An essay by Chris Lyman, as provided by Keith Baldwin
I’d had a few drinks and was about to head to bed last night when this chat window popped up from Lenny.
Leonard Cassler: I’ve done it
Chris Lyman: What are you talking about?
Leonard Cassler: The machine. It’s done, man.
Chris Lyman: No way! Are you joking?
He’s been tinkering with his machine for as long as I’ve known him–at least the past three years–but I never really took it seriously. I guess I always figured he was more of a theorist than anything. Or, you know, crazy.
The first day I met him, when I came to check out the house, he left me waiting at the door for about five minutes. I was going to leave when, ringing the doorbell for what must have been the fourth time, I finally heard him clumping up the basement steps. He came to the door still wearing those funny little goggles he used for soldering.
The place was great, the rent was cheap, because he wanted the basement all to himself, and–once I’d confirmed that he wasn’t chopping up bodies down there–Lenny was sort of the perfect roommate. Quiet. Kept to himself. A little scatter-brained, but not messy. It wasn’t until we got drunk together one night that he started talking about his work, and I got the sense of how truly passionate, and possibly crazy, he really was.
“The processing power of consumer electronics is doubling every year, but if you really know what you’re doing, you can get way more performance out of these new chips. We’re getting to the point where the idea of, like, replicating a human mind inside of a computer is going to stop being science fiction.”
“Uh huh. And why would you want to do that?”
“Why wouldn’t you?! You’re a slave to your brain right now, man. Can’t you see that? Always searching for new stimulation for your senses, anything your brain needs to release the chemicals that make you happy. But if your whole experience was a program that you controlled, the possibilities would be endless!”
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2012 collection.
Chris Lyman was the mild-mannered roommate of the world’s greatest and maddest basement-inventor. He is currently being processed into energy for the Super-Being that his roommate created, but he wants his loved ones to know that he has never been happier, and can’t wait for them to join him.
Keith Baldwin is a writer and student living deep inside the comforting warmth of his own head somewhere in Brooklyn. He is currently studying Creative Writing at Brooklyn College, and exploring every permutation of the robot uprising at story-bot.com.
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