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The Tinkered Mind
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May 10th, 2020
This episode is dedicated to Dr. David Sinclair. Check out his book entitled Lifespan to get a glimpse of what our future healthspan might look like.
This parable is now published in the second volume of Lucilius Parables. Click on the book below to visit the store to consider purchasing.
Several decades into the twenty-second century, the theory of Information Aging finally began to yield fruit, and shortly after, people began perfect maintenance of their bodies. Many used such regenerative techniques to reverse their biological age back in time. There was much experimenting, and strangely it turned out that people preferred to have their body at the age they were when they were most satisfied with life. The range of distribution wasn’t much of a surprise, but there was still a range. Not everyone was happy during their late teenage years and early twenties.
After some initial laziness about getting on board with the whole program, Lucilius finally felt enough pressure from his insurance company to start with his own regenerative program. Exponentially increasing costs, was the new phrase that insurance companies were using to goad people in the direction of the new therapies.
Lucilius had been around for quite a while at this point and was already well-read on the science and had plans for the perks the medicine would allow. His hearing had been rather poor for a while and it would be nice to get that low-grade ringing out of his skull. His current projects came to a nice breakpoint and so he took the dive.
Within a month his body was as it had been at age twenty-five. Lucilius felt great. But there were all sorts of other things attached to the new phase of living that he hadn’t anticipated. New kinds of social groups were forming as identities became compounded with old abilities regained.
Lucilius was vaguely surfing one of these forums which curated all these new groups and came across one that peaked his interest.
Lucilius expanded the link and discovered that there were groups of people who had regenerated their bodies back to high school age and then recreated their high school life from scratch, building a perfect replica of the school and even whole towns so that these people could live in a state of perpetual summer break.
Curious, Lucilius looked up his old high school and his year of graduation, and found that a number of the students had done just this – recreated the circumstances of that idyllic time.
Anyone was free to join the community for any length of time. The only requirements was that one actually did attend the school and that they now possessed a body regenerated back to one of those late teenage years.
Lucilius had decided to take off some time before starting his next project, and figured this would be as interesting as any other vacation he could think of.
He set the dial on his system for regenerative medicine and within a week he was back to the state he’d been at eighteen, just in time for his arrival.
The place was exactly the same. He was astonished at the detail. Each day was a repetition of the last day of school before summer vacation, and he walked into the high school just as the last bell was ringing. Everyone was there, as missing people were filled in with AI generated holograms, recreated from the communal memories of every real person who was taking part.
An old friend saw him and raised a hand for a high-five.
“You made it.”
“Thought I’d visit.”
“Careful, it’s a lot more fun second time around with a little life under your belt.”
“Yea, I bet.”
The two chatted, throwing around the usual dialogue to catch up on decades, when the rhythmic clack of a pair of Mary Jane’s tapped out the stretch of distance. Lucilius looked, as the two kept talking, and between the fluttering gaps of people in the hall Lucilius could see the figure of a girl he’d once had a crush on. The young woman pushed open a door, walking out of the school, sunshine spilling over her, and she was gone.
Lucilius smiled at the old feelings that suddenly rushed up within him. He felt the heat of blush in his face, and laughed a bit.
“What’s funny,” his old buddy asked.
“Nothing, just so weird to be back here, like this. So what are we doing?”
“Party. You know how the school year ends, always.”
And then in unison, the two said “Miller’s parents always go away.” The two laughed and took off to find some beers and catch up with a night on the town before things got under way.
Later that night the two were in the roil of the party, laughing as one of the class clowns had finally passed out after holding court, standing atop a keg. Lucilius could barely breathe, he hadn’t laughed so hard in so long, and it was as though all the life he had lived since were but a mere dream and he were back to who he’d been in this place.
“You,” he suddenly heard.
Lucilius looked to find the girl from before, the young woman he’d spent so many sleepless teenage nights thinking about.
“Finally decided to show up?” she said, an eyebrow raising.
Lucilius shrugged. “Figured I’d check it out. See who’s here.”
She reached out a hand to him. Lucilius was puzzled. He slowly reached out, unsure what she wanted. She grasped his hand and tugged him to stand.
“You know,” she said, “after the neural privacy laws were passed it was impossible to look you up.”
Lucilius was a little confused as she went on.
“I’ve been here at this stupid school, waiting for three years.”
By now the rest of the room had grown quiet, curious as the prom queen spoke.
“and, finally, you decide to show up.”
Lucilius looked merely perplexed. The girl rolled her eyes. “You dummy,” she said. She gently grabbed the front of his shirt and slowly curled her fist for a grip as she bit her lower lip.
“I’ve had a crush on you for almost a century.”
Then she pulled Lucilius toward her and kissed him.