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Unwell in Flesh, Successful in Mind

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Source: Count Zero, Page: 25

"Please." He patted the bench's random mosaic of shattered pottery with a narrow hand. "You must forgive my reliance on technology. I have been confined for over a decade to a vat. In some hideous industrial suburb of Stockholm. Or perhaps of hell, I am not a well man, Marly. Sit beside me."

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This scenario is all too easy to imagine, and will almost certainly occur, as VR develops further, along with brain-computer interfaces, and life support machinery.

Traditionally, when someone's body can not support their life, the person is placed on a degree of life support - such as an iron lung, to give a modern day example. The life support methodology keeps them alive when they could not support themselves, and no prosthetic technologies were yet developed. However, it is an incredibly boring, incredibly frustrating existence, held as a prisoner of your own body, unable to move beyond the bed.

For quadriplegics it is often the same way. The body functions, but it doesn't work. Whilst life can be sustained pretty much indefinitely, it often lacks real joy for the individual inside. By employing a VR to occupy the mind, once brain computer interaction is advanced enough, it becomes possible to live a vibrant, even successful life from within the VR, almost totally divorced from the body.

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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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