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the Hard Way
Eventually, real life knocks hard enough that you let it in.
What happens if we overcome our empathy limit? 
13th-Jul-2008 02:02 pm
ferret!!
Idea for a science fiction story: implants or medical surgery in order to artificially overcome the limitations for empathy of our monkey brains. What would happen? Would we have to have a stimulus in our brains that activates every time we meet someone new? Would we only be able to recognize 150 groups of people and after that each new person is seen as a variation of the known type, not an individual? Would we have a wifi implant that drew up a person's file from a server so we could remember information about them? Basically, what would happen if we strove to overcome our hardwired empathy limit medically? Technologically? (EDIT: side note; organizationally?) What would our society look like?
Comments 
13th-Jul-2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
All I can say is: littering would probably drop significantly.
13th-Jul-2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
I can't make a plot out of that! >:( ;D

*page 1* Our hero is walking through the park...suddenly...

lulz :)

My idea actually has shades of 1984 written all over it. It's probably too similar to be interesting. Hmm.
13th-Jul-2008 11:00 pm (UTC)
I don't know 1984. Hmm, give me a minute.

...

First: Are we to assume that everyone has this benefit, or might it only be a very few? This is a key distinction - and the latter story would likely be easier to write.

Second: Any functional multiplication of the empathy of human beings would require a substantial increase in processing power (and probably memory storage) - how is this effected? (And increased processor power means increased heat - how shall this be vented?) That said, it's not patently absurd that the social parts of the brain associated with the empathy limit are running a different program, meaning the characters would not be substantially smarter in the ordinary sense than ordinary folk (unless they had those boosts too).
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