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192 pages, Paperback
First published August 1, 2017
“Boredom is physical. You don’t know how you’re going to live the very next minute. You’re supposed to fit your body somewhere, in space, but it’s pointless. You’re squashed inside the three stupid dimensions, and you wish you could disintegrate.”
“When you go looking for information about Dolly, you realise that perhaps, technically, she didn’t die from being a clone. She died a stupid death, from lung cancer, not because she smoked too much (ha!) but because (if I remember correctly everything I’ve read about her since I understood what the deal was with me) she slept inside and not outside like ordinary sheep do. They kept her inside for fear of her being stolen. The first ever clone. And when they’re inside, sheep’s lungs rot or whatever.”
The clicker came to speak to me about the infinite tedium of his duties. It is envisaged that the project will be completed in about fifty years. But, until then, the job consists of staying seated in front of your device, and clicking every match between words and images, or words and sounds, or sounds and images, or colours and emotions, that sort of thing. You can even do it in your head if you agree to have your device implanted. You can do it while walking or under the shower, except it requires - as the clicker explained - complete focus. It seems like a mechanical process, but it demands concentration and speed. You’re endlessly performing a task the mind can do but which discombobulates a robot. And which is nevertheless difficult to conceptualise. The only solution is to multiply the links, click, click, click, until the robot has been supplied with everything we could possibly have thought up until now, everything we could have felt, everything humanity could have experienced.
I had the operation. I have no memory of it, which is normal, what with all the anesthetics. And they say it’s better not to remember. I can’t say they’re wrong. After treating lots and lots of traumatised cases, with only moderate success in the medium term, I’m convinced in the end that it’s better not to remember. Bad memories are like toxic organ grafts, difficult to uproot; at best they can be fenced off so you can’t go and graze on them. Bad memories = weeds. Best not to have them at all, or to invent good memories for yourself instead, so you can reprogram your brain. So you can plant a new garden.
I can't really enlarge upon our life in the forest. It's a matter of security.
You're endlessly performing a task the mind can do but which discombobulates a robot. And which is nevertheless difficult to conceptualise. The only solution is to multiply the links, click, click, click, until the robot has been supplied with everything we could possibly have thought up until now, everything we could have felt, everything humanity could have experienced.
Blue = sky = melancholy = music = bruising = blue blood = nobility = beheading.