part 2. There will probably be more to come. Now you are really in the know.

Accretion (brain) – brain accretion is quantum storage of all mental, cognitive and experiential data from a living brain for transference to a progenated being or synthetic. Essentially, quantum storage of your brain and its contents. (see also progenation)

Agers – humans that choose death over an unlimited lifespan. They may take advantage of replacement organs, or other enhancements but avoid genetic alterations to stop the aging process. Average life expectancy of an ager is 148 years. Despite enhancements, agers often find themselves unemployed after age 60.

Brain accretion – see accretion (aka bacc-up – slang)

Brain port – a port is inserted behind the ear just below the occipital bone and laterally to just above the C1 vertebra. The port resembles a small patch about 20mm square. It blends in with the skin and becomes visible only when touched by the owner. This reveals a slender 5mm slot in the center. The port connects through a microscopic tube to the base of the Pons, a key feature of the brainstem that connects the medulla to the thalamus. The Pons is considered white matter as opposed to the grey variety and is used to conduct signals from the forebrain and midbrain. It helps a number of autonomic functions like sleep, respiration, swallowing, bladder control, hearing, taste, and equilibrium among others. It also helps you dream. (See also chipset)

Chipset – a brain augmentation. The first chipset is installed in humans at an early age, usually when a child reaches 3 or 4 years old. The first implantation sends a stream of nano particles that are programmed to find the Pons and set up a grid, basically a set of microscopic slots that will accept updates and other programmable nodes that interface with luminous implants accessing everything from the Lightstream (see Lightstream), to infusion learning, internal body chemistry, and the V. These implants are what allow the person to receive voice and telepathic transmissions as well as to “see” who is calling or immerse themselves in the world of the V. The Pons’ midbrain pathway also provides access to the hippocampus, the brains memory center. The placement of the chipset is both strategic and precarious. As long as the port is used for medical purposes only such as software updates (so to speak), all is well. With the relatively new diversion of exchanging experiences, however, memories—complete with their accompanying sensory experiences are recorded and extracted directly via the port to an external device called a swig and then can be transferred to another person. (See also swig, headjacking)

DownTown – (aka DT – slang) is a general referent to the portions of the Hong Kong 2 below 50 stories. More specifically, it refers to the area below the TopCity Spanner. Because of the massive scale of the spanner, portions of the city below were blocked from the sun and rain and hence abandoned. Other areas were flooded from drainage miscalculations from spanner run-off. Criminal elements moved into the shadowy world below and certain areas became known for illegal activities and deviant behavior. Not all parts of the city have taken this route. Hong Kong Island, for example, is not considered to have a DownTown in the same sense of the word. The area considered the highest risk extends in a 2000-meter radius from what is currently the Mong Kok district. It includes portions of Kowloon City, Sham Shui Po and Yau Tsim Mong.

ESS – abbreviation for Expert Systems Synthetic. ES Synths are specialists in a myriad of areas from psychoanalysis to parenting, sexual dysfunction, anger management, human behavior, and the list goes on. ES Synths can be hired by the hour as consultants or therapists in  person or via the Lightstream. They are a service of the New Asia government and you can pay in credits or cash.

HK2abbreviation for Hong Kong 2, the global capital of New Asia.

Infusion – is the process by which knowledge or experiences are uploaded into the human brain. Low level infusions can be tactile via luminous implants or more robust uploads via the

Invisible City – a section of DownTown that was flooded by spanner run-off. Largely abandoned in the flood of 2155, the area was originally an air shuttle-warehousing complex consisting of approximately 20 city blocks. Occupancy is disputed but the area does maintain some businesses, infusion bars, and Synth brothels.

NACabbreviation for New Asia Corporation. Most corporations are government owned.

New Asia – Most of the world belongs to New Asia. Countries that sold to the New Asia government (formerly China) retained their identities and are referred to as French New Asia, German New Asia, British New Asia, The United States of New Asia, etc. Some smaller countries such as Switzerland never sold their countries. A small selection of states, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana seceded from the Union prior to the sale of the United States to New Asia. The territory is known as the United Colonies of America.

Progenation – (aka genning – slang) This is the counterpart of replication in inanimate objects though the process is very different. This is under strict government control to insure that only fully enhanced, and socially beneficial humans or endangered species are progenated and to insure that population planning limits are enforced. Progenation involves “replicating” an individual’s life forms in the lab through using duplicated DNA  and then transferring their brain accretion. Gifted surgeons, scientists and other “social contributors” can be genned and leased to other parts of the world where their specific skills can be utilized for maximum affect. Due to high demand, territories throughout New Asia bid on such individuals. The government has begun to designate certain promising births as potential “progens.” These children are given special governmental benefits and opportunities to help insure that they will be able to be genned upon reaching maturity.

Pure-stuffs – (aka puffies-slang) usually refers to naturally made or grown food, beverages or other organic, inanimate objects, that some believe to be superior to molecularly configured replications. Since these generally require antiquated forms of agriculture, they are rare and quite expensive.

Replication – replication of inanimate objects is widespread for food beverages and hard goods. Many insist that there is a difference between a real and replicated apple, thus, “pure-stuffs” are still sold. Replication is based on duplicating molecular “fingerprints” of actual objects.

Tapping, taps – a tactile communication system that utilizes implanted sensors just below the skin on the users fingertips. Touching the fingertips together in specific sequence can be used to access information that is lightstreamed directly to the users brain, adjust programs for internal chemistry, receive telepathic communications, or transfer data to active surfaces. Specialized programs and receptors allow users to transmit feelings and emotions via touch to the sensors of another individual.

TopCity – the area of Hong Kong 2 that refers to everything above 50 floors including the Top City Spanner.

TopCity Spanner – an architectural wonder that took 10 years to construct. It connects Hong Kong Island with the North Bay, Kowloon and through to the Mong Kok area. The spanner uses programmable architecture that enables engineers to expand, add new partitions or floors.

Twisting – the illegal tampering and reprogramming of a synthetic for committing crimes.

V (The) – street slang for virtual immersions. (aka virtual reality)

V chair – a home lounging device that enables users to have extended Immersions in the V. Usually reserved for the privileged and wealthy the chairs reduce skin compression, maintain body chemistry, monitor immersion time and can be hooked up to intravenous and body waste disposal accessories.

V palace – capsule hotels where patrons can hook up to the V, hourly daily or weekly. Longer-term guests are fed intravenously and catheterized to dispose of body waste. V palaces exist in both TopCity and DownTown, though accommodations vary significantly. The government is trying to discourage extended time in the V, as it has been shown to have debilitating behavioral side effects.

 

Comments welcome!

 

Bookmark and Share