[ExI] Life @ Playstation

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 5 22:01:46 UTC 2012

"spike" <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> What I have had rattling around in my brain for years,
> decades actually
> since long before we had anything like the computing
> horsepower we have
> today, is an idea for creating devices which stimulate the
> minds of nursing
> home patients.  One of the causes of their degradation
> is that nursing homes
> are so boring.  All their life's challenges are behind
> them, they don't
> really want to just spend hours talking to all their new
> acquaintances.  So
> most of them just sit in silent misery.

Spike, I've always liked your 'GeezerPod' idea, not least because it neatly fits in with an idea that's been rolling round the back of my mind for a while.

As these people are safely in their pods, all their physical needs taken care of, their minds are free(-er) to take advantage of the virtual environment they find themselves in, even perhaps to the extent of being able to do useful work and maybe make a living in there.  While their attention is on the virtual world (and perhaps also the real world via the virtual one), why not extend the 'life-support' functions of the pod until it really is a life-support system, keeping them alive where their unaided bodies would fail them?

This would need some tech. that we don't quite have yet, but I don't think we're that far off it.  Artificial or hybrid bio/artifical hearts, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, bladders, etc. exist now, and it won't be long before pancreases, entire digestive systems, livers, spleens, bone marrow, lymph vessels and nodes, etc., etc., follow.  I can see a situation where an old infirm person (as long as their brains are relatively ok) enters a pod-existence, all their original biology gets gradually taken over by the pod, then later actually replaced as the tech. improves, all while they're having huge fun in virtual bingo-land or wherever (or doing remote consultancy or cyber-babysitting, or ...), and they come out the other end a few years later in a brand-new body, complete with the latest enhancements and interfaces, so that the next time they wear out, it's a lot easier to replace things.

This presupposes a CNS that stays healthy and working right, which sadly is not going to be the case for everyone, but there are plenty of centenarians who still have all their marbles, and it's likely that a young body would do wonders for an old brain, anyway.

It would also require proper neural interfaces at some point in the process, but again, we're making very good progress on that front too.

Imagine if nursing homes, the places people go to await death, became the gateways to a second (real) life!

<insert obligatory Mad Scientist Laugh here>

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