Forget about Virtual Reality. Wait another 50+ years for the Real Deal. Scientists are working in laboratories all over the world getting closer to recording our brains. They say it's possible and they will do it. Once they can get past the point of inserting tiny wires into our brains to record memories, and tiny wires into the brains of those who wish to receive them, it won't be much longer before they develop skullcaps loaded with electrodes and be able to tap into us with ease and download others' experiences into our brains.
It won't be just pulling pictures and long-term memories out. They say they will be able to record everything people experience in real time. Don't watch “Jackass” on MTV—live it! Once that is accomplished, there will be a new explosion of industries producing these and other memories to sell on the internet. They'll be able to create informational “implants” that may help people become smarter, or enjoy experiences they will never really have, otherwise.
All you'll have to do is download whatever subjects you might like, then put on your skullcap and send them directly to your brain. If you're aspiring to be a professional, you might download “Medical School Overnight—Be the Next Doogie Howser.” If you like adventure, maybe it'll be, “A Novice Skier Tackles the Alps.” And men will finally know what it's really like by, “Delivering Twins with a Mid-Wife.” Don't like your life? Then download a new one.
Of course some of these experiences might not be exactly mainstream. Porn sites will offer sex as never before. Imagine downloading a steamy sex session where you become one of the movie stars of the era. Be a male one time, and a female the next. Knowing how it feels to have sex by choosing to be the opposite gender could be enlightening.
Another example could be what's in store for the future Drugs-Forum. By logging on and going to the D-F Memory Store, you could--for a small price--get the same feeling someone else has had without actually doing the drug yourself. You might find titles such as “Highlights of My 100th Acid Drop,” or “X—Rolling with the Pros.” You might even have “My Best Rushes with Red Phosphorous Meth.” There could also be a free section, which would be mostly people getting high on marijuana. You could find how one experiences every strain there is. Try before you buy. Not sure you want to IV a drug? Then let someone who does give you a feel for it.
Some questionable materials might be, “My OD until I went into a coma and flat-lined,” or “Shooting black tar and having the longest nod ever.” Maybe you don't want to experience some things that could actually put you into a coma or put you into a near-endless sleep.
So, when a newbie gets on a forum and asks what it's like to do a certain drug, it won't be too many decades until there are several members replying with links to their own experiences in the memory library. No dealers to deal with, no learning curve on how to use it (unless they download the tutorial for the drug), and being able to experience every drug without actually using it.
For those people who spin their wheels chasing that “best” rush or high they ever got, if they were only lucky enough to have recorded the experience, all they'd have to do is replay its memory over and over again. It would be like living a drug-free life without ever waiting for your dealer to show up, and saving you money as well.
There's only one problem I can think of: could you actually become addicted to a drug using your own or other people's recordings of trips, highs and rushes?
My thanks to Dr. Michio Kaku for writing the book, “The Future of the Mind,” especially the chapter that started these musings: Memories and Thoughts Made to Order.
Alfa: Even though it may not happen in our lifetimes, with the future D-F Memory Store, the forum may actually break even and make a profit.