Monday, March 5, 2007

“The Girl Who Was Plugged In”

We have discussed technology and becoming an entirely different person; however what made “The Girl Who Was Plugged In” truly striking was the fact that P. Burke never really disappeared, yet still became Delphi in a very real sense. Loose a sense here or there is apparently a small price to pay for becoming a “god” or so it would seem. It’s a video game, ultra virtual reality where you connect and live within manufactured bliss. Yet this bliss really does exist within the real world, rather than in the construct of manufactured space, which makes the possibilities even more interesting.

P. Burke becomes a part of her clam shell container to such an extent that she doesn’t exactly exist in the truest sense outside of Delphi’s own sensory perception. Sure she has to be pulled out from time to time to collapse into sleep or receive nourishment, but she really doesn’t see herself as P. Burke anymore, this girl is now Delphi in her own mind. “P. Burke doesn’t know she’s alive—it’s Delphi who lives, every warm inch of her” (Tiptree 51). The brain and the body simply aren’t connected by a hard line anymore, but rather with some highly advanced WiFi in a way. Yes it is basically wireless internet vs. a hard line if you consider it that way. “The fact is she’s just a girl, a real-live girl with her brain in an unusual place” (Tiptree 51).

Too bad P. Burke, but the body cannot live without the mind as they say. A doll cannot live without the remote operating it. Once she lives exclusively as Delphi, everything is bound to come crashing down. Then again, a god can do anything can’t they? Sorry again, but there is actually a remote control controlling the remote and a god controlled by something else isn’t really a god now is it?

Just like we have already seen, corporations dictate how things operate. How foolhardy, taking away advertising is futile in a world where corporations already control even those not plugged into clam shell’s like P. Burke’s. Anyone can live the life of a “god”, but of course at a price. Complete subservience should be a small price to pay for ignorant bliss right? Who cares what’s real if you have someone to do the thinking for you? The true god has forsaken the chaos of this mess and what’s left? “One great big vortex of lies and garbage pouring round and round, getting bigger and bigger, and nothing can ever change. If people don’t wake up soon we’re through” (Tiptree 69).

P. Burke dies, but Delphi (who in actuality is nothing but a shell) will live. Normal humans really are expendable aren’t they? Well at least in a world of false gods, escapism can be manufactured. Yet everything comes at a price and you will only experience the sensations and emotions you are allowed to. Taste and smell? You don’t need them, don’t be foolish. And love, well you can forget about that too.

1 comment:

Mike Anzia said...

I've noticed a lot of these kinds of things that do happen in real life, usually with people who play video games so much that they actually become the character that they play.

Elaborate? Yes I will.

There was a student at my high school who at one point seemed to have adopted the persona of Squall Leonheart from Final Fantasy 8; depressive, angsty, somewhat emotionless. He even used the line "whatever" a lot.

But this became inhibitive to reality. Watching someone go from being somewhat normal (though by no means at one extreme) to this was odd, to say the least.

Now I'm not saying that these are bad things; everyone needs to be someone else for a while. But it needs to be kept as low key as possible (the above incident went on for about 2 months).

Although I would like to know if a person could hack into someones brain, as Anthony pointed out, this is very much a virtual reality WiFi. People hack into these things all the time, or use them for their own ends (daily I receive numerous attempts from computers that are trying to connect from airport locations.) so would it be feasible to hack a persons brain and control them?