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"I realized there was a heavy-duty change coming in biology, and I could write a really compelling novel about catastrophic evolution, punctuated equilibrium."
- Greg Bear

XV  
  Allows anyone to directly experience another person's conscious awareness.  

This is another variant on the idea of stimsim, a way of being able to actually have the same experience of another person.

When XV was introduced in 2006, it was denounced roundly for being even more attention-absorbing than television. It was also praised highly because it allowed anyone to have the experience instantly of knowing how to do a thing, and of doing it…You could take a psychopath with no empathy and give him the experience of being a victim. This was the experiment that revealed the flaw.
From Mother of Storms, by John Barnes.
Published by Tor in 1994
Additional resources -

If it existed, this device would solve one of the twentieth century's most vexing philosophical problems - the private language argument proposed by Ludwig Wittgenstein in his book Philosophical Investigations. The argument is stated with characteristic succinctness in the following quote:

The words of this language are to refer to what can be known only to the speaker; to his immediate, private, sensations. So another cannot understand the language.
Even when I use words that we all hold in common, how can you be sure that when I use a word like "upset" that I mean the same thing, the same internal experience, as you mean when you use the word?

If you had XV, you could know.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Mother of Storms
  More Ideas and Technology by John Barnes
  Tech news articles related to Mother of Storms
  Tech news articles related to works by John Barnes

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