Sunday September 2, 2007
Book 9: The Body Politic — Part II: Royal Flush


Vog: You don't need to probe me, Doctor. I'll tell you what you need to know.
Doctor Bunnigus: Start talking.
Vog: A few generations before my birth, my people perfected physical immortality. Our bodies regenerated and renewed themselves indefinitely.
Vog: Sadly our minds did not last nearly as long. Our brains were fine, but over the course of two or three natural lifetimes the individual invariably went insane.
Vog: The problem seemed to lie with our long-and short-term memory. The filtering system our minds evolved to use just couldn't cope with extreme longevity.
Vog: As we grew older, less and less of short-term memory was deemed 'new' or 'different' enough to be committed to long-term storage. Entire years, and eventually decades would fly by unremembered. Sanity fled, and life became a cheap commodity again. Civilization itself began to die.
Vog: The politically expedient solution involved uploading ourselves to machines, where consciousness and memory could be extended to adjust for immortality.
Doctor Bunnigus: I take it that's not what you did?
Vog: You are perceptive. The trillion-mind cyberocracy imploded during the identity wars sixteen hundred years later, taking our civilization with it.
Vog: Only those few of us who opted to remain corporeal survived.
Vog: Our solution had been to re-wire our minds, allowing us to live in a state of permanent innocence, naivete, and senility.
Vog: We were scorned and derided as fools, but we survived the conflict, and remain sane even today.
Vog: We replaced the material of our brains with an extremely hardy carbosilicate matrix, engineered to selectively forget or ignore large portions of our multi-millennial experience.
Vog: And when I say 'extremely hardy,' I mean it. My brain can survive outside of my head.
Doctor Bunnigus: Okey, this I have got to see.
Vog: I can tell by your enthusiasm that I haven't talked you out of performing that biopsy.