Tomorrow Happens
of multitudes. Now radical amateurs were doing it.

    Abruptly I realized something. I had simulated many post-singularity people in recent years. But never had I allowed them to know of their confinement, their status as mere extrapolations. Would such knowledge alter their behavior—their predictability—in interesting ways?

    Seer found the concept intriguing. But my organic head started shaking, left and right. Cortex was incredulous over what we'd seen in Liberty Hall—an elaborate zoo-resort maintained by the Friends of the Unreal .

    "Sheesh," I vocalized. "What blazing idiocy!"

    Alas, there seemed to be no stopping the pro-reifers. My best projections gave them an 88% likelihood of success. Within just five years, enough of the voting populace would be won over by appeals to pity for imaginary beings. Laws would change. The world would swarm with a myriad copies of Howard Roark and Ebeneezer Scrooge, Gulliver and Jane Eyre, Sauron and the Morlocks from Wells's Time Machine . . . all free to seek fulfillment in Heaven, under the Three Rights of sovereign continuity.

    I stared across my Reality lab, to the towers wherein quadrillions of "people" dwelled.

    She had called me "slaveholder." A polemical trick that my higher selves easily dismissed . . . but not my older cognitive centers. Parts of me dating back to a time when justice was still not complete even for incarnate human beings.

    It hurt. I confess that it did.

    Seer and oracle and house were all quite busy, thinking long thoughts and working out plans. That only made things worse for poor old cortex . It left my older self feeling oddly detached, lonely . . . and rather stupid.

    Do I own my laboratory? Or does my laboratory own me?

    When you "decide" to go to the bathroom, is it the brain that chooses? Or the bladder?

    Illustrating this question, I recall how, once upon a time—some years before the Singularity—I went bungee jumping in order to impress a member of the opposite sex.

    Half a millennium later, the scene still comes flooding back, requiring no artificial enhancement—a steel girder bridge spanning a rocky gorge in New Zealand, surrounded by snow-crested peaks. The bungee company operated from a platform at the center of the bridge, jutting over an abyss one hundred and fifty feet down to a white water river.

    Now I had always been a calm, logical-minded character, for a pre-deification human. So, while some customers sweated, or chattered nervously, I waited my turn without qualms. I knew the outfit had a perfect safety record. Moreover, the physics of elasticity were reassuring. By any objective standard, my plummet through the gorge would be less dangerous or uncomfortable than the bus ride from the city had been.

    Even in those days, I believed in the multi-mind model of cognition—that the so-called "unity" of any human personality is no more than a convenient illusion, crafted to conceal the ceaseless interplay of many interacting sub-selves. Normally, the illusion holds because of division of labor among our layered brains. Down near the spinal cord, nerve clusters handle reflexes and bodily functions. Next come organs we share with all higher vertebrates, like reptiles—mediating emotions like hunger, lust, and rage.

    The mammalian cortex lies atop this "reptilian brain" like a thick coat, controlling it, dealing with hand-eye dexterity and complex social interaction.

    Beyond all this, Homo sapiens had lately (in the last thousand centuries) added a pair of little neural clusters, just above the eyes. The prefrontal lobes , whose task was pondering the future. Dreaming what might be, and planning how to change the world.

    In the Bible, sages spoke of ". . . the lamps upon your brows. . . ." Was that mere poetical imagery? Or did they suspect that the seat of foresight lay there?

    Anyway, picture me on that bridge, high above raging rapids, with all these different brains sharing a little two-quart skull. I felt perfectly

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