"One could imagine a very ascetic sort of life ... where the body is ignored. This is something I've played with in my books, where people hate to be reminded sometimes that they have bodies, they find it very slow and tedious."
In the novel, it turns out that there is a small minority of people who are very adversely affected by higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They turn to a source of quick relief.
Compare to the oxygen concentrator from Duel on Syrtis (1951) by Poul Anderson.
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