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"I'm strictly an ivory-tower person. I can explain things but I can't do things."
- Isaac Asimov

Simulacrum (Sim)  
  An autonomous construct that is a perfect likeness to a human person.  

As they drove by wheel to Nat Wilder's office in San Francisco, Jack Elwood said, "This Operation Fifty-minutes -- we've asked to be allowed to include a man in the initial landing party; a routine request which of course has been honored." He glanced thoughtfully at Chuck. "I think we'll use a simulacrum in this case."

Chuck Rittersdorf nodded vacantly. It was standard procedure to use a simulacrum in projects involving potentially hostile factions; the CIA had a low operating budget and did not like to lose its men.

"In fact," Elwood said, "the simulacrum -- it was made for us by G. D. down in Palo Alto -- is finished and at our office. If you'd care to view it." He examined a small note pad which he brought from his coat pocket. "Name is Daniel Mageboom. Twenty-six years old. Anglo-Saxon. Graduated from Stanford with a master's in poly sci. Taught for one year at San Jose State, then joined the CIA. That's what we'll tell the others in the project; only ourselves will know it's a sim gathering data for us." He concluded, " As yet we have not decided who to put in as determining guide for Dan Mageboom. Maybe Johnstone."

"That fool," Chuck said. A sim could operate autonomously to some extent, but in an operation of this type too many decisions were required; left to itself Dan Mageboom would quickly reveal itself as a construct. It would walk and talk, but when time arrived for it to decide policy -- then a good operator, seated in complete safety in Level One of the CIA building in San Francisco, took control.

Technovelgy from Clans of the Alphane Moon, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Ace Books in 1964
Additional resources -

Of course, Dick did not originate the term "simulacrum", which the dictionary defines as an image or representation of a real object.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Clans of the Alphane Moon
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
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  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

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