This in the third installment of The Story of the P’s, a serialized science fiction novella.
The achievement of “Grid Unaniminity” via the P’s was only the final stage in a long series of developments. Beginning with the personal player inputs for video games back in the beginning of the 21st century, the consumer, or would-be consumer, was given the program capacity to scan her or his own face and physical dimensions directly into an arcade game character and thus enjoy a more personal gaming experience. Soon the pp’s or personality profiles, were added to the games, and the player’s feeling of identification with the figures on the screen was solidified. The personality profiles were naturally shared within the Grid (Congress passed the Profile Protection Act in 2018), and soon were used to individualize all commercial messages and computer uploads. Market research was soon superfluous, obsolete. By the twenties the pp’s provided not only the information about the consumer, but the control link as well.
Just as direct marketing was “personalized”, regular television and internet programming – the sitcoms and reality shows of the time – also were individually tailored to elicit full identification. “The Magic Man”, the best-selling show of the 2022-2023 season, was the first to feature a full pp link. The viewing experience had become fully personal. Each viewer was now herself a player on the screen, a star in her own virtual world. And that world was individualized. And – with the viewer at the center of this virtual world- a sort of primitive or infantile mind was established. Television had already monopolized people’s time since the late 20th century, but in the 21st, with the advent of “personalized programming”, many people became increasingly “connected”. Whether by phone screens or direct link, people were connected to the Neo-Grid nearly all their waking hours.
Off-screen “personal projections”, initially rudimentary holograms, were refined in the late 20’s to incorporate the pp’s or personality profiles. And with the advent of “emotional simulators”, and later the “Artificial Mom” and “Monster Man” and the other famous “projections”, the momentum of VRP or virtually real participation swept over the screen – and then moved in a great tide past the screen and into its own world. All boundaries were erased* Personality functions were released from the body and tied instead to the pp matrix.
Prof. Dejean adds:
*Perhaps I need to make it clear that the people of the mid -21st century had already become quite different – neurologically and behaviorally – from their predecessors in the 20th. As well as they were from us, I must add quite thankfully. Virtually another species had arisen from the ashes of the Terror Wars of the 20’s: a new species – which functioned without wires and increasingly without the old, soft, biologically-inherited cognitive circuits. This new “connected and protected”* human species occupied most of what was left of the planet.
If I may add another interesting footnote: “Connected and protected” was actually a popular catchphrase or advertisement from one of the early Net-Grid promotions. It was also freely adopted and employed by a number of politicians. President Knox used it as his campaign slogan in the 2032 election.