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January 3, 2007

One possibility: a futuristic novel in which all interaction is carried over the Internet.  Unlike in Gattaca, people decided it wasn’t right to mess with human genes.  But technology has nonetheless advanced far enough that people can interact through virtual reality on the Internet, creating their own avatar, the person that other people see them as.  In addition to the visual and audio stimuli that today’s Internet provides, the new Internet provides full sense of touch, taste, and smell.  What we have is in essence a self-induced Matrix, but one where all you have to do is type in some code and your world changes.  Everything in this world is optional, including pain, gravity, even the earth’s very geography. And most importantly, you can leave this world instantly at any time.  All you have to do is say a keyword.

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