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VWN Book Quotes Database - Count Zero, Page: 29
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A Virtual Life: A half-life?

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Source: Count Zero, Page: 29

"Forgive me," she found herself saying to her horror, "but I understood you to say that you live in a vat?"

"Yes Marly. And from that rather terminal perspective, I should advise you to strive to live hourly in your own flesh. Not in the past, if you understand me. I speak as one who can no longer tolerate that simple state, the cells of my body having opted for the quixotic pursuit of individual careers. I imagine that a more fortunate man, or a poorer one, would have been allowed to die at last, or be coded at the core of some bit of hardware. But I seem constrained, by a byzantine set of circumstances that requires, I understand, something like a tenth of my annual income. Making me, I suppose, the world's most expensive invalid. I was touched, Marly, at your affairs of the heart. I envy you the ordered flesh from which they unfold."

Our Thoughts on this Quote

This rub deserves contemplation by any individual who down cries a life through VR. If you read it carefully, not only is the man in question lamenting on his disability, his disability has forced him to live under considerable life support infrastructure just to stay alive, to cling to life. He does not want to die, but at the same time, the virtual form cannot go everywhere, and he is nowhere near as free as a person with a pure flesh body.

Of course that is not to say that actuality will necessarily turn out like this. The self same technologies that would allow interacting naturally in a virtual space could also be used to drive a waldo robot, albeit more expensively and further down the road.

Still, unless we hit the point where VR is literally everywhere, with AR and physical life hopelessly intermingled and intertwined, a life solely through VR is always going to be a life at disadvantage, when interacting with others who get to live in both.

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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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