Corner cases was Robert Aunger essay

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Sun 16 Apr 2006 - 17:13:00 GMT

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    At 11:29 AM 4/16/2006 +0100, you wrote:
    >Saturday, April 15, 2006, 9:11:22 PM, Keith wrote:
    > > For example, when a human mind is
    > > implemented in computer hardware does it get infected with a meme or a
    > > computer virus?
    >Just to show I'm not averse to discussion mutation: surely that's a
    >computer mind, not a human mind?

    Chunk of a fiction story I wrote currently in voting on K5.

    Early in the second wet season Suskulan received a major system upgrade. The upgrade went swiftly because Suskulan had stockpiled tens of thousands of liters of parts and fuel--most of it in the form of methyl alcohol--that he also was keeping in stock to be converted to fat if needed.

    Suskulan's first serious patient after the upgrade was Zaba, an 11 year old who had been shot through her spine while working in a garden. She was near (or even beyond) death when she was placed in Suskulan's "hands."

    As the nanotech mist enveloped her still body, Suskulan told her parents:

    "I can heal Zaba but it will take at least seven days, perhaps as many as ten. You can to talk to her this time tomorrow."

    This time the nanomachines didn't infiltrate her brain just to shut it down, though they did that and reversed the mild damage from shock and low blood flow. The nanomachines mapped out all her neural circuits and cell connections. Shortly before her parents entered the clinic the next day they tentatively restored consciousness, partly in her brain--which was far below the temperature needed to run on its own--and partly in the haze of nanomachines that were also simulating input in place of her eyes and ears.

    "What happened to me? Where am I? Where is my body?" Zaba asked as she became conscious. She was calm because the nanomachines were acting as tranquilizers. Suskulan was listening to an interface to her motor cortex.

    Simulating a wire frame human in her visual cortex to give Zaba orientation, Suskulan explained.

    "You were shot, you are in the clinic Suskulan at the tata, and your body is being repaired."

    "The clinic recently gained new magic powers to speak to spirits while their bodies are being repaired."

    "The repair will take some time, even I do not know exactly how many days." "You were badly injured."

    "My mother and father," Zaba started and then stopped.

    "They brought you to me and are very concerned. I can extend my power and let you use it to talk to them as if you were speaking through a telephone."

    Zaba had never used a telephone, the tata being well out of range of a cell tower but she knew what they were like. Suskulan's wire frame image handed Zaba a cell phone image. She reached out with *her* wire frame body and took it from him just as Zaba's mother picked up a phone appearing object from the table.



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