"But the problem with reincarnation is that it's hard to imagine what the storage medium for past lives would be. Not to mention the input-output device. I hesitate to rule it out completely, but I'd need pretty definite proof."
This alien creature is an interesting implementation of the idea of a "bush robot," a concept developed by Hans Moravec and Robert Forward.
It turns out that Robert Heinlein had a similar idea, but not quite as "fractal", in his 1941 novel Methuselah's Children.
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'The polawindow, which he tuned to clear transmission.'
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'The goggles throw a light, smoky haze across his eyes...'
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'I myself am building basic chemicals at about 10,000,000,000 times the rate at which building is occurring on the whole ... surface of your planet.'
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'The tailor set moving a mechanism...'
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'This little weapon ejects a rather ingenious missile...'
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'The ten forked ends of each arm commenced a rattling pressing of the buttons.'
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Even before Dick Tracy, there were Ideas about this.
Small Molecule Walker Takes First Steps
'The bits were in motion.'
US Navy Laser Ready For Use
Fifty years from cartoon to reality.
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