We all should. We spend all our hours connected, after all. We're everywhere and nowhere, independent of place, alive in a subjective reality that would make any solipsist proud, where we live independent of any body other than those which we choose to present to the electronic agorae, where we re-cast the sensory presentation of others, even the communications of others, to fit our own whimsy, going so far as to change our politicians into LOLcats, to frequent the games as heroes or fantastic villains, as forces of a nature we no longer experience in our secret bunkers.
Hell. I wouldn't recognize my body if I saw it on MeatSpace.
So yes, I agree that we don't really have to worry about our meat bodies, and I was in on the beta test phase when we were developing the sensorium interface and Fiberhose-to-the-neighborhood and a friend of mine was working with Digitized Health and the whole "maintenance technology" thing. I was there, and I haven't archived and purged it all. I remember so many years of everyone struggling with ill health and sedentary lives and the environment collapsing around us because we were too septic, too toxic, too effective as predators and out-competing every animal, taming every plant. We very nearly died out and took the world with us.
And yes, I know this is the collective choice of what's left of humanity, best thing for everyone - moving our primary focus into a purely synthesized world and leaving the physical to recover in the allegedly gentle care of the automatics. I also do my six maintenance days a year monitoring, and unlike most of you I do not wrap it in a morg, I actually use the unfiltered vid and sound feeds. I know it's a mess outside. I know we're happier here in the surreal world. But we've spent the last two decades retreating so far into the worlds of our collective and allegedly consensual imaginings that I wonder if... hell, do we ever even have real children any more?
I know I find it really, profoundly, disturbing when I see a Hilton-otaku bimboing around in the Amazon Mall, with her little toy dog-slash-child, worse than when we still had dogs, and I realize that the little toy dog-slash-child is behaving, learning, and acting exactly like a spoiled-rotten human child (in a toy dog's body) right down to the tantrums and the shrieking, and when I click them to read their ag-blog ... they're actually crosses between the interaction-patterns of their "mother" and another, or maybe several other, of her friends. Genetic algorithms derived from the psychic DNA of the priveleged and self-entitled.
And those are the "people" of the future. One of my guild-mates in the Mecha-Babylon game is an AI-Catgirl of all the cliche' things. I hoped it was just an old anime addict but, no, offspring of two actual people and their cat Twinkle. Who names a cat Twinkle anyway?
Serious. I haven't seen an actual human child ag-blog in six, maybe seven years. Are there still human children made by old-fashioned sweaty human sex between male and female, with the nine months of gestation and everything? Are there even capsule kids? I know that there was a big push for the capsules but who's still using them?
I couldn't tell you for sure. If you don't have children, you're no longer allowed to communicate with them, and if you do find one, there's a very good chance that you've either found a kid-porn-trapper or worse, a lolitaku who likes to pretend to be one, and then you're tarred up with their back-links for months until you can clear them from all the caches.
And if you get tagged by a trapper, well, you're screwed in as many ways as our fecund imaginations have created and you get no appeal, and "screwed" does not involve pleasure in this case.
One SexDeviant flag and you have to be a Google or maybe an NSA-gent to get access to anything outside your normal browse-patterns, and then the Community Standards Mods start trimming those to limit you to only "wholesome" sites, nothing that would be even slightly naughty. It's like an electronic social neutering. Horrible. I mean, yeah, in the really ancient days when we only had keyboards, displays, and the medium-fidelity sound, and the rare few pervs had their "teledildonics" that did NOT have standard drivers, and Windows wouldn't permit updates... yeah. What? I'm not THAT old. I just don't purge my association-list.
I think it's important to keep the entire context accessible. It's what makes us different from one another.
Why am I going on about this? No, I am NOT a perv. I rate a safe 480 in the Surgeon General's purity test.
It's just that I've been noticing, lately, that I haven't actually had any off-band sensations.
It has me concerned. I went to ground in a fringe area, not by choice, it was just what I could afford.
And yesterday, for about 20 minutes, I was involuntarily offlined. It was profoundly unnerving, no sense of shared mindspace, no background pattern of pings and acks like constant rain in the world next door.
I was bored. I played music from my local cache, I played "solitaire" ... I got to the point where I almost considered unhooking to look around. I overcame the impulse because the link went hot again as I was unpacking the protocol from the emergency help files.
You probably didn't notice, if you interacted with me, because my 'tasker is just this side of godmode. I can enstate in four simultaneous hyper-reals at once, as long as I don't try to run any other contexts.
I got everything back but it wasn't seamless, like it would've been, except for someone inept running a diag-and-scrub on a T1024 firehose router with active traffic that should have been re-routed, but was not, because some subsentient had no clue of why it's a bad thing for someone to be stuck for 20 minutes without contact with ... everything that matters. And they were sloppy. There was uncleaned memory leak spewed all over the router logs. SOMEONE was running a "Call of Glory" morp layer on top of the "Spit and Polish" standard interface, and instead of shining things up, they were shooting them.
I've got a gopherret running. When I find out who's got that service slot and confirm they were filling it, I believe I'll replace their morp with some old, very old stuff. Barbie's Dream Pony is a pretty decent interface for a gung-ho guy, right?