How does she explain what the enhanced kids are like? she wonders. She
knows her dear old parents have read in their newsmagazines about some
of what's available. But actually dealing with some of her new
classmates is decidedly strange.*
They have amazing thinking abilities. They're not only faster and more
creative than anybody she's ever met, but faster and more creative than
anybody she's ever imagined.
They have photographic memories and total recall. They can devour
books in minutes._
They're beautiful, physically. Although they don't put much of a
premium on exercise, their bodies are remarkably ripped.
They talk casually about living a very long time, perhaps being
immortal. They're always discussing their "next lives." One fellow
mentions how, after he makes his pile as a lawyer, he plans to be a
glassblower, after which he wants to become a nanosurgeon.
One of her new friends fell while jogging, opening up a nasty gash on
her knee. Your daughter freaked, ready to rush her to the hospital. But
her friend just stared at the gaping wound, focusing her mind on it.
Within minutes, it simply stopped bleeding.
This same friend has been vaccinated against pain. She never feels
acute pain for long.
These new friends are always connected to each other, sharing their
thoughts no matter how far apart, with no apparent gear. They call it
"silent messaging." It almost seems like telepathy.
They have this odd habit of cocking their head in a certain way
whenever they want to access information they don't yet have in their
own skullsas if waiting for a delivery to arrive wirelessly. Which it
For a week or more at a time, they don't sleep. They joke about
getting rid of the beds in their cramped dorm rooms, since they use them
Her new friends are polite when she can't keep up with their
conversations, as if she were handicapped. They can't help but
condescend to her, however, when she protests that embedded technology
is not natural for humans.
That's what they call her"Natural." In fact, that's what they call all
those who could be like them but choose not to, the way vegetarians
choose to abstain from meat.
They call themselves "Enhanced." And those who have neither the
education nor the money to even consider keeping up with enhancement
technology? These they dismiss as simply "The Rest." The poor dears
they just keep falling farther and farther behind.
Everyone in your daughter's law school takes it as a matter of course
that the law they are studying is changing to match the new realities.
The law will be upgraded, The Enhanced believe, just as they have
new physical and mental upgrades installed every time they go home. The
technology is moving that fast.
In fact, the paper your daughter is working on over the holidays
concerns whether a Natural can really enter into an informed-consent
relationship with an Enhancedeven for something like a date. How would
a Natural understand what makes an Enhanced tick if she doesn't
understand how he is augmented?
The law is based on the Enlightenment principle that we hold a human
nature in common.
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...