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Source: Count Zero, Page: 23

However, he has chosen to conduct the interview via a sensory link. If you will please enter the third door on your left?

Our Thoughts on this Quote

The concept of sensory links is an interesting one. A sensory link in this case is defined as full sensory immersion via computer mediation. It?s a virtual reality of a specific sort. Later in the same book, the concept is expounded a little more, and is interesting, not altogether improbable.

In another article upon this site, Virtual Body: Fundamental Concepts: 1, we took a look at how a full sensory immersion might be achieved, by connecting the virtual environment's I/O directly to a human brainstem, but also employing a secondary system to monitor the nerve signals to points below the incision, and avoid anything nasty being sent to life preserving systems of the body.

The sensory link described in this quote, appears to be something fairly similar, except that there is no 'independent monitoring system'. Instead, the monitoring is taken care of via processes linked to the virtual world itself. This is a logical, and sane development, allowing the person whose senses are utterly subsumed and replicated by a virtual reality, to monitor how their self is, outside of the virtual environment. However, it does bring up a pause for thought. By connecting the monitoring system to the virtual world, unless considerable care was maintained, it would be conceivably possible for another user to gain control of, and alter the settings on that monitoring system to the physical detriment of the first user.

Why use such a sensory link?

Well, there are of course many reasons for using such. In this book, the person being linked to was an ageing businessman, whose body had all but failed him, and who was surviving on total life support. In cases such as this, the use of a system to connect the mind to a virtual body, which recreates as many of the sensory pathways as possible, does make perfect sense.

It also makes sense if you are interviewing someone over considerable distance, such as some colleges and employers have begun to do, by connecting you to their personality, and to the way they move their body, if not the body itself. This would tell you as much about them as a person, as seeing them in the physical sense, but without any overly positive or negative connotations about their physical state - again, useful to circumnavigate a disability.

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About the Book 'Count Zero'
By William Gibson
Produced By Ace Trade; Reprint edition

?He spent most of those three months in a ROM-generated simstim construct of an idealised New England boyhood of the previous century. The Dutchman?s visits were grey dawn dreams, nightmares that faded as the sky lightened beyond his second-floor bedroom window. You could smell the lilacs, late at night. He read Conan Doyle by the light of a sixty watt bulb behind a parchment shade printed with clipper ships. He masturbated in the smell of clean cotton sheets and thought about cheerleaders. The Dutchman opened a door in his back brain and came strolling in to ask questions...
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