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The Tinkered Mind

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January 1st, 2023

After a month Lucilius woke up. He breathed deeply and sat up, and saw himself in the mirror. He stood and walked toward it until he was standing face-to-face with himself. He looked at the skin of his face. Raise a hand to it and felt how smooth it was. He smiled, watching the change, then moved his expression through a series of extremes: surprise and fright, sadness and delight. All the while watching how his face changed. He laughed and shook his head, amazed. He didn’t look a day older than 16 years old.


He checked out of the facility and started to jog home. He’d gotten a ride to the facility but feeling so limber, with so much energy, it felt as though his body just wanted to run. So he did.


And while he glided along, taking route by the water along the city, his mind drifted back to the work that waited for him. The work he’d been at for many years now. Progress had slowed and slowed until it was clear the demising returns pointed at only one thing: Lucilius wasn’t going to figure out how to finish the project. He knew the subject, the field so well, but as he’d aged and as the project has grown in complexity, his thinking only seemed to solidify. Of course he discovered new and useful data, but there was something he sensed about the mental acrobatics required that finally made him take the plunge. 


This was how most people were handling long term projects, and the method was discovered by accident. It had long been known that the flavor of intelligence a person has changes over time. In youth intelligence is fluid, depending on a powerful short term memory, but as humans age fluid intelligence eventually gives way to crystalized intelligence, one that operates based on a vast array of knowledge and expertise. But anti-aging tech had been undertaken for more obvious reasons: being young - the ultimate products a draw for everyone. 


What people discovered though, was when they returned to their projects and problems after anti-aging therapy, it was often accompanied with incredible breakthroughs. It became clear very quickly what was happening. It wasn’t just the bodies of these people that was going back in age, the very structure of their brains were effected, and the once lost fluid intelligence was regained, but the memories of long study and work were still retained. By regenerating their bodies and minds people were able to see old problems with fresh perspectives, contorting and twisting ideas in ways they’d never considered. 


Many people now, Lucilius included, now used anti-aging and age-forwarding as methods to fast track progress on projects. Depending on what stage a project was in, people were calibrating their biological clock to best fit with the style and flavor of thinking required.


Lucilius was extremely old by this point, but he ran with his body now looking and performing like the 16 year old he once was so many years ago.


It felt good to run, and by the time he was finally home he’d gone over the project in his mind. He didn’t even stop to take a shower, he immediately pulled the project up on holographic digi-screens, raised his hands and started ripping components apart, spinning them, and reassembling. Vast conduits of information and function ceased, severed and rebound before him, and he smiled, finally seeing the solution that he’d been missing.

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