Second Person, Present Tense Second Person, Present Tense
Автор: Gregory Daryl
Язык: en
Жанр: sf

Случайный отрывок из книги :

The father scowls. The mother bursts into fresh tears, and she cries all the way out of the building. Dr. Subramaniam watches from the entrance as we drive away, his hands in his pockets. I’ve never been so angry with him in my life-all two years of it.

The name of the drug is Zen, or Zombie, or just Z. Thanks to Dr. S I have a pretty good idea of how it killed Therese.

“Flick your eyes to the left,” he told me one afternoon. “Now glance to the right. Did you see the room blur as your eyes moved?” He waited until I did it again. “No blur. No one sees it.”

This is the kind of thing that gets brain doctors hot and bothered. Not only could no one see the blur, their brains edited it out completely. Skipped over it-left view, then right view, with nothing between-then fiddled with the person’s time sense so that it didn’t even seem missing.

The scientists figured out that the brain was editing out shit all the time. They wired up patients and told them to lift one of their fingers, move it any time they wanted. Each time, the brain started the signal traveling toward the finger up to 120 milliseconds before the patient consciously decided to move it. Dr. S said you could see the brain warming up right before the patient consciously thought, now.

This is weird, but it gets weirder the longer you think about it. And I’ve been thinking about this a lot.

The conscious mind-the “I” that’s thinking, hey, I’m thirsty, I’ll reach for that cold cup of water-hasn’t really decided anything. The signal to start moving your hand has already traveled halfway down your arm by the time you even realize you are thirsty. Thought is an afterthought. By the way, the brain says, we’ve decided to move your arm, so please have the thought to move it.

The gap is normally 120 milliseconds, max. Zen extends this minutes. Hours.

If you run into somebody who’s on Zen, you won’t notice much. The person’s brain is still making decisions, and the body still follows orders. You can talk to the them, and they can talk to you. You can tell each other jokes, go out for hamburgers, do homework, have sex.

But the person isn’t conscious. There is no “I” there. You might as well be talking to a computer. And two people on Zen-“you” and “I”-are just puppets talking to puppets.

It’s a little girl’s room strewn with teenager. Stuffed animals crowd the shelves and window sills, shoulder to shoulder with stacks of Christian rock CDs and hair brushes and bottles of nail polish. Pin-ups from Teen People are taped to the wall, next to a bulletin board dripping with soccer ribbons and rec league gymnastics medals going back to second grade. Above the desk, a plaque titled “I Promise . . .” exhorting Christian youth to abstain from premarital sex. And everywhere taped and pinned to the walls, the photos: Therese at Bible camp, Therese on the balance beam, Therese with her arms around her youth group friends. Every morning she could open her eyes to a thousand reminders of who she was, who she’d been, who she was supposed to become.

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