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Moreplay! - Elf M. Sternberg
elfs
elfs
Moreplay!
So, into the mix I've tossed a preacher's daughter, a pair of incestuous clones sharing one set of memories and a very strange fashion sense, and a semi-sentient bed that wants to keep them all happy. 4,448 words in three hours. Damn, maybe I could do this for a living. (Aaah, I say that every Nanowrimo, win or lose.)

Buzzword of the day: Cognitively Modified Organism. That's the bed: its brainwiring preprogrammed to lack Darwinian instincts for independence, mateseeking, and self-determination but instead predispose it to be wholly interested in the wellbeing of those who sleep on it.

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Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: Steve Reich, Music for 18 Musicians (Coldcut Remix)

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nbarnes From: nbarnes Date: November 19th, 2006 01:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aren't there serious ethical questions about making sentient beings that heavily modified? It's a short step away from plugging somebody into a droud and declaring them happy.
elfs From: elfs Date: November 19th, 2006 05:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here's how the brothers ("We hate the word clones") describe it after Dove asks "Does it think?"
"Sort of." "Not really." "It's a cognitively modified organism." "CMO. That means that it has a tiny brain, just enough to support the rest of it." "And what it does think about is being touched, and keeping those who touch it happy." "Like us." "Only we have a brain." "More than one." "Like, two." "Or three." "Two and a half."

They kissed, apparently to stop the volley back and forth, or maybe to distract her from what they had said. She wanted them to explain it all to her, how they could have one brain, or three, about how Fixer beds felt about the world, about how they had lived in the Realm and come back, and about how Pendorians managed to survive such a weird, wacky, wild world without going mad, and she wanted them to touch ''her'', to take care of her, to keep being a part of her life and her daily routines. She knew her mothers would hate her, would pray for her, would despair at the scandal her betrayal of Free Worlds ideals would create. "What are you thinking about, Dove?"
There are serious ethical questions about making sophonts that heavily modified, and sapients... sentience is a category lower on the ethical questionability scale.

One of the big themes in the Journals is about the inherent qualities we have when we are born (or decanted, activated, whatever the period prior to "consciounsess" is called), and what moral obligations other people have to mitigate the downsides of those inherent qualities. There is a strong and popular strain of thought existing now that we have no such obligations to others strong enough to warrant the imposition of initiatory force. (Note that some of these qualities have popularly positive names: "Loyalty," "Dedication," "Adoration," "Unconditional love," "Cause") If this is the case, then do we have any strong obligation to stop people from creating beings with these qualities?

If we do, then I believe we have an obligation to stop people who know they're passing debilitating genes on to their children. As I've pointed out, Wish and Katrina from Dreamteam Calamatities are both CMOs: Wish's answer after being "freed" is "No, you still don't have the obligation" and Katrina's answer was "Of course you have the obligation." I do like to face both sides of the argument, and oddly enough I think they're both right.

This is a far cry from plugging someone into a droud and calling them happy. Even so, in the Journals, sentient beings are allowed to do that to themselves and no one has the right to use initiatory force to stop them. Arguments about how much persuasiveness the AIs are allowed to be is one rampant topic of conversation between characters in a lot of them. Characters in later stories worry about "deliquecence" or "getting wedged," which is the parlance for running out of the belief that the future will still be a cool adventure even without a droud.
nbarnes From: nbarnes Date: November 19th, 2006 11:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wasn't able to find a good cite for 'sophont' (though I've encountered it before and I believe I grok your meaning), but I do appreciate the distinction you're drawing. If we could, for example, engineer cats with some set of mental traits considered desirable, that's a very different kettle of fish from making something more or less 'human' in its mind-shape, but with a serious case of directed OCD (and that's ignoring the fact that we already have engineered cats for a particular set of mental traits; to wit, domestication).
rfreebern From: rfreebern Date: November 19th, 2006 02:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
The bed sounds suspiciously like the Heart of Gold Sirius Cybernetics doors with Genuine People Personalities. Brr.
abostick59 From: abostick59 Date: November 19th, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I first misread the buzzword as "Cognitively Modified Orgasm."

But then, I'm a lowbrow.
elfs From: elfs Date: November 20th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Didn't I read about one of those in an episode of Xxxenophile?
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 31st, 2007 12:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

300 Spartans movie

300 is a great movie full of visual effects and graphics which made it different and much better.
Acting was great, director did a wonderful job and chose great actors, full of action, and it is based on a true story.
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