Short story - Upgrade: Looking at the effects of integration with technology and consumerism

edited December 2015 in Community
Having listened to the interview on Joe Rogan's podcast, I was inspired to write a short story.

"Enter a dystopic future where integration with technology may cost us our humanity. A bleak prediction of a world where consumerism and technological advancement has been taken to the extreme.

If you were offered the ability to integrate with technology would you? How far would you go? Replace your skeleton with a titanium alloy? Save your memories to the cloud? Serf the net whilst you sleep? Install neuro-ocular implants? Download your consciousness into a new bio-synthetic body?

Upgrade attempts to answer the fundamental question: What does it mean to be human?"


  • edited December 2015
    Survival of the fittest. Such is the nature of our world, such is nature. Evolution from one thing to another, onward and onward until the products hardly resemble the originals. This is life in our universe.

    I don't believe this should be fought, but should be embraced. There will be injustices and tragedies like those hinted at in the short story. Billions will be unable to afford the "upgrades", unable to progress to the next tier of there physical existence. The few who upgrade will live to see the deaths of the billions who have not. This is a sad hard truth, but again, survival of the fittest.

    Would I have all the "upgrades" you listed done to me? Yes. In a heartbeat. I wish to progress, to evolve as a being. I wish to push beyond the limits of biology and beyond the pace of natural selection. 

    What is it to be human? The answer will most definitely vary by person, but here is mine: When we think of humanity, many think of humans as the bodies that contain them. I do not. To me, to be human is to be an entity in possession of a personality, and a collection of memories from which to judge and understand future situations. To be human is to love and to live always working towards a goal, towards that next something. To be human is to be self-aware, and capable of thought.

    There was one thing I disagreed with in the story, that being the idea that "No Integrate enjoys silence. Serenity is tiresome and tranquillity is just listlessness spelled differently". I can't help feeling like this wouldn't be the case where this scenario to be acted out. I feel as though not all, but some people would still appreciate sitting on a bus in silence, simply staring out the window, would appreciate just standing on a blustery day, enjoying the feeling of life.

    I get it. Lots of people do need constant stimulation, but I feel that those people miss out on so much. I just don't see everyone being that way, but, I could always be wrong.

    Also, thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed the story.
  • edited December 2015
    I've been known to dabble in writing short sci-fi stories myself, this one is short enough to just paste here:

    "The program will not save us" the crazy man muttered over and over
    while the doctors took notes on his condition.  Self-inflicted cuts to
    the wrists that had covered over with scar tissue long ago, obvious
    signs of a current psychotic episode, personal hygiene nonexistent,
    living on the streets for several months.

    As they waited for the psychiatrist to arrive, they entered his details
    into the hospital database and opened a case file.

    They entered his name as a John Doe and continued with a brief physical
    examination, upon which they noticed the strange object on the back of
    his neck - what appeared to be some kind of electronic port, similar in
    shape to a standard USB port.

    Odd as this was, they put it down to a recent body modification trend
    in the homeless of the city who had been getting all sorts of bizarre
    implants and piercings sold by a local artist. Authorities had attempted
    to shut him down for health and safety violations, but he always seemed
    to keep going and the whole case was too low priority for the police
    to enforce the court orders. Most believed that it was better than them
    spending the money they begged on drugs and alcohol.

    There were rumours of where this artist had come from, he appeared to
    simply appear one day in the city and had an uncanny air around him that
    subtly intimidated the few sane people who met with him. Most of the
    homeless were in that situation due to ongoing mental health issues,
    schizophrenia being the most common and local healthcare resources
    stretched to the max meant 100s slipped through the cracks, the mystery
    patient being one of them.

    As the psychiatrist walked in the room, he immediately noticed the object
    on the patient's neck, and the patient responded in kind with a look of
    horror at the doctor's recogonition, attempting to flee.

    Not long after, the orderlies restrained the patient.

    The program was not able to save the memories encoded in the last of
    his organic brain tissue, as it had saved only corrupted versions of
    the rest of the tissue.

    None of the synthetics, the doctors included, noticed this however. The
    glitch caused a certain blindness in most.

    In others, it simply could not save most of their memories.

  • To answer the question in the original post, putting aside my love of dystopian fiction I believe quite strongly that everyone has the right to augment themselves in whatever way they desire and that the technology to do should be developed and freely available as rapidly as possible.
Sign In or Register to comment.