Philosophy Week 14
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Date Created: 12/05/15
Bradford Books Publishers A L BRAINS TORMS Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology u quot 2 39v DANIEL CXDENNETT 9 17 Where Am I Now that I ve won my suit under the Freedom of Information Act I am at liberty to reveal for the first time a curious episode in my life that may be of interest not only to those engaged in research in the philosophy of mind artificial intelligence and neuroscience but also to the general public Several years ago I was approached by Pentagon officials who asked me to volunteer for a highly dangerous and secret mission In collab oration with NASA and Howard Hughes the Department of Defense was spending billions to develop a Supersonic Tunneling Underground Device or STUD It was supposed to tunnel through the earth s core at great speed and deliver a specially designed atomic warhead right up the Red s missile silos as one of the Pentagon brass put it The problem was that in an early test they had succeeded in lodging a warhead about a mile deep under Tulsa Oklahoma and they wanted me to retrieve it for them Why me I asked Well the mission involved some pioneering applications of current brain research and they had heard of my interest in brains and of course my Faustian curiosity and great courage and so forth Well how could I refuse The difficulty that brought the Pentagon to my door was that the dev1ce I d been asked to recover was fiercely radioactive in a new way According to monitoring instruments something about the nature of the device and its complex interactions with pockets of material deep in the earth had produced radiation that could cause severe abnormalities in certain tissues of the brain No way had been found to shield the brain from these deadly rays which were appar El 39 Where Am I 311 ently harmless to other tissues and organs of the body So it had been decided that the person sent to recover the device should leave his brain behind It would be kept in a safe place where it could execute its normal control functions by elaborate radio links Would I submit to a surgical procedure that would completely remove my brain which would then be placed in a lifesupport system at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston Each input and output pathway as it was severed would be restored by a pair of microminiaturized radio transceivers one attached precisely to the brain the other to the nerve stumps in the empty cranium No information would be lost all the connectivity would be preserved At first I was a bit reluctant Would it really work The Houston brain surgeons encouraged me Think of it they said as a mere stretching of the nerves If your brain were just moved over an inch in your skull that would not alter or impair your mind We re simply going to make the nerves indefi nitely elastic by splicing radio links into them I was shown around the lifesupport lab in Houston and saw the sparkling new vat in which my brain would be placed were I to agree I met the large and brilliant support team of neurologists hematolo gists biophysicists and electrical engineers and after several days of discussions and demonstrations I agreed to give it a try I was sub jected to an enormous array of blood tests brain scans experiments interviews and the like They took down my autobiography at great length recorded tedious lists of my beliefs hopes fears and tastes They even listed my favorite stereo recordings and gave me a crash session of psychoanalysis The day for surgery arrived at last and of course I was anesthetized and remember nothing of the operation itself When I came out of anesthesia I opened my eyes looked around and asked the inevitable the traditional the lamentably hackneyed postoperative question Where am I The nurse smiled down at me You re in Houston she said and I re ected that this still had a good chance of being the truth one way or another She handed me a mirror Sure enough there were the tiny antennae poling up through their titanium ports cemented into my skull I gather the operation was a success Isaid I want to go see my brain They led me I was a bit dizzy and unsteady down a long corridor and into the lifesupport lab A cheer went up from the assembled support team and I responded with what I hoped was a jaunty salute Still feeling lightheaded I was helped over to the life 312 BRAINSTORMS support vat I peered through the glass There oating in what looked like gingerale was undeniably a human brain though it was almost covered with printed circuit chips plastic tubules electrodes and other paraphernalia Is that mine I asked Hit the output trans mitter switch there on the side of the vat and see for yourself the project director replied I moved the switch to OFF and immediately slumped groggy and nauseated into the arms 39of the technicians one of whom kindly restored the switch to its ON position While I recov ered my equilibrium and composure I thought to myself Well here I am sitting on a folding chair staring through a piece of plate glass at my own brain But wait I said to myself shouldn t I have thought Here I am suspended in a bubbling fluid being stared at by my own eyes I tried to think this latter thought I tried to project it into the tank offering it h0pefully to my brain but I failed to carry off the exercise with any conviction I tried again Here am I Daniel Dennett suspended in a bubbling fluid being stared at by my own eyes No it just didn t work Most puzzling and confusing Being a philosopher of firm physicalist conviction I believed unswervingly that the tokening of my thoughts was occurring somewhere in my brain yet when I thought Here I am where the thought occurred to me was here outside the vat where I Dennett was standing staring at my brain I tried and tried to think myself into the vat but to no avail I tried to build up to the task by doing mental exercises I thought to myself The sun is shining over there five times in rapid succession each time mentally ostending a different place in order the sunlit corner of the lab the visible front lawn of the hOSpital Houston Mars and Jupiter I found I had little difficulty in getting my there s to hop all over the celestial map with their proper references I could loft a there in an instant through the farthest reaches of space and then aim the next there with pinpoint accuracy at the upper left quadrant of a freckle on my arm Why was I having such trouble with here Here in Houston worked well enough and so did here in the lab and even here in this part of the lab but here in the vat always seemed merely an unmeant mental mouthing I tried closing my eyes while thinking it This seemed to help but still I couldn t manage to pull it off except perhaps for a eeting instant I couldn t be sure The discovery that I couldn t be sure was also unsettling How did I know where I meant by here when I thought here Could I think I meant one place when in fact I meant another I didn t see Where Am I 313 how that could be admitted without untying the few bonds of inti macy between a person and his own mental life that had survived the onslaught of the brain scientists and philosophers the physicalists and behaviorists Perhaps I was incorrigible about where I meant when I said here But in my present circumstances it seemed that either I was doomed by sheer force of mental habit to thinking systematically false indexical thoughts or where a person is and hence where his thoughts are tokened for purposes of semantic analysis is not neces sarily where his brain the physical seat of his soul resides Nagged by confusion I attempted to orient myself by falling back on a favorite philosopher s ploy I began naming things Yorick I said aloud to my brain you are my brain The rest of my body seated in this chair I dub Hamlet So here we all are Yorick s my brain Hamlet s my body and I am Dennett Now where am I And when I think where am I where s that thought tokened Is it tokened in my brain lounging about in the vat or right here between my ears where it seems to be tokened Or nowhere Its tem poral coordinates give me no trouble must it not have spatial coordi nates as well I began making a list of the alternatives 1 Where Hamlet goes there goes Dennett This principle was easily refuted by appeal to the familiar brain transplant thought experiments so enjoyed by philosophers If Tom and Dick switch brains Tom is the fellow with Dick s former body just ask him he ll claim to be Tom and tell you the most intimate details of Tom s autobiography It was clear enough then that my current body and I could part company but not likely that I could be separated from my brain The rule of thumb that emerged so plainly from the thought experiments was that in a braintransplant operation one wanted to be the donor not the recipient Better to call such an operation a bodytransplant in fact So perhaps the truth was 2 Where Yorz39ck goes there goes Bennett This was not at all appealing however How could I be in the vat and not about to go anywhere when I was so obviously outside the vat looking in and beginning to make guilty plans to return to my room for a substan tial lunch This begged the question I realized but it still seemed to be getting at something important Casting about for some support for my intuition I hit upon a legalistic sort of argument that might have appealed to Locke Suppose I argued to myself I were now to fly to California rob a bank and be apprehended In which state would I be tried In 314 BRAINSTORMS California where the robbery quot took place or in Texas where the brains of the outfit were located Would I be a California felon with an outof state brain or a Texas felon remotely controlling an accomplice of sorts in California It seemed possible that I might beat such a rap just on the undecidability of that jurisdictional ques tion though perhaps it would be deemed an interstate and hence Federal offense In any event suppose I were convicted Was it likely that California would be satisfied to throw Hamlet into the brig knowing that Yorick was living the good life and luxuriously taking the waters in Texas Would Texas incarcerate Yorick leaving Hamlet free to take the next boat to Rio This alternative appealed to me Barring capital punishment or other cruel and unusual punishment the state would be obliged to maintain the lifesupport system for Yorick though they might move him from Houston to Leavenworth and aside from the unpleasantness of the Opprobrium I for one would not mind at all and would consider myself a free man under those circumstances If the state has an interest in forcibly relocating persons in institutions it would fail to relocate me in any institu tion by locating Yorick there If this were true it suggested a third alternative 3 Dennett is wherever he thinks he is Generalized the claim was as39follows At any given time a person has a point of view and the location of the point of View which is determined internally by the content of the point of View is also the location of the person Such a proposition is not without its perplexities but to me it seemed a step in the right direction The only trouble was that it seemed to place one in a headsIwintailsyoulose situation of unlikely infallibility as regards location Hadn t I myself oftenbeen wrong about where I was and at least as often uncertain Couldn t one get lost Of course but getting lost geographically is not the only way one might get lost If one were lost in the woods one could attempt to reassure oneself with the consolation that at least one knew where one was one was right here in the familiar surroundings of one s own body Perhaps in this case one would not have drawn one s attention to much to be thankful for Still there were worse plights imaginable and I wasn t sure I wasn t in such a plight right now Point of View clearly had something to do with personal location but it was itself an unclear notion It was obvious that the content of one s point of View was not the same as or determined by the content of one s beliefs or thoughts For example what should we say about the Point of view of the Cinerama viewer who shrieks and twists in Where Am I 315 his seat as the rollercoaster footage overcomes his psychic distancing Has he forgotten that he is safely seated in the theater Here I was inclined to say that the person is experiencing an illusory shift in point of view In other cases my inclination to call such shifts illusory was less strong The workers in laboratories and plants who handle danger ous materials by operating feedbackcontrolled mechanical arms and hands undergo a shift in point of view that is crisper and more pro nounced than anything Cinerama can provoke They can feel the heft and slipperiness of the containers they manipulate with their metal fingers They know perfectly well where they are and are not fooled into false beliefs by the experience yet it is as if they were inside the isolation chamber they are peering into With mental effort they can manage to shift their point of view back and forth rather like making a transparent Neckar cube or an Escher drawing change orientation before one s eyes It does seem extravagant to suppose that in per forming this bit of mental gymnastics they are transporting them selves back and forth Still their example gave me hope If I was in fact in the vat in spite of my intuitions I might be able to train myself to adopt that point of view even as a matter of habit I should dwell on images of myself comfortably floating in my vat beaming volitions to that familiar body out there I re ected that the ease or difficulty of this task was presumably independent of the truth about the location of one s brain Had I been practicing before the operation I might now be finding it second nature You might now yourself try such a tramp d oeil Imagine you have written an inflammatory letter which has been published in the Times the result of which is that the Govern ment has chosen to impound your brain for a probationary period of three years in its Dangerous Brain Clinic in Bethesda Maryland Your body of course is allowed freedom to earn a salary and thus to con tinue its function of laying up income to be taxed At this moment however your body is seated in an auditorium listening to a peculiar account by Daniel Dennett of his own similar experience Try it Think yourself to Bethesda and then hark back longineg to your body far away and yet seeming so near It is only with longdistance restraint yours the Government s that you can control your im pulse to get those hands clapping in polite applause before navigating the old body to the rest room and a welldeserved glass of evening sherry in the lounge The task of imagination is certainly difficult but if you achieve your goal the results might be consoling Anyway there I was in Houston lost in thought as one might say but not for long My speculations were soon interrupted by the 316 BRAINSTORMS Houston doctors who wished to test out my new prosthetic nervous system before sending me off on my hazardous mission As I men tioned before I was a bit dizzy at first and not surprisingly although I soon habituated myself to my new circumstances which were after all well nigh indistinguishable from my old circumstances My accommodation was not perfect however and to this day I continue to be plagued by minor coordination difficulties The speed of light is fast but finite and as my brain and body move farther and farther apart the delicate interaction of my feedback systems is thrown into disarray by the time lags Just as one is rendered close to speechless by a delayed or echoic hearing of one s speaking voice so for instance I am virtually unable to track a moving object with my eyes whenever my brain and my body are more than a few miles apart In most mat ters my impairment is scarcely detectable though I can no longer hit a slow curve ball with the authority of yore There are some compen sations of course Though liquor tastes as good as ever and warms my gullet while corroding my liver I can drink it in any quantity I please without becoming the slightest bit inebriated a curiosity some of my close friends may have noticed though I occasionally have feigned inebriation so as not to draw attention to my unusual circumstances For similar reasons I take aSpirin orally for a sprained wrist but if the pain persists I ask Houston to administer codeine to me in vitro In times of illness the phone bill can be staggering But to return to my adventure At length both the doctors and I were satisfied that I was ready to undertake my subterranean mission And so I left my brain in Houston and headed by helicopter for Tulsa Well in any case that s the way it seemed to me That s how I would put it just off the top of my head as it were 0n the trip I re ected further about my earlier anxieties and decided that my first post operative speculations had been tinged with panic The matter was not nearly as strange or metaphysical as I had been supposing Where was I In two places clearly both inside the vat and outside it Just as one can stand with one foot in Connecticut and the other in Rhode Island I was in two places at once I had become one of those scattered individuals we used to hear so much about The more I considered this answer the more obviously true it appeared But strange to say the more true it appeared the less important the question to which it could be the true answer seemed A sad but not unprecedented fate for a philosophical question to suffer This answer did not completely satisfy me of course There lingered some question to which I should have liked an answer which was neither Where are all my various and sundry parts nor What is my current point of view Or at least Where Am I 317 there seemed to be such a question For it did seem undeniable that in some sense I and not merely most of me was descending into the earth under Tulsa in search of an atomic warhead When I found the warhead I was certainly glad I had left my brain behind for the pointer on the specially built Geiger counter I had brought with me was off the dial I called Houston on my ordinary radio and told the operation control center of my position and my progress In return they gave me instructions for dismantling the vehicle based upon my onsite observations I had set to work with my cutting torch when all of a sudden a terrible thing happened I went stone deaf At first I thought it was only my radio earphones that had broken but when I tapped on my helmet I heard nothing Apparently the auditory transceivers had gone on the fritz I could no longer hear Houston or my own voice but I could speak so I started telling them what had happened In midsentence I knew something else had gone wrong My vocal apparatus had become paralyzed Then my right hand went limp another transceiver had gone I was truly in deep trouble But worse was to follow After a few more minutes I went blind I cursed my luck and then I cursed the scientists who had led me into this grave peril There I was deaf dumb and blind in a radioactive hole more than a mile under Tulsa Then the last of my cerebral radio links broke and suddenly I was faced with a new and even more shocking problem whereas an instant before I had been buried alive in Oklahoma now I was disembodied in Houston My recognition of my new status was not immediate It took me several very anxious minutes before it dawned on me that my poor body lay several hundred miles away with heart pulsing and lungs respirating but otherwise as dead as the body of any heart transplant donor its skull packed with useless broken electronic gear The shift in perspec tive I had earlier found well nigh impossible now seemed quite natural Though I could think myself back into my body in the tunnel under Tulsa it took some effort to sustain the illusion For surely it was an illusion to suppose I was still in Oklahoma Ihad lost all contact with that body 39 It occurred to me then with one of those rushes of revelation of which we should be suspicious that I had stumbled upon an impres sive demonstration of the immateriality of the soul based upon physi calist principles and premises For as the last radio signal between Tulsa and Houston died away had I not changed location from Tulsa to Houston at the speed of light And had I not accomplished this Without any increase in mass What moved from A to B at such speed was surely myself or at any rate my soul or mindthe massless center 318 BRAINSTORMS of my being and home of my consciousness My point of view had lagged somewhat behind but I had already noted the indirect bearing of point of View on personal location I could not see now a physical ist philosopher could quarrel with this except by taking the dire and counterintuitive route of banishing all talk of persons Yet the notion of personhood was so well entrenched in everyone s world view or so it seemed to me that any denial would be as curiously unconvincing as systematically disingenuous as the Cartesian negation non sum 1 The joy of philosophic discovery thus tided me over some very bad minutes or perhaps hours as the helplessness and hopelessness of my situation became more apparent to me Waves of panic and even nau sea swept over me made all the more horrible by the absence of their normal bodydependent phenomenology No adrenalin rush of tingles in the arms no pounding heart no premonitory salivation I did feel a dread sinking feeling in my bowels at one point and this tricked me momentarily into the false hope that I was undergoing a reversal of the process that landed me in this fix a gradual undisembodiment But the isolation and uniqueness of that twinge soon convinced me that it was simply the first of a plague of phantom body hallucinations that I like any other amputee would be all too likely to suffer My mood then was chaotic On the one hand I was fired up with elation of my philosophic discovery and was wracking my brain one of the few familiar things I could still do trying to figure out how to communicate my discovery to the journals while on the other I was bitter lonely and filled with dread and uncertainty Fortunately this did not last long for my technical support team sedated me into a dreamless sleep from which I awoke hearing with magnificent fidelity the familiar opening strains of my favorite Brahms piano trio So that was why they had wanted a list of my favorite recordings It did not take me long to realize that I was hearing the music without ears The output from the stereo stylus was being fed through some fancy rec tification circuitry directly into my auditory nerve I was mainlining Brahms an unforgettable experience for any stereo buff At the end of the record it did not surprise me to hear the reassuring voice of the project director speaking into a microphone that was now my pros thetic ear He confirmed my analysis of what had gone wrong and assured me that steps were being taken to reembody me He did not elaborate and after a few more recordings I found myself drifting off to sleep My sleep lasted I later learned for the better part of a year and when I awoke it was to find myself fully restored to my senses When I looked into the mirror though I was a bit startled to see an unfamiliar face Bearded and a bit heavier bearing no doubt a family Where Am I 319 resemblance to my former face and with the same look of spritely intelligence and resolute character but definitely a new face Further selfexplorations of an intimate nature left me no doubt that this was a new body and the project director confirmed my conclusions He did not volunteer any information on the past history of my new body and I decided wisely I think in retrospect not to pry As many philosophers unfamiliar with my ordeal have more recently speculated the acquisition of a new body leaves one s person intact And after a period of adjustment to a new voice new muscular strengths and weaknesses and so forth one s personality is by and large also preserved More dramatic changes in personality have been routinely observed in people who have undergone extensive plastic surgery to say nothing of sex change operations and I think no one contests the survival of the person in such cases In any event I soon accommodated to my new body to the point of being unable to recover any of its novelties to my consciousness or even memory The view in the mirror soon became utterly familiar That view by the way still revealed antennae and so I was not surprised to learn that my brain had not been moved from its haven in the lifesupport lab I decided that good old Yorick deserved a visit I and my new body whom we might as well call Fortinbras strode into the familiar lab to another round of applause from the technicians who were of course congratulating themselves not me Once more I stood before the vat and contemplated poor Yorick and on a whim I once again cavalierly icked off the output transmitter switch Imagine my surprise when nothing unusual happened N o fainting spell no nausea no noticeable change A technician hurried to restore the switch to ON but still I felt nothing I demanded an explanation which the project director hastened to provide It seems that before they had even operated on the first occasion they had constructed a computer duplicate of my brain reproducing both the complete information processing structure and the computational speed of my brain in a giant computer program After the operation but before they had dared to send me off on my mission to Oklahoma they had run this computer system and Yorick side by side The incoming signals from Hamlet were sent simultaneously to Yorick s transceivers and to the computer s array of inputs And the out puts from Yorick were not only beamed back to Hamlet my body they were recorded and checked against the simultaneous output of the computer program which was called Hubert for reasons obscure to me Over days and even weeks the outputs were iden tical and synchronous which of course did not prove that they 320 BRAINSTORMS had succeeded in c0pying the brain s functional structure but the empirical support was greatly encouraging Hubert s input and hence activity had been kept parallel with Yorick s during my disembodied days And now to demonstrate this they had actually thrown the master switch that put Hubert for the first time in online control of my bodymot Hamlet of course but Fortinbras Hamlet I learned had never been recovered from its underground tomb and could be assumed by this time to have largely returned to the dust At the head of my grave still lay the magnificent bulk of the abandoned device with the word STUD emblazoned on its side in large letters a circumstance which may provide archeologists of the next century with a curious insight into the burial rites of their ancestors The laboratory technicians now showed me the master switch which had two positions labeled B for Brain they didn t know my brain s name was Yorick and H for Hubert The switch did indeed point to H and they explained to me that if I wished I could switch it back to B With my heart in my mouth and my brain in its vat I did this Nothing happened A click that was all To test their claim and with the master switch now set at B I hit Yorick s output trans mitter switch on the vat and sure enough I began to faint Once the output switch was turned back on and I had recovered my wits so to speak I continued to play with the master switch ipping it back and forth I found that with the exception of the transitional click I could detect no trace of a difference I could switch in midutterance and the sentence I had begun speaking under the control of Yorick was finished without a pause or hitch of any kind under the control of Hubert I had a spare brain a prosthetic device which might some day stand me in very good stead were some mishap to befall Yorick Or alternatively I could keep Yorick as a spare and use Hubert It didn t seem to make any difference which I chose for the wear and tear and fatigue on my body did not have any debilitating effect on either brain whether or not it was actually causing the motions of my body or merely spilling its output into thin air The one truly unsettling aspect of this new development was the prospect which was not long in dawning on me of someone detaching the spare Hubert or Yorick as the case might be from Fortinbras and hitching it to yet another body some Johnnycomelately Rosen crantz or Guildenstern Then if not before there would be two people that much was clear One would be me and the other would be a sort of supertwin brother If there were two bodies one under the control of Hubert and the other being controlled by Yorick then Where Am I 321 which would the world recognize as the true Dennett And whatever the rest of the world decided which one would be me Would I be the Yorickbrained one in virtue of Yorick s causal priority and for mer intimate relationship with the original Dennett body Hamlet That seemed a bit legalistic a bit too redolent of the arbitrariness of consanguinity and legal possession to be convincing at the metaphysi cal level For suppose that before the arrival of the second body on the scene I had been keeping Yorick as the spare for years and letting Hubert s output drive my body that is Fortinbras all that time The HubertFortinbras couple would seem then by squatter s rights to combat one legal intuition with another to be the true Dennett and the lawful inheritor of everything that was Dennett s This was an interesting question certainly but not nearly so pressing as another question that bothered me My strongest intuition was that in such an eventuality I would survive so long as either brainbody couple re mained intact but I had mixed emotions about whether I should want both to survive I discussed my worries with the technicians and the project direc tor The prospect of two Dennetts was abhorrent to me Iexplained largely for social reasons I didn t want to be my own rival for the affections of my wife nor did I like the prospect of the two Dennetts sharing my modest professor s salary Still more vertiginous and dis tasteful though was the idea of knowing that much about another person while he had the very same goods on me How could we ever face each other My colleagues in the lab argued that I was ignoring the bright side of the matter Weren t there many things I wanted to do but being only one person had been unable to do Now one Dennett could stay at home and be the professor and family man while the other could strike out on a life of travel and adventure missing the family of course but happy in the knowledge that the other Dennett was keeping the home fires burning I could be faithful and adulterous at the same time I could even cuckold myself to say nothing of other more lurid possibilities my colleagues were all too ready to force upon my overtaxed imagination But my ordeal in Oklahoma or was it Houston had made me less adventurous and I shrank from this opportunity that was being offered though of course I was never quite sure it was being offered to me in the first place There was another prospect even more disagreeable that the spare Hubert or Yorick as the case might he would be detached from any input from Fortinbras and just left detached Then as in the other case there would be two Dennetts or at least two claimants to my name and possessions one embodied in Fortinbras and the other 322 BRAINSTORMS sadly miserably disembodied Both selfishness and altruism bade me take steps to prevent this from happening So I asked that measures be taken to ensure that no one could ever tamper with the transceiver connections or the master switch without my our no my knowl edge and consent Since I had no desire to spend my life guarding the equipment in Houston it was mutually decided that all the electronic connections in the lab would be carefully locked both those that con trolled the lifesupport system for Yorick and those that controlled the power supply for Hubert would be guarded with failsafe devices and I would take the only master switch outfitted for radio remote control with me wherever I went I carry it strapped around my waist and wait a moment here it is Every few months I reconnoiter the situation by switching channels I do this only in the presence of friends of course for if the other channel were heaven forbid either dead or otherwise occupied there would have to be somebody who had my interests at heart to switch it back to bring me back from the void For while I could feel see hear and otherwise sense whatever befell my body subsequent to such a switch I d be unable to con trol it By the way the two positions on the switch are intentionally unmarked so I never have the faintest idea whether I am switching from Hubert to Yorick or vice versa Some of you may think that in this case I really don t know who I am let alone where I am But such re ections no longer make much of a dent on my essential Dennett ness on my own sense of who I am If it is true that in one sense I don t know who I am then that s another one of your philosophical truths of underwhelming significance In any case every time I ve ipped the switch so far nothing has happened So let s give it a try THANK GOD I THOUGHT YOU D NEVER FLIP THAT SWITCH You can t imagine how horrible it s been these last two weeks but now you know it s your turn in purgatory How I ve longed for this moment You see about two weeks ago excuse me ladies and gentle men but I ve got to explain this to my urn brother I guess you could say but he s just told you the facts so you ll understand about two weeks ago our two brains drifted just a bit out of synch I don t know whether my brain is now Hubert or Yorick any more than you do but in any case the two brains drifted apart and of course once the process started it snowballed for I was in a slightly different receptive state for the input we both received a difference that was soon magnified In no time at all the illusion that I was in control of my body our body was completely dissipated There was nothing I could do no way to call you YOU DIDN T EVEN KNOW m x Where Am I 323 I EXISTED It s been like being carried around in a cage or better like being possessed hearing my own voice say things I didn t mean to say watching in frustration as my own hands performed deeds I hadn t intended You d scratch our itches but not the way I would have and you kept me awake with your tossing and turning I ve been totally exhausted on the verge of a nervous breakdown carried around helplessly by your frantic round of activities sustained only by the knowledge that some day you d throw the switch N ow it s your turn but at least you ll have the comfort of know ing I know you re in there Like an expectant mother I m eating or at any rate tasting smelling seeing for two now and I ll try to make it easy for you Don t worry Just as soon as this colloquium is over you and I will y to Houston and we ll see what can be done to get one of us another body You can have a female body your body could be any color you like But let s think it over I tell you what to be fair if we both want this body I promise I ll let the project direc tor ip a coin to settle which of us gets to keep it and which then gets to choose a new body That should guarantee justice shouldn t it In any case I ll take care of you I promise These peOple are my wit nesses Ladies and gentlemen this talk we have just heard is not exactly the talk I would have given but I assure you that everything he said was perfectly true And now if you ll excuse me I think I d we d better sit down 2
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