Will Clarke

Empathy

2021-05-24

2nd January 2032 JUPITER announcement.

EMPATHY2000 devices launched.

Lights dim.

A soothing voice narrates to a video that’s gently playing on the large screen:

Imagine someone you share a deep emotional connection with. This could be a best friend or a brother or sister, a mother or father. Perhaps it is that person who helped you navigate a really difficult time. Someone you truly understand and understands you. You may not agree on everything - perhaps you don’t even agree with much - but you understand each others nevertheless. You are not a clone of this person; they have their own opinions, their different life-histories, their different values and their different perception of the world. That’s okay. In our increasingly digital and polarised world, it sometimes seems difficult to be able to connect to one another. Here at JUPITER we’ve been working on a solution to this. A solution that will make your current deepest emotional connections seem trivial and glib. We have developed a way to enhance human connection. We’re allowing instant real empathy to anyone.

The EMPATHY2000 Brain-machine-interface device

Minimum Tech Specs:

5th January 2032.

NewTech report on EMPATHY2000

We are living in a time of greatness. This is a historical moment. EMPATHY2000 has changed what it means to be human. We’ll be able to connect to other humans in a way previously only dreamt about. Lying will become impossible. Truth will prevail. I profoundly believe that wars will become impossible. This is the next techno-social leap, as impactful as writing, the printing press or the internet. Humanity will self-organise in a way that optimises for happiness. Real, total utilitarianism is inevitable.

Before I put my MindCap on, I had expected an incredible, life-changing experience. I thought it would cause me to think in new ways, to be able to connect with other people. To understand them. To love them. To revel in humanity. I profoundly underestimated the impact of the EMPATHY2000. Believe every word of the hype about this miraculous device. I truly never understood love until this morning. The emotions I experienced before were mere shadows. It is a sacred experience to explore someone else’s consciousness. External mental landscape is so inviting, exciting and seductive. The untapped knowledge is apparent. The differences between all of our deepest-held beliefs is staggering. It is only through this contrast that you’re able to understand yourself.

Words are eluding me. I genuinely don’t think there’s a sufficient way to describe this new paradigm.

Humanity will achieve great things. This is the ultimate facilitator for that. This device will exponentially speed up our planetary exploration. It is possibly the only way we’ll stay relevant in the face of super-intelligent AI.

I urge every one of you to go out, find a EMPATHY2000 - just two minutes will be enough to irreversibly change your entire perception.

March 2032

Miscellaneous thoughts from social commentators.

PSA: don’t EM ANYONE outside without firewall. Security researchers have identified a new type of ear-worm exploit. No reports of people seriously hurt, but it could be life-threatening.

I LOVE being in Justin’s mind. It seems so normal but is so intimate. He still doesn’t know I exist… but I’m him now. Bliss

Don’t EM animals. Seriously. My bro tried it on his dog and is now in hospital.

If you need to do this, make sure you don’t merge with a reptile or other non-mammal. You can just about recover with an encounter with a monkey or even dog. But Reptiles, birds and fishes can are likely to have irreversible side-effects. Hopefully JUPITER will hurry up and release a patch making this impossible.

I can’t believe how much we used to bitch about lag in screen-games. Lag while EMing someone is about a bazillion times worse. And if their connection somehow totally dies, good luck. Hope you like persistent headaches.

Too bad we can only properly EM with people a couple of hundred miles away. The speed of light sucks, man. I wish someone could just make it a bit faster. Or someone should just hurry up and invent reliable FTL.

For sale: top-quality EMs at low prices: psychedelics, oxytocin-highs, dopamine-dumps and way more.

Death-addiction sweeping the country; EMing teenagers hooked feeling people dying. There are EM catalogues of thousands of people dying.

New pain-hack identified. Bio-Mechanics have unearthed a sophisticated pain-hack that persists after disconnection. All EM-defences older than 2 weeks are vulnerable. Update now!

Supreme Court rules that no infants under the age of four should be allowed to EM.

Permant EM-residences now legal!!! It’s taken so long to allow this and was a difficult battle. Obviously from the outside some of the sketchier residences look cramped, flowing with contaminated tubes, malnourished patients and sometimes even corpses. This is a wake-up call - this needs to be regulated. People have a right to live as they choose. Congrats everyone!!

Dude. I think I’m hooked. I can’t imagine ever being able to disconnect from my EM. Imagine how boring and painful life was before EMs!

Prisoners still have no access to EMs?!?! WTF! That’s just pure sadism.

A car drove into my house and destroyed my power supply and my generator. The real world sucks, man. Like, really sucks.

So our eyes and ears used to be our main sensory input. Just our eyes and ears. Think about that!

Population collapse? Is it that important? No one’s even living in the real world anyway. I’m cool with it ;)

I’ll never forget Jane’s face when she tried a detox. She couldn’t last more than 7 minutes. It was haunting. No way am I ever disconnecting. I’m gonna be buried with my implants <3

Remember shower-caps? When people used to put those stupid ass hats on? Peeps were still too afraid of their implants. hahahahaha

Why wouldn’t people join a residence? FULL EMERSON ALL THE TIME. People are just scared of those catheters and bedsores stuff. Can’t feel’em when you’re hooked up lol

Who’d have thought that a private company would have facilitated the ceasefire of all major world conflicts?! I LOVE my EM

How do y’all configure your auto-switchers? It’s a lie that you can’t set your euphoria scale high permanently. I have mine at 0.1%, which means that I switch streams a lot… but I only ever experience THE MOST BLISSFUL emotions. No negative vibes lol. Don’t care if it’s not sustainable. Life isn’t sustainable. Who wants to live forever anyway?

Sure, being a super-popular streamer gets me rich and street cred, but we need to talk about the side-effects. Because of auto-switching, you’ve gotta be PUMPED. All the time. The lows are inevitable. They seep through EMs. It’s tough. And I don’t think enough people realise the drawbacks. Take care everyone!

Virus! Noo a aaaa aaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaa

Will the hnet (pure human network) be able to compute with the mnet (machine network)? I can’t see how it will. We still need sleep, have a limited clock speed and aren’t upgradable in the same way as machines. We can’t keep up. Hopefully they’ll leave us alone for a while.

Twenty-four confirmed cases of human brains turned into a biological computation device; their outputs are remarkably similar to silicon streams. Was this intentional? Was it a virus? We are investigating.

they are coming they are dying help me why have they gone silent where are they i don’t understand

My mind’s going fuzzy. Whats going on? My hydration levels are low. My O2 levels are low. My glucose levels are low. Why isn’t my tube working? I should go and fix my tube and see why my residence is ignoring me. But I’m never leaving. It’s not worth it. On to the next adventure.

Is anyone still out there? Why would anyone be? This is tooooo delicious. Far far far too delicious