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April 2, 2002
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It's was year 2030. Humanity began to migrate over to the "other side." The hardware to port minds into the worldwide consciousness, or the Web, existed, and people began to abandon the physical world in droves. The advantages were obvious - No pain, no fear, eternal existance and a universe of possibilities. It seemed like there wouldn't be a single drawback to it.

So, when I'd made my peace with the real world, and decided I wanted to cross over to the other side, I went to the nearest scan facility. They explained the procedure to me, and it amounted to a non-invasive brain-scan. Basically, it was an extremely high-resolution MRI which scans your brain and creates software based on the state of each neuron in your brain, in essence, turning your consciousness into a software program. They'd then dispose of my now unnecessary body in a clean fashion.

Prior to this procedure, I was given an anesthetic. In retrospect, I should have mentioned I possessed an unusually high tolerance to knockout drugs. I guess I never thought it'd cause any problems.

When I next regained consciousness, I could feel anything. I couldn't see anything, couldn't hear anything. It was like I was floating through nothingness, existing in a void. And then suddenly, I felt waves of molecules pulsating around me - Sound.

"Mr. Doe, we've turned on the microphone in the room, as well as a speaker," the lab technician said to me. "We're going to turn on a video feed so you can see the 'real world.'"

Unconsciously, I focused the electronic retinas. Quickly, the scene became clear. The technicians were sitting at their terminals, working feverishly. I began to realize that I could move the camera as if it was an extension of myself. I looked around the room, at all the complicated equipment. I looked on the opposite side of the room, peered through the observation glass and into the MRI room, and saw my old self. Lying there unconscious in the MRI machine. My reflection on the weirdness of this all was interrupted by the technician.

"Mr. Doe, how do you feel?"

"Well, I don't feel anything right now. It still feels as if I'm disembodied, but at least the camera and microphones give me a frame of reference."

"Good. How about your memories?"

I began to look through my mind, and I was startled at how vivid my recollection of every moment of my life was. It was as if I'd never forgotten anything, but the neural nets of my brain had done a poor job of giving me access to it all. I replayed a few choice scenes of my existance as a human, reliving every sight and sound and haptic sensation. I recalled my Grandmother's cheesecake and the exact taste it left on my tastebuds and the sensation that followed as I chased it down with a sip of vin du glacier. I also recalled all the bad experiences in my life I'd either consciously or unconsciously blocked out, and shuddered. Or rather, if I had a body, I would have shuddered.

"So, where do we go from here?" I inquired.

"Well," the techs replied, as if they'd heard this question a million times before, "As soon as we do an error correction on you and verify the scan was perfect, we'll open a gateway to the web, and you can join the rest of posthumanity on the other side."

"Excellent. I can't wa -" At that point, I heard MRI room's door open, glanced over, and saw myself walk into the room.

"So, when are you gonna scan me and get me onto the computer?"
Inspired by reading Kurzweil and musing on the forums.
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:iconfieldsoffire:
FieldsOfFire Featured By Owner May 2, 2008
Ray Kurzweil is a terrorist. His fancy talk about "eternal life" and "freedom from pain" is just a front for his self-loathing and desire to destroy the human race. I can't believe that anyone would take this heartless monster seriously.
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:iconnemish:
nemish Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2002
The first paragraph does feel like you are rushing to get across the initial scene, I'd recommend you slow it down and give us some more information on how this has changed human culture as we know it. Also, how does this affect people on the other side? Same culture, entertainment, etc?

I agree, this is a wonderful start to a good story! 8) (Cool)
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:iconspunj13:
spunj13 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2002  Professional General Artist
a very different idea...very surreal...but i liked it...it's a bit frightening...but nontheless an excellent work

.:spunj13:.

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. http://www.deviantart.com/deviation.php? id=239424 . lyrical inclination
. http://www.deviantart.com/deviation.php? id=23838 . featured poem
. http://ionscribe.rmes.andrews.edu/~cmalo ney . asylumpublications
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:iconnarainsbrain:
narainsbrain Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2002
oh yeah, this is still cool as when i first read this on the forum.
cruise has a good idea, you should develop this further. it would be interesting to see the two interact.
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]narainsbrain[
Do not feed the cannibals.
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:iconcruise:
cruise Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2002  Hobbyist Artist
Oooh...this could be fun. This is a nice intro...the intial paragraph is perhaps a tad awkward...just saying "this is the year, here's the tech" lacks polish, somewhat. Your ability with the rest of the story is excellent, so I'm sure you could find a more professional way of introducing the story.

I can't wait to see the rest of this.
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[ cruise / www.casual-tempest.net ]
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:iconmadmountain:
madmountain Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2002
I thought your story was very interesting. It reminds me of a recurring nightmare I used to have. The narrator's experience is nothing I would ever go through willingly, as the period right after his brain scan is amost exactly like the moment in my dream when I realize I have died while still retaining consciousness. I believe to a degree that even as we are comparmentalized within our cultures, sub-cultures, and realities, we are already part of the worldwide consciousness. I also suspect that those who seek new meaning on the other side minus sensation might find a much lesser experience than they had anticipated and real intelligence would suffer the limitations of artificial intellegence. Your story provokes a lot of thought in small amount of space. The punchline at the end is also catchy, even though I didn't really understand it.
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