X-Message-Number: 11065
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 10:24:30 -0700
From: Fred Chamberlain <>
Subject: More on souls, self, and duplication

Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 From: Fred Chamberlain <> Subject:
More on souls, self, and duplication   

For those who have the interest to wade through it, here is a short-short
story published in the November 1988 issue (No. 4) of LifeQuest (by
Imladris Corporation).  It deals with the possible experience of someone
reanimated following the advent of uploading, who "discovers" this in the
way common at the time.  

Fred Chamberlain  


Arnold Devore smiled, his eyes still closed.  Suddenly it didn't  seem to
hurt anymore.  His throat had been burning with each  gasp of terminal
pneumonia.  Now he could breathe easily.  The air seemed filled with the
scent of flowers, and he felt an  urge to stretch.  Closing his fingers
tightly, he sensed the  rippling of great muscles in his arms.  Was it a
dream?      Gripped by an incredible notion, Arnold threw his body  upward
and forced his eyes open.  Moments before he could  barely have rolled
over in bed; now he flew instantly to a  sitting position and found two
people in the hospital room, a  large man with a powerful chin and a
slender young woman  whose hair fell softly to her shoulders.  Both were
smiling.   Their faces seemed vaguely familiar.  Then he knew who they 
were, Judy and Sam.      "Damn!" said Arnold, grinning as he sorted out
what had  taken place.  It was as if he were witness to a transformation 
where two old people, shrunken and shriveled a moment ago,  were flung
forward in time, into youthful states.      Sam had been a gaunt, hairless
ghost, smiling as he fought  the final stages of an illness which ended
many years of futile  suffering.  Seven years later Judy, a white haired,
diminutive  old lady, whispered, "Arnold, you've held on through more 
than anyone could have asked.  Now, my love, it will be over  before you
know it.  I'll be close behind, and I'll see you  soon!"      The last
thing Arnold recalled, other than struggling for air,  fluids strangling
his lungs and throat, was the pressure of  Judy's hand holding his; then
he fell away into blackness.   Awake again, this time, he sensed the agony
was over for  good.      "Welcome back!" cried Judy, tears forming in her
eyes.   She hesitantly approached the bed, then she hurled herself into 
his arms.  Arnold ran his fingers over her trim body, feeling  the wiry
strength beneath her female softness.  "Don't hold me  so tight," Judy
giggled, "you're stronger than you think!"   They tumbled laughing to the
carpeted floor, rolling over and  over.      After a few moments, Arnold
gently held Judy away from  him, drinking her in with his eyes.  She was
dressed in  something like a dress suit with no looseness of material, 
almost indecently draped and molded to her form.  Then he  noticed Sam was
wearing a tight fitting male garment and was  pointing to one for him,
hung over what surely must be a  chair.  Arnold felt himself flush, as he
suddenly glanced down  and realized he was nude.      "Don't you at least
put your patients in pajamas?" he  mumbled, slipping into the snug
apparel.      "That went out a long time ago," Sam chuckled.  "Others 
like you and I convinced the world it was useless.  Oh, for a  while we
put gowns on people waking up from deep sleep, but  they just tore them
off to see what their bodies looked like."      Judy smiled.  "We have so
many ways of looking good  there's little reason to conceal anything. 
Clothes are more an  art than a necessity, now.  In other ways, you'll
see,  appearance is less important than ever before."      "Judy's getting
ahead of things," Sam interrupted, a trifle  nervously.  "Why don't you
finish zipping that sheath and  we'll show you the town."      Getting
around had changed, during the many decades  Arnold had been frozen.  The
room's door opened without  contact, as he would have expected, but
outside Judy and Sam  waited while he experimented with his boots, on
which he  could glide effortlessly along magnetic repulsion strips 
running down each side of the hallway.  At the inner edge of  each strip,
he found a glittering ribbon which would tug at his  boot, speeding the
glide, while another at the outer edge  would slow him to a halt after a
few seconds.      It took only a moment or two to get the hang of it.  Had
they given him 'sleep learning' before he woke?  Many things  he seemed
to know without asking, like how the intricate  zippers on his sheath
worked and what was in the belt pack he  wore.  Words came quickly, more
easily, it seemed.  Detailed  pictures jumped into his mind at the
slightest association, and  he raced endlessly over ideas and
interpretations of what Judy  and Sam had said, with no noticeable pause
in the  conversation.  Arnold sensed he was on an extreme caffeine  jag,
yet there were no jitters.  Was all this simply his  imagination?     
Hospital personnel smiled and greeted Sam  and Judy as they passed, and
several times Sam stopped,  introducing Arnold to old friends he might not
have known  otherwise.  Maybe they wouldn't have recognized him either, 
he mused after a few such meetings. "Flyin' high!" and  "Headin' out!"
were common greetings, but he sensed there  was more to it than he knew. 
Had they dosed him with  'uppers' to help him adjust?  If so, they all
appeared to be  taking it themselves.      "Sam, I feel like I'm on some
kind of drug," Arnold  observed. "And what does 'Flying high' mean? 
'Heading out'?   Everybody's saying those things!"      Grinning, Sam
said, "Arnold, get used to it, it's the way we  are, now.  No drugs, no
withdrawal!  'Flyin' high'?  Look, you  were out of circulation sixty
years.  Be glad the lingo didn't  shift on you more than that!"      At
the center of a larger hallway, they boarded an  unoccupied personal
carrier, magnetically levitated, Arnold  assumed, since even his shoes
embodied this technology.   Then they sped through the huge hospital to an
exterior ramp  where the small vehicle flung itself down a launch track, 
locking to the side of a long module traveling along what  appeared to be
a monorail.      Arnold judged the speed to be several hundred miles per 
hour, as the transportation module hurtled among broad based  buildings on
guideways suspended in midair.  It was like  flying without wings; the
guideway's points of support were  far apart, with no cables.  Then the
transmod guideway tilted  up into a climbing spiral and Arnold saw
buildings extending  for miles above them.      The spiral ended in a vast
network of nearly level  guideways winding among slender upper extensions
of  buildings which, miles below, had bases hundreds of yards  across. 
This was a higher terrace of the city, Arnold saw,  where the wide spaced
structures appeared to be enormous,  thick needles hanging in the sky.
     The monorails seemed structurally joined where they  crossed, but
Arnold suspected there would be a noticeable  swaying if they weren't
traveling so rapidly.  Sam commented  about how better materials would
soon eliminate "all this  clutter."  Then without warning, the transmod
veered into a  huge tunnel through one of the spires and the small carrier
detached, racing toward an outer wall.  Sam had punched in a  code for
the destination before they left the hospital, and that's  all it took,
apparently.      Before he knew it, Arnold was seated at a table with Judy
and Sam, in a restaurant some eighteen thousand feet above  the floor of
the city.  Gazing out the window, the effect struck  him as a futuristic
mural, except he knew it was real.  The  scale was the difficulty.  He
remembered his first view into  the Grand Canyon, looking down a chasm
several miles deep.   It was the same, here. Then Arnold remembered he'd 
traversed more than half a century in the wink of an eye and  was already
beginning to take that for granted.      "So you fixed the freezing damage
and gave me a new  body?" Arnold asked.  He looked first to Sam, who was 
studying the menu on a video screen in the surface of the  table, and then
to Judy, who was doing the same thing.      Judy nodded, but her mind
seemed more on the food than  the question.  Arnold studied her features,
an almost hypnotic  portrait in delicacy and strength.  They'd been
married fifty  years; everything that made sense told Arnold it was the
same  Judy he'd grown part of, but there was a new element,  intangibly
foreign.  Judy's energy and her physical youth,  driven by eighty seven
years' experience, were awesome; still,  it was more than that.     
Arnold remembered Judy as she  looked when he first met her. A picture
flashed to mind,  almost unreal in clarity.  Then he saw images of Judy as
she  aged.  Like the first picture, they were sharp, unfaded.  It  became
like watching a movie, seeing Judy grow old and then  jump to the present,
with a shift of some kind he could not  pinpoint.  He sensed it had to do
with the crystal clear pictures  which filled his head.  He could feel
it--his brain was better  somehow.  What had they done to him?  Had they
done  something like that to her, too?      "So how did they fix the ice
crystal damage in the brain?"  Arnold prompted, again.  He did his best to
ask the question  as if it had no particular significance.      Sam had
already ordered, selecting his choices via the  touch pads below the video
menu, and Arnold and Judy had  done the same. There were no remaining
distractions, yet,  shaking his head, Sam seemed stumped.      "We're
psychologists, aren't we?" Sam said, as he looked  up.      Arnold nodded.
     "Whatever I tell you has to 'fit' a framework in your mind,  doesn't
it?  If things are missing, explanations have to include  them, right? 
Suppose you asked questions I could only  answer in terms of factor
analysis, but you had no knowledge  of statistics? I'd ask you to be
patient, wouldn't I?"      Arnold's face took on a hint of worry.     
"Smile, Arnold," Judy laughed.  "You pioneered that  therapy, remember? 
Use it yourself!"      Arnold began smiling again; yes, the James-Lange
law still  worked as well as it always had, maybe better!  Closure 
patterns in his mind shifted subtly; everything took on  glowing, positive
overtones.      "Go one step at a time," Sam went on.  "You have a new 
body, like you said, a clone.  That part worked out as you  would have
expected.  Your brain, of course, is a  reconstruction."      "But the
damage?  How did you fix it?"      "Forget the damage!  How do you feel?"
     "Fine!"      "No question of who you are?"      "Never crossed my
mind."      "Think about your childhood.  Do you have consistent,  clear
memories?"      Arnold thought, visualized.  The old farm was there, along
with his high school days.  An earlier marriage, then his first  memories
of Judy.  The very act of visualizing those things  had a familiar feel. 
The strange thing was the sharpness, the  ease of it.  He remembered the
old wives' tale about one's life  "flashing before the eyes" at the moment
of death.  It certainly  hadn't happened with him, when he died of
pneumonia, yet  now it seemed the effect was achievable by a simple act of
will.      "Sam, it's all there, but it's so definite, so godawful sharp,
and there's so much of it!"      "But no gaps?  No missing elements? 
Places you think  you should remember something but don't?"      "No, but
I want to know about the brain damage.  When I  was frozen, crystals still
tore apart the cell membranes.  There  were huge cracks across dozens of
neurons in the ice matrix.   They must use exotic applications of
nanotechnology now,  right?  Do the replicators fix frozen brains while
they're still  solid, or is the reconstruction done at higher
temperatures?"      Sam sighed.  "Arnold, do me a favor.  Look around and 
soak up the surroundings for a few days.  Relax, and enjoy  being with
Judy.  We had a professional partnership before,  and we'll pick up there
again, if you like, but for the moment  just let yourself acclimate."     
Arnold eased back and his eyes narrowed.  "Why don't you  want to talk
about this, Sam?  You know I have the  background.  You were still up and
around when molecular  assemblers started making copies of themselves. 
They were  starting to use them for medical repair while I was still
alive,  years after you were frozen.  In some ways, my background is 
better than yours."      Sam smiled implacably, "Let me be the therapist
for two  days, and you can go on from there."      Arnold grinned back. 
"All right, Sam, but you know what  I'm asking.  Tailor your 'therapy'
around that!"      Judy reached out and softly stroked Arnold's arm.  He 
turned; she winked and said, "I'm the first part of the 'therapy'.   This
evening is mine!"  

*****       The apartment was spacious, even higher above the city  than
the restaurant, so it seemed one looked down from the  dwelling's balcony
into the depths of an endless complexity  from a vehicle suspended in
midair.      "Our place," Judy said softly.  "I've spent the last five
years  here.  Your brain damage complications were terrible, and it  took
a lot more to get you back than Sam and I.  I can't tell  you how lonely
I've been, but all these things of ours have  kept me company."      The
lofty home was filled with possessions Judy had stored  for them. 
Handling them helped Arnold grasp that his past  life was real, not a
dream to be tossed aside for new  experiences, as if he'd suddenly sprung
to life with no former  existence.      His books, printed paper, were now
antique treasures. He  turned pages in an old leather binder filled with
handwritten  ideas of his that might seem naive now, but they were roots, 
the foundation of his mind.  The ancient folded optics  telescope made him
chuckle, as he opened the wooden box  and cradled the cylinder in his
hands.  He could tune dozens  of space observatories from their apartment,
viewing with  screens so sharp they exceeded the resolution of his eyes,
but  he knew he would never get rid of the old relic he'd purchased  more
than a century before.      Arnold finally stood looking down from within
the  balcony's sliding glass doors, gazing as if in a trance at the 
ceaseless motion of the city's evening lights miles below.   Then curtains
swept across the panorama, blocking his view,  the lights dimmed, and
strange, pulsating music filled the air.      An undercurrent of drums
with melodies and harmonies of  their own supported a magical tapestry of
flutelike tones in  higher domains.  The blend was a brutally strong base
with  layer upon layer of finer and more delicate structures above it.  
The music reminded Arnold of the city; then other forms took  shape and
the city vanished.      The effect was incredible because there were so
many  visual components.  Arnold found he pictured a fabric of 
astronomical size woven from burned out stars, which  enclosed others
still burning, pouring out mass and energy to  be efficiently funneled to
the use of stellar developments  beside which the city below would have
been a microscopic  anthill.  Never before had music led so directly to
graphic  concepts, and Arnold found himself wondering if new  pathways in
the brain had been found for music to evoke ideas  of an abstract,
geometric kind.  Then he detected movement of  light on the curtain which
now concealed his view of the city,  shadows cast from immediately behind
him.      Arnold turned and Judy was moving toward him.  All he  could see
was a dark red glowing wall behind her, the color of  a desert sunset,
silhouetting the sensuous motions of her bare  figure and drifting loose
hair as she advanced on her toes.   Even as he felt his body respond,
Arnold found himself  fascinated, watching Judy match her actions to the
music,  arching her back and lifting her hips in ways which followed  the
pulsating undertones while her fingers danced against the  burning red
wall so as to echo the highest pitched flutes.      Judy crawled into
Arnold's arms and hungrily wrapped  herself around him, unzipping his
sheath so it fell away like a  cape from his neck.  He lowered her to the
cushioned floor  and for a moment paused, absorbed in the glow of the wall
softly lighting her perfect form.  Then he felt his body drawn  down,
gripped in the field of an irresistible force.  Over the  hours that
followed there were waves of rapture and spells of  calm.  It was as if
they drifted on a sea torn by a chain of  storms.  In the end, exhausted,
they slept.      Arnold woke.  He'd dreamed someone came to take his  new
body away, a formless shape leaving him not with an  older body but no
body at all.  He was a wraith, hiding in the  information content of old
hardbound books, moving from  appendices to index sections and from book
to book, fearful  of being erased, slipping from one shelf to another as
great  hands reached out, snatching books by the dozen to find him.   He
sprang into a computer only to find it on fire, hid within a  buried
depository of microfilm even as it was engulfed by  magma, and then took
refuge in the crystal core of an asteroid  hurtling into a star,
evaporating in a sudden flare with so little  warning there was no escape
from oblivion.      Still shaking and drenched with sweat, Arnold found
he'd  rolled over several times on the carpet from the point where  the
last love making with Judy had left them sleeping.  Judy's  form, outlined
against the deep red wall, gently moved in the  rhythmic pattern of
dreamless sleep.  As Arnold tucked his  hands under his head and stared at
the ceiling, he realized for  the first time it was a dimly glowing
celestial map.  Why did  Sam balk whenever the subject of brain repair
came up?      Arnold squinted at the ceiling, tracing patterns of stars to
the edge of the room where they faded into the luminescent  walls. The
chart was oriented on the galactic plane,  bespeaking concern with travel
rather than with sky watching.   There were dots with a vectorial
character which could not  have been stars.  Pulsing gently, they reminded
him of  beacons or buoys like those needed for navigation among  shoals of
an uneven coastline, but he sensed they were  something altogether
different.      For a while, he tried to work out where the sun lay and 
what would be there if the ceiling were extended.  It was  unexpectedly
easy, but there was no satisfaction in it.  On a  sudden urge he sprang to
his feet, imagining himself a caged  jungle cat, pacing the room,
visualizing bars which might  have separated him from invisible
onlookers.  Finally he  stepped into the bathroom and entered a shower
enclosure  shaped like a huge, flat bottomed egg. A cloud of needle-like 
water streams impinged on him from all angles and he relaxed  in the hot
vortex, his mind spinning like a flywheel with no  friction to slow or
restrain it.      Things seemed out of place.  Sam and Judy had steered
the  discussions all day, avoiding many topics other than just brain 
repair.  Judy vehemently denied that anything was wrong after  a lengthy
stop in the restroom; all he had done was ask if she  were all right.  At
one point on a tour through an  entertainment park, upon coming to a show
titled "Ideas on  Identity", Sam and Judy had hurried him on to a
different  attraction.      It was just before they fell asleep that
Arnold's sense of  uneasiness came to a climax.  Lying with Judy on the 
cushioned carpet, he ran his hand over the top of her head and  noticed a
slight indentation in her skull.  He stroked the area a  second time,
tracing its contours, and Judy suddenly jerked  and said, "Arnold, don't!"
     There was a shocked silence; then Judy continued in an  embarrassed
tone, "They do surgery, and it leaves a spot under  your hair.  You
shouldn't touch it while you're still healing."      "But you've had five
years, and it feels like it's not solid, as  if there's an opening!"     
"It's still sensitive; I don't want you to touch it."  She  looked away,
cornered and at a loss for words.      Arnold felt the top of his own
head.  Yes, there was an area  like that where his scalp was loose also;
it almost had an itchy  sensation.      "Arnold, please don't touch your
head," Judy insisted.   "Wait 'till your checkup next week."  She
continued to fumble  for words and he let the matter drop.      Arnold
finished his shower and returned to the dimly lit  room, opening the
drapes so the city's lights flooded up from  the lower terraces.  Judy was
breathing peacefully as he  slipped on his sheath, picked up his belt pack
with entry  passes and credit cards, and went out into the world.      A
twenty four hour world, they'd told him, and it was more  apparent now,
gliding down crowded feeder halls of the  gigantic apartment building at
four in the morning.  Arnold's  use of the glideways had become so
automatic he was not  worried he would stand out in some way.  "Flyin'
high!" he  smiled to a couple leaving a hallside communication booth, 
still unsure of what it might mean.  Then he entered and began  searching
directories.      Libraries were under 'Information Services'.  Arnold 
called; they were open around the clock.  Hailing an unused  carrier, he
tapped in a destination code; minutes later he  stepped out at a large
building which was still, clearly, a  library.  Inside, it took only
minutes to master the use of  access terminals for files not available in
any home.  Dawn  was just breaking outside the huge, vertical slabs of
glass  which lined the library's walls when he hit pay dirt.      Except
it seemed more like a horror story.  Arnold called  up newspaper files and
raced back in time to the year he was  frozen. Then he crept forward,
sometimes glimpsing only  headlines and sometimes stopping to read,
unaware even of  where newspapers ceased being printed and became 
exclusively accessible through video displays.      "Cryonicists Riot in
the Streets!"  "Right to Ice!"  "HEW  Approves Freezing for Social
Security Recipients!"  These  things he might have guessed, but then the
chilling part  started.  "No Way to Fix Frozen Brains, States Surgeon 
General!"  "Research Group Licks Brain Damage Problem."   "Religious
Groups Horrified At Brain-Fix Solution!"  "It isn't  Human!"      He sped
forward to the present date, July 16, 2076.  No  sign of controversy. 
Backward again.  Things were still  chaotic as of twenty years ago. 
Forward a little.  There!   "Artificial Brains Get Surgeon General
Acceptance."  Five  years further, the titles shouted, "Hyperbrains And 
Omnibrains Approved As Transplants." Two more years;  now, sarcasm ruled. 
"You're Still Biobrain? You're  Braindead, Bozo!"      "Oh no!" gasped
Arnold.  He ran his fingers through his  hair. Except for the unnatural
depression, his head felt fully  normal. The sensation of his fingers
digging into his scalp  seemed real enough.  He swept his eyes around the
room.  The  resolution was excellent; could it be video?      His
memories?  He pictured the old tree in the back yard at  the farm where he
grew up.  It was crystal clear.  He imagined  the rope ladder hanging from
the entry hole in the floor of the  tree house and saw the texture, felt
the old scrap boards from  which the tree house was built.  He heard cows
in the pasture  a hundred yards away, on the other side of the vegetable 
garden, smelled the dew on the fresh cut grass below the  tree...      He
had to get out of there.  What about that show at the  entertainment
park?  As Arnold got to his feet, he felt  unsteady, and his vision seemed
to flicker.  What was wrong?   He smiled, strongly and voluntarily, and
the flickering  disappeared.  The James-Lang feedback principle seemed 
embellished, enhanced.  What about other brain functions?   Did they
operate in an upgraded way also?  He glanced at his  watch, a film
adhering electrostatically to his thumbnail, and  was shocked; he'd been
in the library less than two hours.   After a moment, his equilibrium
restored, Arnold proceeded  to an exit.      Outside, the fragrant air of
a summer morning greeted him.  He had noticed before the profusion of
trees and flowers,  woven into exposed areas everywhere, but now the smell
of  fresh cut grass was especially pungent.  For a moment Arnold  paused
under an overhang which would shelter those who  might emerge into a
rainstorm, observing the whole area  might as easily have been enclosed. 
The only explanation  was a craving for exposure to the elements on the
part of the  designers, integrated into the general architecture of the
entire  city.      Arnold entered an empty carrier and used his credit key
to  indicate the entertainment park as the destination.  As he  moved off,
just before the carrier sped down its launch track  to lock with a
transportation module, Arnold glanced back.   Two figures resembling Judy
and Sam had emerged from the  library, but Arnold couldn't be sure. 
During the several  minutes it took to reach the park, he leaned back and
relaxed,  letting himself doze.      This time, Arnold did not hurry.  He
bought a snack and  sat on a bench among flower beds, reminded of the old 
Disneyland parks.  People flowed by; from what he knew,  most of them
didn't have biological brains.  He was nearly  certain, now, that the same
was true of him.  What had gone  wrong?      After awhile, he entered the
"Ideas on Identity" show and  took a seat near the back.  The seat
adjusted itself to his form  perfectly, lights dimmed and his seat tilted
back, lifting his  feet.  The ceiling was the screen, the theater designed
as if for  use as a planetarium.  Titles began appearing, awesome 
holograms which seemed to be almost within reach of his  fingers.  This
was an expensive production even in terms of  the present technology,
Arnold observed.  Why spend so  much money on a topic like this?      The
show began and a face appeared.  It was Sam's, aged  and wrinkled; he must
have been seventy.  What could Sam  have said which would fit with this
show?      "We know the brain is composed of independent entities,  tens
of millions of clusters of neurons, hundreds of different  types,
interacting to produce what we call 'consciousness',"  said Sam. "But few
of us are willing to accept the conclusion  which so obviously follows. 
If we were to synthesize these  clusters and unite them properly,
according to specific maps  of our brains, we would be duplicating our
minds."      It's true Sam said that, thought Arnold, but it was only an 
abstract idea at the time; everyone laughed at him.  Even after  he was
frozen, few really thought it would someday be  possible. Then a young
Sam's face appeared, not the Sam of  half a century ago, but the Sam who
greeted him in the  hospital room only the previous day.      "Ladies and
Gentlemen, this idea is old," the young Sam  went on.  "It's been waiting
in the wings almost a century, but  it's central to all the turmoil we've
faced in the last thirty  years." The huge holographic picture exposed
minute details  in Sam's face, and Arnold saw more continuity with
features  of the man who had been his partner so long ago.  There was a 
student of Sam's, he recalled, Sjmansky, who published a  number of
brilliant papers on artificial brains after Sam died,  but Sjmansky had a
terminal illness himself, and was near  death when Arnold was in the final
stages of pneumonia.      "Initially, everyone tried to avoid artificial
brains," Sam  was saying.  "No one could have guessed we would converge 
on them as a final solution, but having crossed over, now,  there is no
way back.  We must try to understand how it  happened.  We must be
completely confident we have not  'dehumanized' ourselves.  Watch the
pictures which follow.   We'll take you for a journey you'll find
absolutely  fascinating."      The story of artificial brains took shape. 
One narrator's  voice, not Sam's, was uncannily familiar even though the 
speaker was not shown.  Then Arnold was startled by a  picture flashing to
mind, one of the people to whom he'd been  introduced as they left the
hospital.  Why was he so sure?  The  association between the narrator's
voice and the image was as  firm as his memories of his childhood, but how
could he have  such a clear recollection on the basis of a momentary 
meeting?      Conceptually, things became clearer as the show  progressed.
Early "hyperbrains" involved only strict  duplication, neuron by neuron. 
Then the term became generic  for all artificial minds. "Omnibrains" were
more recent, where  large groups of neurons as units were functionally
synthesized  on higher levels.      "Omnibrain" was trademarked, claims
being it provided  higher speed of thought, easier updates, and better
modularity.   The subjective experience was indistinguishable, and people 
were now switching back and forth, using different modules  day to day the
way they changed clothes for different  occasions.  There were 'rate of
thought' limits due to interfaces  with biobodies, but Omnibrain was
working around these.   With Omnibrains, the story continued, there could
be  interchanges.  A pianist and violinist exchanged submodules;  now both
could perform equally well on both instruments.   Higher level transfers
were nearly ready; it looked like  memory exchange without an audio-visual
bottleneck would  be available by Christmas.      Arnold felt a desperate
anxiety, a panic reaction.  Now he  sensed what mental patients he treated
must have felt.  He  began exploring the top of his head with his
fingertips.  As he  did so, a pair of small hands began squeezing his
tense neck  muscles from behind; Judy brought her head up next to his  and
began nibbling his ear.      "You broke and ran!" she whispered.  "We
couldn't tell  you; all the studies show it's better if you find out on
your  own. I'm sorry I snapped when you touched my head!  I didn't  know
how to keep from letting the cat out of the bag."      Arnold turned and
his disorientation increased; then he let  Judy cradle his head in her
arms and bury him in kisses,  feeling himself swept back to the evening
before.  In a few  moments his sense of reality returned.  When he finally
untangled himself, he saw Sam in the seat next to Judy's,  smiling.     
"We knew you'd take off," Sam said in a low voice, "but  we didn't know
when.  Do you want to come outside and talk,  now, or would you rather see
the rest of the show and figure it  all out for yourself?"      Arnold
hesitated.  Then he said quietly, "Oh, what the hell!  Are you ready to
level with me?"      Sam grinned.  "Let's go!" he whispered.      Outside,
they settled themselves on benches among the  flowers again.  "You can see
now why we hustled you past  that show," Judy laughed.  "You weren't ready
to see Sam's  face on the screen."      "The term 'brain' has a lot more
latitude than the old days,  doesn't it?" Sam added.  "They'd already
switched to  hyperbrains by the time Judy and I woke up.  It was even a 
shock for me, even though I'd always thought it would be  possible.  Of
course, the raw data is still there for all of us."      "Raw data?"     
"You know, the original frozen brains.  They map them  and replicate
neurons and interconnects in an identity module  about the size of a pack
of cough drops.  No more hard wiring  as of two years ago, they just put
an interface in your head.   Slip in the module and guess what? 
Ta-Dah!!!  'Arnold  Devore, in the flesh!' The pun is intentional."     
Sam looked like an incarnation of the Cheshire Cat.  Judy  was chuckling
as if it were a joke.  Their brains were still  frozen, yet here they were
as if that were perfectly normal.   And what of him?  He was beginning to
take it for granted!   Arnold shuddered, still coming to grips with it.
"My real brain  is still frozen, in a capsule somewhere?"      Judy
laughed.  "Solid as rock... except where replicators  squeezed in to trace
neuron interconnects and record synapse  characteristics.  Maybe someday
they'll be able to fix neurons  biologically; for now, that's beyond the
state of the art."      "Beyond the 'state of the art'?  But then how..."
     "Simulating neurons is easy," Sam filled in.  "If we were  pressed,
we could pack a human brain into a cubic centimeter.  Memory mapping is
easy.  People hated the idea of artificial  brains in the beginning, but
ten years later almost everyone  switched over.  Those people's brains are
frozen, too, along  with ours, but we can't imagine why any of us would
ever go  back to them."      "But I'm nothing but a machine!" Arnold
objected.  "You  and Judy are machines; all these people around us, these 
cities--full of them!  Is that all there is?  Are there any people  with
normal 'biobrains' left?  Anywhere?"      "Look, Arnold!", said Sam. 
"Even now, there are tribes of  primitives which don't use immunization;
some people in this  city still think their minds are spirit things
running around in  their heads independent of brains.  Of course there are
biobrains... a vanishing minority.  Still, even a hundred years  from now
it wouldn't surprise me if there were a few around."      "But to just
switch over to a 'machine' brain?  To go back  and forth from one type to
another, all the time?  How do you  know what's 'you' anymore?"      Judy
took Arnold's hand and drew him close, turning him  to her, and he gazed
into her blue-gray eyes.  She'd outlived  him seven years before she was
frozen.  Now she'd spent five  more years waiting.  What about last night,
in the room with  the sunset walls and the star filled ceiling?  Her
sultry  magnetism was irresistible, even now, sitting on a park bench 
surrounded with flowers.  How could she be a machine?  It  didn't make any
sense!      "Arnold," she said, "When you get a chance to dig more  into
the 'transformation', as it's called--Sam has a whole  historical series
on it--you'll get a better sense of the horror  the world went through. 
First, artificial brains were used to  get back researchers they thought
could help develop ways to  repair brains biologically; it was supposed to
be very limited,  used with only a few great minds of their times, before
they  were frozen.  There were endless objections, but all the people 
with frozen relatives kept screaming 'bring back the artificial  brain
researchers', to speed up reanimation development work.      "But you see,
it backfired.  The scientists they brought  back with artificial brains
showed how much more technology  was needed for repairing frozen
biobrains, beyond anything  expected.  Then there was the real clincher...
they said they  wouldn't go back to biobrain anyway, and told everybody
else  they were crazy to keep them."      Arnold began to grin. 
"Sjmansky?"      "Yes, Sjmansky!" Sam laughed.  "Can you imagine how  that
made them feel?  They brought him out with an artificial  brain, hoping
he'd want to be rid of it... and he loved it!  He  was the first to say he
wouldn't go back to biobrain, and  challenged opponents to bring others
back, every level of  intelligence, to see what they had to say about it."
     "Was that the study the Surgeon General based the  conversion
decision on?"      "No," said Judy.  "That was only on people who were 
already frozen.  Sjmansky settled that, once and for all.  But  then the
conversion thing was..."      "Let me tell it, Judy," Sam interrupted. 
"Arnold, I'd give  anything to have been there.  One of Sjmansky's people 
wanted to make the jump, so they bootlegged it; no one knew  until it was
done.  He woke up with an early hyperbrain.  It  could have been reversed;
they'd have switched him back if  he'd wanted them to. His biobrain was
still at normal body  temperature, artificial circulation, sedation, ready
to go back  in if he'd had qualms.      "Anyway, he took one look at the
biobrain and said, 'I  never want to see the damned thing again; freeze
it!'  When  news of that hit the videos it was the last straw.  All the 
people without hyperbrains were jealous; we think faster,  memories more
vivid, you know what it's like!  Now there  was incredible public pressure
for conversions; no way the  agencies could hold out. Almost everyone made
the jump as  soon as it was approved."      Judy raised her hands.  "At
first, people like us--from the  past--think it's awful, but after five
years, I have a hard time  trying to see why.  So many advantages!"     
"Like what?"      "Like having copies of the modules, updating each
night.   If we got wiped out by accident, like orbit entry collision or 
solar flare with too little shielding?  We lose a day or so,  but..."     
"But I still don't get it!" Arnold objected.  "It's not the same  'you',
starting over like that!"      "Oh no?  What do you suppose you're doing,
right now?   What about all those hyperbrain conversions when they made 
the jump? What happens when someone updates an 'Omni'  from a 'hyper' and
then switches back the next day?"      Arnold was thoughtfully quiet for a
moment.      "There are other things, too," Judy added, grinning, "like 
new ways to enjoy life.  We're going for a swim this  afternoon, but it
won't be like any swim you ever took before.   We have a choice of outer
forms, now that we have identity  modules."      Arnold watched,
fascinated, as Judy took from her belt  pack a slim rectangular object and
handed it to him.  Its  texture was that of black glass, its weight a bit
less than if it  were a solid bar of metal.  About a half inch thick, he
judged;  maybe two by five inches in surface area.      "That's me,
Arnold.  The 'real' me," Judy said.  "It's like  what's in my head, except
it's been four hours since updating.  That's what I was doing in the
restroom; my first moments  with you were so precious I couldn't take any
chance on their  being lost."      "So if something happened to you..."
     "You'll never lose me, now, Arnold, and I'll never lose  you! Now,
let's go for that swim."  


      When they alighted from the carrier at the seaside resort,  Arnold
was mystified.  Judy had made a point of being  secretive about it.  One
thing she showed him on the way,  however, was the updating process. 
Simple!  You placed two  clips on an earlobe with a fine wire to the spare
module.   Three minutes later, a low tone sounded, and the update was 
complete.  Judy insisted Arnold bring an extra module with  him, and now
she was telling him he would be 'going to sleep'  in some way.  What was
she up to?      Within the resort, they were shown to a private room, 
where an attendant asked for their modules.  Then they were  requested to
lie down and the attendant connected them as if  an update were to be
performed.  Arnold finally said, "Judy,  what's going on? What does this
have to do with swimming?"      Judy smiled.  "Arnold, I know we're
rushing you, but this  is the latest fad; everyone's doing it.  The
updated module  goes in a vehicle, and the module in your head is on hold,
like  you were sleeping.  You have a swim in the vehicle; then the  module
in your head updates to add the experience.  It's like  you were
teleported into the vehicle and then back into your  body."      "But why
don't we just climb into the vehicle and ride?  Is  it so dangerous?"     
"Trust me, Arnold," Judy said.  "This is one vehicle you  can't just climb
into.  Now come on; this is going to be more  fun than a barrel of fish!"
     The open ocean was clear and cool as Arnold surged  through it at
thirty five miles per hour, closely followed by  Judy and Sam. He flexed
ten thousand pounds of muscle and  headed for the surface five hundred
feet away.  As his huge  Orca body hurtled a dozen yards into the air, he
had a  spectacular view of giant waves breaking on all sides; then he 
plunged back into the water and raced down to the canyon  they were
touring below.  Through sonic links, he spoke with  Judy and Sam as easily
as if they were seated beside him at a  cocktail table.      There were
physical sensations he could never have  imagined. Frigid ocean water
rushing over his dorsal fin was  like a cool breeze on a human face, but
there was a difference,  as between butterscotch and chocolate.  As he
whipped his tail  and shot down an underwater gorge it reminded him of 
jumping a log in a forest, magnified a thousandfold.  He  halted before a
crevice, his great eyes peering into it, pectoral  fins shifting his mass
back and forth so he could get a better  view.  With a slim eel's body and
auxiliary lights, he knew he  could probe its depths.  Next week, perhaps.
*****       As evening fell, they were back at the apartment and  Arnold
sat holding an identity module, awed by the idea that  he could move from
body to body and even from module to  module as if by magic.      "Sam,
all that familiarity when I woke up, was it some kind  of implant
learning?"      Laughing, Sam shook his head.  "We had talks with you 
under hypnosis, to give you a sense of what you'd find when  you woke up. 
People from the past have adaptation problems;  a lot of the therapy we do
these days is in that area."      Arnold placed his identity module on a
glass table,  studying its appearance.  If it were within a small space 
vehicle, could his memories be recovered as he plunged into  Jupiter's
atmosphere or even into the sun?  He understood,  now, the meaning of the
ceiling's star maps.  People like  himself were already out there, no time
limits holding them  back.  At destinations they would construct suitable
bodies or  vehicles.  En route, visible to those on Earth only as 
anomalous points of light on star maps, they were bathed in a  continuous
stream of media flowing after them at the speed of  light.      "Sam,
what's research in psychology like these days?"  Arnold asked.      Sam
shrugged.  "Some of us want to see if purely artificial  intelligence can
be made sentient.  There's still a long way to  go, there.  I'm working on
add-ons for Omnibrains, with extra  memory, communication links, you name
it.  It's a kind of  'inner space' adventure.  By the way, the most exotic
treat yet  is going up in large birds.  Seems like everyone's done it at 
least once; that's where 'Flyin' high!' comes from."      "Flyin' high!"
mused Arnold.  "Compared with riding on  an interstellar probe, that's
like a microbe going for a swim  near the bottom of a culture dish!"     
Judy smiled happily.  "I'm glad to hear you say that," she  said, "because
one of those probes out there has 'seats' on it  for us.  All we do is
transmit data for making a set of modules  and updating, and it will be
like "beaming aboard".  When  someone says, 'Headin' out!' now, you know
what they're  talking about."      Arnold tickled her.  "And if we want to
come back?"      "Simple," she laughed.  "Beam an update back here, and
let  the modules on the probe sleep awhile."      "What if we want to be
out there and back here at the same  time, Sam?"  Arnold asked.  "Can we
recombine later, or will  we have two people who stay apart permanently? 
And what if  Judy and I want a total exchange of memories and other 
modules?  Except it would be like merging, wouldn't it, no  need for two
of us?"      "Fascinating questions, Arnold!" Sam replied.  "Maybe  you'll
stick around for at least a little while and help with a  sequel we're
working on for the "Ideas on Identity" show.   We're going to call it
'Nothing's Impossible'!"  


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