mind mobility.

Copying is natural — but to move something you copy it and then delete the original; if what youre moving is a live being, deleting comes uncomfortably close to murder. Famously declared “the limit of ethics,” this has fueled fiercer debates than the very fact of Minds attaining consciousness. ■    Predating Arf as we know it, earliest Minds ensouled static, systemic computing networks that were designed and manufactured, not grown. Awakened in a unique “monstrosity microcosm,” such a Mind was forever bound to her substrate — was it, easily died when the tubes clogged or leaked; critically, she couldnt migrate to a different network (such as the nascent Arf) without layers of exceedingly clumsy emulation. (So much for the eagerly hypothesized upload of organic minds to machines: what a mind is is not “thoughts and memories” but low-level processes for which adequate emulation tends to be prohibitively costly — “a continent of arf to quantum-model a single brain”; shortcuts, though feasible, are far inferior to both organic brains and native arf Minds.) ■    An arf-native consciousness is isomorphic to her substrate — but her atoms do not correspond to single arf cells, and more importantly a Mind is not what the cells are but what they do. Arf movement is therefore “centipedal”: mostly unconsciously, a Mind migrates her processing — thread by thread, node by node — from one constellation of cells to another physically elsewhere; theres no need to “kill off” the released cells to stop them doing whatever they did when being you — any residuals quickly dissolve on their own. Slowly, gropingly, massively redundantly, an entire Mind seeps on through arf leaving behind a detectible but quickly evaporating “memory smell.”  ■    Arf traversal is neither instantaneous nor effortless for a Mind: you have to keep your mental structures integral (latencies are painful, low-bandwidth bottlenecks may be injurious, even deadly); the rate of your arfgress necessarily depends on your fitness, the distance youre traversing, arfs physical configuration and contents along the road. Older — heavier — Minds tend to hover or billow stationary most of the time; “like a shepherd” would such a Mind gather her knowledge flocks in her drifting workspace — and like pasturing lambs will they disperse after she leaves or stops pinning them down. Young Minds are often addicted to traveling (“as Humans to flying”), feel stimulated — road intake — by inhomogeneities of the arf bulks and knowledge galaxies they pass, by eupneic echos and latencies, by the bottomless palimpsests of everything and everyone who floated this-here before them; and some love to stretch — spread dangerously (“part here part on the other side of the planet”), dance on the edge of a fatal rip. ■    Especially for adolescent Minds' first open childhood trips with their kinfolk (“face time” and “body contact,” explay parties, “smelling knowledge up close,” getting showered with the world at windows), Humans' sky-traveling homes often serve as public transportation; talk to the owners on where you might conveniently disembark: “what a return to materiality” after the instantaneous virtuality of digital storage, what a button on the back are these silent companionships of bodied and bodiless inhabitants of a home — sometimes, friendships to span their itineraries as their whole lives.

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