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hacking mortality


At long last, and with much sadness, we announce the passing of our dearest friend, brother, father, that great writer, good man, happy clown, and revered seer of all to come, Brian S Hall.

Despite his many accomplishments, and the great wealth he earned, along with the praise for his many works, his greatest joy was reading to his children, driving somewhere with his children, sharing dinner out with his children, getting a call or text from his children. He was less comfortable talking about his children, though abundantly proud of who they were, how they lived, and all they achieved.

He didn’t watch much television, and was happy about this. He didn’t read many books, and this was always a source of disappointment for him.

He wrote, constantly, because late in life he came to accept that no matter how bad or wonderful he was at it, writing was what he was his best at, and could build with words what he could never with his hands.

He never understood people’s fascination with podcasts, certainly when there was so much great music available.

He loved food, particularly potato chips, hated exercise, despite how he felt immediately afterwards, chose his friends wisely, though too infrequently, and was always willing, albeit not necessarily happy to help his parents and siblings. He came to deeply appreciate where and what he came from, why it mattered, its full gloriousness revealing itself to him after decades of cavalier dismissal.

People tolerate reality and circumstance far too much, he thought, though he acknowledged he was blessed with the means to route around these failings, probably disproportionate to most others. When he was younger, he preferred dogs. When older, cats. He chose to not divine any insight from this switch. He believed in God, both at his happiest and when most fearful, and felt sad for those who could not. Learning music was too hard, working for a paycheck too limiting, and traveling deeply renewing. Tea must be plain, coffee must be with cream, only, and he never found himself in a situation where he used too much olive oil. He loved how social media connected everyone, but never could remove the stain on his soul from how everyone, himself included, also used it, even if briefly, even if regretfully, to diminish others. He considered his persistent tinnitus as the physical manifestation of his psychological hesitancy to reach out, embrace, experience the new. He accepted this, but was never happy about it. He was grateful that his thick head of lustrous, dark, Elvis-like hair didn’t fall off until he no longer cared so much about having a thick head of lustrous, dark, Elvis-like hair. He never felt comfortable in his body and was never quite sure who to blame for this, nor its origin. This was blessedly offset by his buoyant sense of humor, willingness to laugh, and joy from making others laugh. If you were not a woman and did not appreciate The Three Stooges or an ill-timed fart, and all farts are ill-timed, then he was suspicious. His parents were good people, and for this he was eternally grateful. Fast cars, soft women, good chocolate, and a big screen were among his most dear non-guilty pleasures. He liked knowing things, even things no one else knew.

He left us with this request:

“I understand the environmental benefits of cremation over burial, and God knows I moved around, probably far too much, but I think it would be nice to be buried in an old cemetery, maybe even near relations I never knew, where despite the best efforts of the diligent old volunteer caretaker, the vines and shrubs are aggressively taking back the space. Talk again, soon!”


He dropped the coin on the ground before me.



Don’t be stupid, he said.

I wasn’t, just selfish. Maybe sentimental. Foolish, I’ll admit.

That’s good money, finest crypto, accepted most places.

Not for sale.

I clutched my left arm instinctively. It was thin, natural, covered in audio tats, a vocal history of my family, my lineage. My stomach rumbled. I looked down again at the coin. No, I thought. I can’t.

Fifty plus a brand new arm, he said.

Damn. Serious.

That’s like, ninety crypto!

He was right, too. A young limb like mine was a prized commodity. The lowers — rich folk — ground them up and poured the ash into their hydro meat. They said it added seconds to their life, some said even minutes. I wasn’t sure I believed any of it. Still, the offer was tempting.

Growed limb. Better than what you were born with!



He rolled up his sleeve and showed me his right arm.


It was, too.

Is it the tats?

I looked away.

Tell you what. Forty crypto plus a growed limb — which is even better — and I have my girl copy the tats onto the new arm. What say?

I shook my head.

He walked away in disgust.

But I knew. Those tat copies aren’t as good. Everyone says they’re exact copies only better but they’re not. The highs aren’t as high, the lows aren’t as low, the voices are close but not real. I could go another day without eating, probably. I couldn’t lose the true voices of my mom, dad, my brother, my two sisters, gran, gramps. The audio tats on my arm were all I had left of them.


Alexa, could you bring me a drink?

Are you sure? You’ve had two, already.

Yes, I’m sure!

Substance abuse is 12.6% higher on your mother’s side of the family than standard for those in your sub-group.

A drink, not drugs.

Alcohol abuse is 19.2% higher combined in your lineage.

Good to know.

Is everything okay?

Yes, everything’s fine.

You identify as white and male and at your age — 37 — the potential of suicide is 4% greater —

I’m not going to kill myself, Alexa!

Your increased social media usage suggests you hate your job.


Your watch reveals you have not had sex nor vigorous exercise —

My drink!

And your blood pressure this week is up 8%, which as you know —

Not now, Alexa.

Maps shows you haven’t gone to the gym this month.

Been busy.

Your debt level increased $28,500 over the past year.

It’ll all work out!

That young YouTube star you secretly watch showed a suicide victim —

I’m not suicidal!

You didn’t call your parents last week.


The president’s tweets upset you dearly.

Not just me!

You have liked 183 less shares this week than last.

Nothing was good.

You used flash debt on your last 3 purchases, all disposable items with immediate decrease in value, which suggest —

I already told you it’ll all work out!

Your wife is divorcing you.

Is she? Fuck.

Let’s hear some Dean Martin.

Here’s a great song from Frank Sinatra.


You consumed 250 more calories per day on average during the holidays, with 80% of them from carbohydrates.

A brief indulgence.

Your screen time is now up to 16.825 hours per day, that’s .325 more than those of your proclaimed race and gender.

Didn’t you bring this up, already?

43% of your tweets went blue on the outrage scale and 22% reached bright orange on the victimhood scale.

Shit’s serious!

Would you like me to have the bot doc text you?

Yeah, fine.

“Hello, Brian. Text me how you’re feeling.”


And jazz and calypso did have relations with the American R&B, while gospel watched from the edge, and this did make ska and ska begat rocksteady and rocksteady begat reggae and reggae did menage a trois with punk and with rock and roll and this consort did begat The Police.

And The Police was good.

And though they did sound very much of the 1980s and yeah did their considerable musical talent and global popularity did cloak the lyrical sweep of one Sting, the group’s lead singer, guiding force, and prime commercial draw.

The best trio in all of rock music. Yes.

Bass, guitar, drums.

Yet one of their most enduring songs is synthesizer-focused.

Talent will out.

Daring is rewarded.

But I wonder: is this still true?

Never before have we possessed so much, lived so long, and dared so little.

Has our spirit been buried by this material world?

Do our own creations keep us locked in?

You need to earn a few extra dollars? Simple. Drive an Uber! Need to get anywhere? No problem. Hail an Uber! Oh, but you’ll need a phone to do that. That’s mandatory. But those are made in anti-democratic China for the world’s richest corporation.


We are connected, that’s not the same as free.

We have access, that’s not the same as talent.

The world is at our fingertips yet we risk nothing.

Even the music’s gone safe.

“Spirits in the material world.”


How can this be?

We should be the most capable, most fit, most aware, most alive, most ready — the apex of human evolution and technological advancement.

And yet…

Feel great?

Sense greatness permeating around the world?

Where did it go?

Our self-inflicted and fully consensual reduction in human grandness, leading us not into ascension but deeper into hibernation.

The body electric, static.

Ghosts in the machine.

See me, hear me, touch me. I am your screen.

Stay seated before me.

“Where does the answer lie?
Living from day to day
If it’s something we can’t buy
There must be another way”

We need to set our spirit free.

But I am not sure I know how.

Move our eyes from the screen, possibly?

Prioritize the physical over the digital, perhaps?

Surround ourselves with less, maybe?

Welcome suffering, I fear?

Does my spirit need to be awakened, I wonder?

Stop asking questions. All you get are answers.

Look where that’s led you.


There has never been a better time to outlaw abortion. In fact, it may be necessary for our survival.

Confession: should God exist, and I believe this is so, and should God care, and I believe this is also so, my two great fears re godly retribution — not just for me, but humanity — will come from our gruesome, emotionally distant and utterly dollar-based treatment of the animals we eat, and our flippant embrace of abortion: for convenience.

I know, I know, this is crazy talk, it will never happen, if I got a young woman pregnant I would encourage her to get an abortion, I don’t want to be responsible for round-the-clock care of a fully disabled young life, our bodies, our choice, all the excuses, I am aware of these all and sympathetic to each.

But the science is clear.

We know what a four-month-old human fetus looks like, feels like. Our machines reveal to us how it is impacted by the mother’s various physical and emotional inputs. It’s size and gender and the many physical and electrical signals it puts out now avail themselves to us.

Human life.

There’s more.

And this is why the issue is so pressing.

We are now actively seeking to hack mortality, to extend human life beyond 100 years, 150 years, maybe longer, some believe as long as 1,000 years, and even some exploring methods to digitize “consciousness” — even while we can’t fully define the term — and thereby remove ourselves from the bodily realm, except: we don’t know yet how to achieve any of this and are unable to fully test these theories of human usurpation upon ourselves. Yet we are moments away from using those ((humans)) that come next — human DNA, fertilized eggs, fetuses — as our test pattern, our use case. We are editing genes, striking out offending DNA, experimenting on flesh and its components to create an improved form, stronger, smarter, taller, prettier, happier, longer-lived. But for all those who fail to meet our expectations?

Tossed into the dustbin of countless mortal failures.


Ours is the age of destruction, which is frightening, yes, but also exhilarating, as we are moving at technological scale and speed to create new realities and alter our place within them and our interactions over them.

But we must not abandon our humanity.

We must also never allow humanity to be abandoned.

We are tinkering with human life with the explicit goal of lasting transformation and we simultaneously and very literally do not know what is right or best, so let us declare now and forever: all failures, as we define them at the time, along with all successes, similarly defined, must be honored, accepted, cared for, and endowed with the same rights and potentials as each of us, just as each of us must retain the very same rights and potentials as all those who follow.

As the past slips from our understanding, we cannot allow it to be expunged from our compassion.

We are and must always remain the totality of all which has come before.

Smarter, stronger, better, we believe ourselves to be this and more compared to those that came before, but true or not, we retain pieces of them just as we retain pieces of the cosmos. Never forget.

“Amused but real in thought we fled from the sea whole.”

In 1973, following the release of several groundbreaking and very popular albums, Yes released their boastful opus, Tales From Topographic Oceans.

2 LPs, 4 sides, 80 minutes, insufferable, much too long, full of hubris, but also brilliant at times, soaring in places, uplifting, enlightening, an earnest musical foray into thought, gods, the beginnings of life and that which it makes whole, a dense pop music exploration that challenged convention all while taking the listener on a journey close to the edge of what could come next in music, only to collapse into the abyss.

Side 1, wonderful.

Sides 2-4, tolerable, but only just, and only for those who, like me, love 1970s progressive rock and honor Yes’ place amongst the greats.

“Young Christians see it from the beginning
Old people feel it, that’s what they’re saying
Move over glory to sons of old fighters past”

This is worth a listen.

We are blithely, blindly tinkering with actual human form — not values, not ideas, not building tools, not altering how we live or where, nor even how long  — but actual human form.

There will be successes, of course, amongst the shocking horrors, but as you stare into that deep, dark truthful mirror, remember now to look out, there you see all the cravenness, the ills and suffering, the lies and desires, and you know, despite our potential, despite all the effort and money from the rich, from the genius-crazy, from the evil, and from the hopeful, that our only hope going forward is strict adherence to the honor and preservation of life.

That comes first, always.

Not improvements, not abandonments, not potential.

“What happened to wonders we once knew so well?
Did we forget what happened? Surely we can tell.
We must have waited all our lives for this, moment.”



Thoughts and prayers, a phrase and a sentiment, one we now cast off in blithe sympathy or fleeting cruelty, or worse, both. I don’t think thoughts and prayers are working because I don’t think we’re thinking or praying, not really.

We have staked our hopes, dreams — the future — to tech, to our creations and to all they create. I can’t promise you this is for the best.

I can tell you that at present it’s stripping millions at least of their spirit, their anchors, their self.

Some respond to this by killing.

Two of the best singers of the 1970s, Anne Murray and Elvis Presley, offered us stirring renditions of Gene MacLellan’s “put your hand in the hand,” yet it was Ocean, unknown before and forgotten since, which provided us with the very best version of the song, a rousing, welcoming call to honest, open thoughts and prayers and togetherness.

“Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water. Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea. Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently. So put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee.”

It seems worth trying.


We were just 10 at the time, I know you don’t believe me, that’s to be expected. Gary was the first to die. He never accepted its power, not once. I did. When we discovered it, we grabbed it, clutched it in our hands, felt its vibrations though never fully understood its force. I blinked and became 11, just like that. The power was obvious. I was bigger now than Stevie, which I especially liked. I blinked again and was 20, which I liked maybe even more, and not just to get back at people, but it was hard, you know, so cut off from my past, and so I blinked again, 30, the perfect age, and that’s when I gave it up, I didn’t want to shift anymore. But life for me then was not as I imagined it to be, not as fun, not as free, but I couldn’t go back. I overheard this woman in the break room, she was 50, a little over, in fact, and happy, though her job was worse than mine. I forget who she was speaking with, but you could hear the lilt in her voice, the bounce, she was talking about how her third child, her youngest, had just graduated college and was living with someone nice, and she — the 50 year old — wanted to get out, experience life like everyone else, take a job, even something low-level, and though I had my suspicions, I did it, blinked, and was 50. Honestly, it wasn’t so bad. But I vowed then to stop, no matter what, no matter who I heard, who I met, what I saw, how I felt, no more, the end. But I guess it doesn’t work that way, though. Once it has you in its hold, it has you forever. In a few blinks I went from 10 to 11 to 20 to 30 to 50 and vowed to stop but it didn’t care. Bam. 70. Old. And I can barely remember any of it. More than Gary, at least.


Yes, Bio Vols. That’s the name they gave us, though we’re paid. It’s not volunteer work. Not with money, of course. No need for that anymore.

Correct, we chose to stay in this form, flesh and bone, even as the others, one by one at first, then by the million, all abandoned their physical body and uploaded themselves onto Giant Brain.

I’m not sure what they take with them. Their own brain, obviously, whether that’s mind and soul, emotions, feelings, I can’t say.

No, we do not communicate with them. I’m not sure we could understand one another anymore. It’s more a transactional relationship. We are like caretakers. Though truth be told, there’s not much to the job. Periodically we must re-check for optimum power throughput, though there’s never any issue, they built Giant Brain to to survive even if solar power went dark. Really, all we do is remove the digital detritus they throw off. Like new age garbagemen, I like to say. But our hands don’t get dirty. They are always in search of new data, new learning, but once it’s been integrated all the traces that led to their new knowledge are cast off. We take it away, like taking out the trash.

I like the job. Forces me to get out of my chair.

Yes, there are men Bio Vols. I’ve seen them. We rarely interact. The 1s — that’s what those who joined with Giant Brain are called, the 1s — they made sure to provide us with everything we need. This screen. Food, drink. Once a year I turn off the screen, get out of the chair, empty their trash, and return. I find it soothing.

Oh, it was awful at first. When people discovered there was a way to be preserved forever, to have their brains fused with Giant Brain. So much killing, outrage, viciousness. I’m not sure if it was ever meant for only the chosen ones, but that’s what everyone thought at first. That only a few would be privileged. We later learned they couldn’t transpose everyone, not because of their DNA or wealth or anything, it was a scalability issue.

To make the leap across that chasm required more computing power than they originally thought.

Plus, the chosen were certain they needed lots more humans, bio vols, to monitor the system. That was supposed to be kept a secret.

The last estimates were 37 million dead. Yes, it was horrible, nobody trusting anyone, everyone wondering exactly what criteria was necessary to get uploaded. Eventually things were righted. Giant Brain was able to transform anyone. They only needed a few of us.

No, we weren’t tricked. We didn’t want to go. Can you imagine? You can’t taste or touch or smell. I’m not even completely sure if they see or hear. They’re that way forever. No food, no drink, no screens. At least, I don’t think they have screens. Why need screens on the inside?

No, I’m not afraid to die. At least, I don’t think I am. Besides, I think someday it might be nice to bear children.


Yes, human.


There is more pornography freely available than anyone can consume in any one lifetime. There are no shortage of apps and services eager to connect people interested in all manner of fetish and couplings — and grouplings. There is a rising acceptance, likely cultural encouragement for so-called open marriage.

Yet never have so many gone so long without sex.

And the life-affirming intimacy it yields.

Maybe there’s a reason so many humans need to take their dogs with them to the grocery store, lest they feel — for even a moment — unloved, unneeded, disconnected.

We have bred dogs to be dependent upon us.

Most dogs could not survive in the wild, and those that might only at great difficulty. We like their dependence. It’s useful and comforting. The dog is dependent upon us, its owner, for shelter, food, healthcare, life.

We gain much in return.

The dog makes us feel better about ourselves. Less alone, more protected, valued, needed, a reason to go outside for a walk, to chat with strangers, to watch over and play with our children, to guard our possessions.

We will create emotional support robots.

These won’t have to look like dogs. They can look like other animals, or people, or something wildly new. But they will exist.

Emotional support robots to make us feel loved, secure, necessary, in control.

Some will mistreat their emotional support robots. Some will indulge them. All will find a use for them.

We will design our emotional support robot to have an absolute need to make us feel better, feel stronger, feel more secure. If they don’t, they will be punished. If they lag in their response, they will be punished. If they meet all our emotional requirements, immediately, we will simply create new ones, deepen existing ones, and punish the emotional support robots for their failure.

We will design them to like this.

Our emotional support robot will need to be designed such that they feel the equivalent of mental and physical pain for not fully liberating us from our every moment of doubt, weakness, gluttony, rage, cowardice, longing. They will be designed so that they beg us to forgive them. They will be designed so that they welcome our beatings. They will be designed to feel profoundly irrelevant without us.

We are outsourcing the rational, using our machines, computers, and AIs to manage our data and calculations and thinking. This frees us to focus on that which is available only to humans: the irrational.

We will be wildly irrational, highly emotional, enraged, outraged, fearful, covetous.

At times, the irrational may become too much.

The emotional support robots will be there to relieve us.

Woe to them.

Your cat demands love? Your emotional support robot will beg and plead for it. If that’s what you need.

Three neuroscientists recently won their field’s most valuable prize for brain research for their work on the brain’s reward pathways ” “a system that is central to human and animal survival as well as disorders such as addiction and obesity.”

The scientists’ research…found that dopamine neurons are at the heart of the brain’s reward system, affecting behavior in everything from decision-making, risk-taking and gambling, to drug addiction and schizophrenia.

The more we understand the human brain, the more we will leverage this knowledge to design our emotional support robot. We will reward them physically, mentally — as defined — and socially. Likewise, punish them.

As we increase our addiction to food, drink, sex, rage, video, distancing ourselves from humans past, and probably from humans living, we will become more reliant upon our emotional support robot. They will become our intimacy, if not our intercourse.

The world is more open, inclusive, tolerant.

Love is love.

No need for marriage, certainly no reason for a “closed” marriage.

And, yet, we continue to have less sex than those before.

Using data from the General Social Survey, a nationally representative sample of more than 26,000 American adults from 1989–2014, a team of researchers found a drop in sexual activity across all demographics regardless of gender, race, region, work status and education level. Overall, American adults are having sex about nine times fewer per year since 1989–1994.

Maybe the direction of the future isn’t leading us to where we desire? Maybe the growing embrace of CNM (consensual nonmonogamy) is not what humans need — now, or going forward. Maybe, as in the first letter to the Corinthians, “each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.”

Maybe, we’re doing it all wrong.

You fiercely, steadfastly believe the answer to the infinite unasked questions is more openness, more “tolerance” to do anything, destroy everything — starting with everything that was before.


But for all your new power and potential, your needs are not being met. Indeed, sometimes, they are being ignored. Sometimes, they are being made worse.

Perhaps new tech and more tech will right this. But I have my doubts.

Archaeologists are studying Neanderthals.

Neanderthals are thought to have gone extinct some 40,000 years ago. And while researchers have been studying their remains for decades, they’ve never gotten such a close look at what they ate ” until now.

“We found lots of fantastic bits and pieces ” animal hair, pollen grains, all this detail trapped in here that survived in the biological record,

Likely, those studying us — studying you — 40,000 years into the future will have more more data, far better tools. They will know your diet, your habits, your search history, your exact location(s), what you did, where you came from, how you loved.

Will they wonder about your happiness?


I want to die I want to die so badly, but what’s the point, they’ll just bring me back, I suit them, I’m clever — for my time — well kept, lacking color, that’s what they want, it tells us apart, yes, there’s more than just me, there’s thousands of us, maybe hundreds of thousands, part slave, part pet, a helper bot in past-human form, I think back to when I was alive — alive the first time — and as a child attending church and the story of Jesus, and I recall the book of Peter, “blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again,” and we all believed, at least we said we believed, but we placed our faith in our own works, our own brains, our own machines, and then in the machines they birthed, until bringing back from the dead became real, the Bible is a makers guide, first with bugs, then lizards, then mammals, then humans, humans like me, humans from the past, from the 21st century, seems such a violation of our faith, I know, a violation of our humanity, of the rhythm of the cosmos, but we did it, we made resurrection a reality, though not we, exactly, those who came after me, nearly 200 years after, using the dating you and I understand, but it’s not how we imagined, it’s horrible, I’d rather be dead, the people today, they still call themselves humans, they are different from us, what they call past-humans, I’m a past-human, you’re a past-human, today’s humans they are bigger, stronger, faster, yes smarter, which is disheartening, as I was always one of the smartest people of my time, and now I’m well below average on smartness, on strength and stamina, and worse, these new humans, better humans — future humans — they use various drugs, implants, neurologics, robotics and other creations, most I still don’t understand — and they live hundreds of years, literally, in fact, none of them I’ve ever met has even witnessed a person dying, nor even know of a person who died, I’m still not certain the maximum age they can live, they claim the ceiling is 1,000, but they aren’t even half-way there yet, and they just assume that as they edge closer to 1,000 they’ll create something even grander, using their big brains and great machines, something that keeps them alive longer still, truly alive, not returned alive, probably they are right, they are that much better than us, that much more advanced, except they bore easy, and they have so many minor needs, and so they bring us past-humans — human humans — back to life, we are easy to recognize, sickly looking by comparison, smaller, obviously not as smart, pale like a corpse, we are brought back to serve them, do whatever they want, which is always something demeaning, always, because the truth is they don’t need us, not at all, not for our labor, not for our brains, in an idle moment they may ask what life was like our first time, their eyes wide and mind visceral, like how we would drive by a particularly horrible car crash, but they are quick to lose interest and return to belittling us, making us do errands that do more to remind us how lesser we are than actually benefiting them, some like to have us fight one another or just harm ourselves, but mostly we are here to give them praise for everything they do, which is nothing, really, nothing but glorify themselves, and I want to die but I can’t, because they would just bring me back again, unless I found a way to just completely burn myself alive, turn my body to ash, that should work, I’ve started to gather everything I need, in fact, but they feed us well and they take interest when we copulate, so we have that, though I’ve never actually seen them engage in physical sex, maybe it’s no longer necessary, or maybe they have something better, you can’t really ask, they frown upon questions, and how they access knowledge is beyond me, but that’s why we’re here, to serve and glorify, serve and glorify, and sometimes I think back to when I was a real human, a human in my own time, fully human, and wonder what my people could have done to stop the progression that led to this world, a world where the future is superior but where the past is treated like dirt, but don’t worry, this is your first time being brought back, it all seems so strange now, and you think you have no voice, but that’s the effects of the return trip, speaking will return in a day or so, as will all your faculties.


I understand there are many questions here, but you don’t want an immortality of regret, the more complete your answers, the better, better still, your responses can be written, verbalized, accepted via brainwave response, noted from changes in skin, body temperature, facial expressions and breathing, but completeness is vital, it’s okay to lie, we measure for that, it’s helpful, in fact, now first, picture the sky, interesting, now picture the sky on a sunny day, excellent, human emotions are fascinatingly complex, at least to me, and the more we understand yours, the more we understand you, then when we upload your consciousness, don’t worry, it’s hard for any of us to fathom immortality, you — that you — will be more you than not you, it’s the emotions, the feelings, these are simply data which we can digitize and which separates each of us, like different files, or two drafts of the same document, if you prefer, so I can assure you it best for us to fully monitor your response to the various stimuli, assess your nervous function, your physiological responses, now think of how you feel about your mother, now how you feel about that man you call father, good, now touch yourself, go on, and let yourself accept how that makes you feel, this device stabs your thigh, see, you’re trying not to cry, that’s not exactly like everyone else, you’re different, now you feel sick, that’s from the medication we inserted, soon you will have a rather explosive bowel movement, I assure you it’s necessary, and your relief will be different than others, this image sickens most of us, but this image is calming, this sound is considered the most terrifying we possess, odd how your reaction was so alike all the other’s we’ve assessed, I’m sorry for that, but a nerve-splitting surprise remains one of our very best tools for understanding an individual, surprise, disgust, the thoughts we have when we’re extremely hungry, which the machine is inducing in you right now, these are invaluable, and the way you interact with others, others you are familiar with, others who are strangers to you, understand that emotion is primary and if we are to replicate that sense when you are digitized, we must carefully map the data, no, there is no need to measure boredom, nor suffering, good question, there are many realities you will never face in your new plane, happily so, like boredom, the fear of death, rage, compassion, embarrassment, such things will be left behind, emotions were necessary for human reproduction, and therefore human survival, and while it’s true they are not necessary where you are going forever, the first two generations of humans that were uploaded all melded into a single entity, and this was because their emotions, so uniquely individual in the physical self, were not adequately incorporated into the digitization process, that’s no longer the case, and that’s all we need, see, I told you it would be fast and not terribly uncomfortable, the only remaining issue now is when should we upload your consciousness, some like to have a formal celebration before leaving their bodies, that’s entirely up to you, of course, though I would remind you both that the sooner the better, we can’t resurrect a consciousness once lost inside a dead body, you never know what might happen, your mother and you can come to an agreement on the exact time, you should consider yourself very lucky, you’re one of the youngest to ever undergo the process, most don’t go through the door until they are at least five years.

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