Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"Science fiction operates a little bit like science itself, in principle. You've got thousands of people exploring ideas, putting forth their own hypotheses. Most of them are dead wrong; a few stand the test of time; everything looks kind of quaint in hind"
- Peter Watts

Substance D  
  An addictive, psychoactive drug.  

Also referred to as "Slow Death".

Fred said, "So what does this mean?"
"I'm sure you know already," the psychologist to the left said. "You've been experiencing it, without knowing why on what it is."
"The two hemispheres of my brain are competing?" Fred said.
"Yes."
"Why?"
"Substance D. It often causes that, functionally. This is what we expected; this is what the tests confirm. Damage having taken place in the normally dominant left hemisphere, the right hemisphere is attempting to compensate for the impairment. But the twin functions do not fuse, because this is an abnormal condition the body isn't prepared for. It should never happen. Cross-cuing, we call it. Related to splitbrain phenomena. We could perform a right hemispherectomy, but--"
"Will this go away," Fred interrupted, "when I get off Substance D?"
"Probably," the psychologist on the left said, nodding. "It's a functional impairment."
The other man said, "It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.
Technovelgy from A Scanner Darkly, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Doubleday in 1977
Additional resources -

Here's more information about Substance D's effect on the brain.

Back at Room 203, the police psychology testing lab, Fred listened without interest as his test results were explained to him by both the psychologists.
"You show what we regard more as a competition phenomenon than impairment. Sit down."
"Okay," Fred said stoically, sitting down.
"Competition," the other psychologist said, "between the left and right hemispheres of your brain. It's not so much a single signal, defective or contaminated; it's more like two signals that interfere with each other by carrying conflicting information."
"Normally," the other psychologist explained, "a person uses the left hemisphere. The self-system or ego, or consciousness, is located there. It is dominant, because it's in the left hemisphere always that the speech center is located; more precisely, bilateralization involves a verbal ability on valency in the left, with spatial abilities in the right. The left can be compared to a digital computer; the right to an analogic. So bilateral function is not mere duplication; both percept systems monitor and process incoming data differently. But for you, neither hemisphere is dominant and they do not act in a compensatory fashion, each to the other. One tells you one thing, the other another."
"It's as if you have two fuel gauges on your car," the other man said, "and one says your tank is full and the other registers empty. They can't both be right. They conflict. But it's--in your case--not one functioning and one malfunctioning; it's . . . Here's what I mean. Both gauges study exactly the same amount of fuel: the same fuel, the same tank. Actually they test the same thing. You as the driven have only an indirect relationship to the fuel tank, via the gauge on, in your case, gauges. In fact, the tank could fall off entirely and you wouldn't know until some dashboard indicator told you or finally the engine stopped. There should never be two gauges reporting conflicting information, because as soon as that happens you have no knowledge of the condition being reported on at all. This is not the same as a gauge and a backup gauge, where the backup one cuts in when the regular one fouls up."

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Scanner Darkly
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to A Scanner Darkly
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Substance D-related news articles:
  - Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery

Articles related to Medical
Illustrating Classic Heinlein With AI
Brainoware Reservoir Computation Of Biological Neural Networks
Forward CarePod The AI Doctor's Office
Octopus Suckers Inspire Transdermal Patches

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.