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"A science fiction story is a story built around human beings, with a human problem and a human solution, which would not have happened at all without its scientific content."
- Theodore Sturgeon

SimStim  
  Stimulation of the brain and nervous system of one person using a recording (or live broadcast) of another person's experience.  

This is a way of sharing experience, but in the world of Neuromancer, you are reminded of the early comments that the experts had about television: "it's an ideal teaching tool."

Cowboys didn't get into simstim, he thought, because it was basically a meat toy. He knew that ... the cyberspace matrix was actually a drastic simplification of the human sensorium, at least in terms of presentation, but simstim itself struck him as a gratuitous multiplication of flesh input.
From Neuromancer, by William Gibson.
Published by Phantasia Press in 1984
Additional resources -

As far as I know, Gibson is the first person to explore both a business use and the extended entertainment version of this idea. Simstim can also be done live.

The earliest reference I can find in science fiction to the idea of using some sort of technology to both read and record a person's thoughts is the espionage machine from Cordwainer Smith's 1958 story No, No, Not Rogov!.

A much earlier reference to the idea that one person can actually experience the transmitted experience of another can be found in the wonderful 1939 story Masson's Secret, by Raymond Z. Gallun. Read about the neuronic receptor-transmitter.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Neuromancer
  More Ideas and Technology by William Gibson
  Tech news articles related to Neuromancer
  Tech news articles related to works by William Gibson

SimStim-related news articles:
  - Jack Into A Cat's Brain
  - Implanted Biothermal RFID Chips May Warn Of Avian Flu

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