Vision Paper – Rickert
By Liessel Rickert
May 10, 2016
May 11, 2016
PAF: Memory of the Future
Memory is a strange aspect of human life. I think we can all agree on that, yes? There are short-term and long-term memory, augmented memory and misinformation effect, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. For being something so fragile and suggestible there is a lot riding on the memory. Truth and reason are void without memory to solidify their accuracy. Emotions have no home base without memory. The body is no longer functional when memory disappears.
Would you believe me if I told you 300 years from today, the concept of a good memory is no longer necessary? It is true. Let me explain it to you.
2316 is the year the Personal Assistant Flyer (PAF) is released and mandated by the government to the general public. PAFs are small, noiseless modules that follow their masters at all times, day or night. PAFs record data of all sorts including video, sounds, smells, weather, emotions and interactions of their masters from an adjustable flying distance of three inches to ten feet. GPS units and sensors keep PAFs flying by their masters at all times, and an alert will sound and send a message to the government when the distance reaches more than 100 feet, because that means something might have gone wrong. PAFs are almost an extension of the brain and nervous system. PAFs and their masters are so intertwined that many masters name and decorate their PAFs to resemble their own looks.
PAFs are a required for every human beginning from the age of five onwards. When born, parents can buy their child a new PAF to start from scratch, or they can reprogram an existing PAF for their child by age five (I will explain this further in the report).
May 15th is record day. Every year, all functioning aspects of society stop so everyone can upload, organize and store their memories, thoughts, and personalities to their PAF. Normal functioning memories (like those we have in 2016) are continued to be stored in the brain, but accurately recorded, fact and data based memories from birth to death are stored in the PAF, accessible in seconds purely by thought. Data is stored in the PAFs forever, until intentionally reprogrammed.
This technology has been very positive for the general public. It helps combat diseases that affect memory, prevents memory loss from old age, and even provides an option of immortality. People no longer have to be tied to their phones and cameras to capture every moment of their life, because the PAF already does that for them.
The government has also found PAFs to be extremely valuable. They ensure accuracy in history and ‘truth’ because every aspect of life is recorded and filed in safekeeping. Crime prevention is at an all-time high because there is no way for criminals to escape the hard evidence to put them away for their crime because it will all be recorded.
However, PAFs have also created a social structure controlled by money and the power of memory. You see, every year on record day, people must connect and log their IQ, beauty, and health data markers to the world government systems. Those with higher IQs are automatically given better, higher paying jobs. Those with perfect health marks are given free health insurance and the price increases as health declines. And it is just human nature to want to not only be beautiful in one’s own skin, but as beautiful as possible.
This recording and ranking system has led to a black market of bodies. You see, because all functions of the brain, and the soul in some aspect, are stored in the PAF, the physical body is just an external representation of the human, but all personal qualities of that human being are stored in the PAF. It is possible to essentially switch bodies by connecting the PAF to a different body. Some masters do this because their body is unhealthy or physically unfit and they want to have a healthier body, some do not like the physically appearance of their body and want to switch to a body that they deem more beautiful, and some use this method to more or less never die. When the current body is reaching its age limit, the master can switch their PAF to someone willing to be bought out, or to a five-year-old body looking for a PAF and start their physical life over with their old memories, personality traits, and other non-tangible features intact. Sometimes high-quality (healthy and beautiful) bodies are sold for millions of dollars. The master being bought out would then give that money to their family and let their PAF be reprogrammed, essentially killing them. This practice had led to an unethical pattern of the 1% living forever by continuing to buy younger bodies until they no longer suit their needs and then letting those bodies die off to move on to yet again younger bodies. On the other side of the equation, people living in poverty are bidding against each other, driving down the prices lower and lower, until they are selling their PAFs off for fractions of what they were originally sold for. These people are sacrificing their lives to provide pennies in additional wealth for their families.
Additionally, PAFs have created controversy between the world governments and their citizens about privacy and what information is private versus what can be seen by the government and used for data purposes and/or sold to businesses for profit. Having something record your every move is quite unnerving, and at first, most people we’re terrified to live their lives freely and normally. It wasn’t until the government developed strict privacy laws that masters began to experiment with their PAFs, really use them to their advantage, and bond with them as their own minds. This is not to say there are not instances of distrust at times. For instance, the police have the right to search someone’s entire PAF if they have reason so believe they committed a crime. This seems like a sensible rule, except when it comes down to the discretion of police officers to choose who to search and who not to search. You would think with so much advancement in technology our social morals would have progressed as well, but sadly, PAFs have become the new tool used for racial profiling.
As with all technology, there are pros and cons with advancements made. Many developments provide for better, easier lives, or even create the ability to do something only ever dreamt of before. But there are also consequences of new technology, many times including privacy issues and who owns the rights to the data collected by the technology. The invention of Personal Assistant Fliers in 2316 was no different. You’ll see, someday. Until then, enjoy your freedom, enjoy your limited memory and look forward to the possibility of living forever through your mind and memory.