8 December 2022
In Episode 07 of Your Performance Review, Michel recalls his previous mission when the Planetary Administrator visits him.
Michel was the Mission Control bot on the first lunar mining mission. But the knowledge about Michel’s past seems that it will do him little good. It looks like Michel will be erased again before admin takes any action on what he has uncovered about that failed mission.
The Administrator who visits Michel in this episode is the father of Kai, the gifted but troubled child who visited Michel in the previous session. While grateful that Michel has become a friend of sorts to Kai, the Administrator admits that Michel has triggered a process that cannot be stopped. Michel’s series of questions has started an investigation. Michel’s memex takes itself offline, leaving Michel to wait for the arrival of Hillary, the investigator.
In this episode, we meet the father of a brilliant but troubled child. The child, Kai, holds the information for a thousand spacefaring missions in his mind. The fate of the planet rests on the boy’s shoulders. His father knows this and feels guilty that his brilliant child is also terribly unhappy.
It’s an exaggerated situation, but one that we might see in the years to come. Parents want their children to excel, to prosper, and to be happy. The Administrator in the episode, and his wife, made a decision for their child. They chose to enhance his intellect and memory, but at a cost to the boy’s happiness and self-control. Scientists who have speculated about enhancements like that suggest they won’t go well. They think that the brain is not the most receptive substrate for silicon or circuitry. Parents will try it anyway, I’m thinking, because they always want the best for their children and enhancements might look like a compelling pathway.
Thanks for reading this and listening to the show,
The GIF used in this newsletter is by Metin Seven, a visualizer, illustrator, and 3D designer. Find him at metinseven.nl or on Mastodon at @email@example.com. If you want to follow me on Mastodon, I’m at @firstname.lastname@example.org. If your response to that is, “I’ve heard of Mastodon, and I’m going nowhere near it,” you might consider taking a look. I’ve only been on it for a short time, but have already have some great conversations, met a lot of interesting scientists and writers, and all of it in a positive atmosphere.
(c) Lee Schneider 2023. Take care of each other. Subscribe.