• Echo from a possible future - a letter to an old friend

    06/04/2014 at 21:27 2 comments

    Dear Sally,

    Thanks for your postcard! Was that a real antique or one of your amazing replicas? You have a real artistic sense, always have. It made me think back to when I met you, over a hundred years ago now! I would have said it warms the heart to think of those old times...

    That was long before I had my heart replaced with the common open-source neuro-atricular five pump network. I still have the same one! It’s not the seven node system that people are getting these days, but it works well enough. As you know, I had a localized ischemia in one node a decade ago, that’s been regrown and replaced, doing just fine. I didn’t even notice when it happened. At 78% operating capacity, I didn’t even feel tired. I wouldn’t have even known at all were it not for the automated alert from the collective. A hundred years ago I’d have probably been dead. I’d love to thank the person that had the idea that you could use mechanical means to build structures out of the extracellular matrix that aren’t just copies of existing organs. Baste lightly, let the biological factors animate the biomachine, and it is genetically all me, but better than the original me. What an awesome hack.

    You have the seven pump model now, don’t you? I’m glad you finally got rid of your old bio-heart, what a risky design. On a related note, have you considered the toroidal mesh of Willis? After getting mine, it seems I think a lot faster. It’s just because of improved brain temperature regulation and oxygenation, they tell me. But I got it because I was concerned about ischemia…all that bacon, you know, and my genetic propensity for cholesterol plaques. Call me paranoid, I know it’s not the problem it used to be.

    You asked how I am, and the fact is I feel great. I think I haven’t felt better, not even way back in my twenties when we met. For instance, back then I had perfect vision, but when my lenses started to become naturally less supple in my forties, I struggled with reading glasses… remember glasses? You had them when I met you. I’m so glad you that told me about Zonule of Zinn fiber reassignment. Since I had that, with the regular multi-grate liquigel aquula that everyone gets now, I can see farther than ever, and macro zoom way down - progressive split-field too. You were right about how useful it is, but I also get a lot of simple enjoyment from it as well. I love tardigrades and pollen - and they were there the whole time; now I can see them unaided. I remember how we used to watch lightning storms together; it’s really not so different.

    And of course my focus and differential bio-diffractors are integrated with the recognizers. To think of all the time we used to waste just visually understanding every interface before being able to use it - unthinkable today. But that is OK, we aren’t being chased by lions in the wild anymore either. Why should that continue to dominate our perception? It’s not like we don’t have the pleasure of discovery when we desire it. In fact that pleasure is actually augmented, by not having to get the brain working so hard to understand if a common visual interface is a hungry lion every single time. We’ve just removed the overhead.

    Speaking of overhead, do you remember cars? You know, the ones that rolled on the ground? I remember I thought I was so cool back in the day when I hacked my car to unlock, open, close, and lock just by gesture. Ah those early days, if only we had had recognizers and the collective back then. That would have been so much easier. Now I don’t even need to gesture, my hovercapsule knows exactly when I need it to delaminate the ingress portal. I know you don’t really follow tech, and really why would anyone, as invisible as it is these days. But I’ve always been interested in those behind-the-scenes details, and I was really glad you asked me about them for your project. It will be great to see how your project presents all that artistically, can’t wait to see it.

    The machine collective is a big thing, but in...

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