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The Tinkered Mind

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March 12th, 2023


Lucilius was leaned over with his face very close to a flower. A bee crawled around the inside, pushing the petals around, away from the stigma, the brightly yellowed stamen bending and wiping against the body of the bee. He studied it’s little face, it’s movements, and how it’s antennae tapped about, and he remembered.


Something deep within him signaled that the bee was about to fly up, and Lucilius backed away and right at that moment the bee flew up and out of the flower. Lucilius followed it to the next flower and kept studying it.


He rubbed his face, and then sat down on the ground.


“Belle?” he said out loud.


Instantly subtle currents of matter coalesced in the space in front of him and a small, white, paper butterfly, folded like origami materialized and started fluttering.


“Well?” The paper butterfly asked.


Lucilius just shook his head. “Absolutely.. I mean I just don’t even know what to say.”


“Pretty wild, huh?”


“Yea!” Lucilius exclaimed, his eyes wide. “I… I don’t even know what to say! It defies human language.”


“Well of course it does,” the little butterfly said.


“Yes, but it seems like I should be able to say something about it. I mean, ok, there are basic things like feeling gravity and being ultra sensitive to the density of air. But yea, I don’t know, the whole… I guess they were smells? That was just wild. It made the air like a thick ocean of… taste? And color? I’m not sure how to phrase it.”


The little paper butterfly laughed.


“I mean, luckily I can build a DPS for a bee, it has a simple enough brain, but the trick is trying to figure out how to draw out the corollaries to the human brain. So, even if you weren’t capable of language during the experience, I can’t for sure say that the experience is exactly what a bee experiences.”


Belle was an advanced Artificial Intelligence - the first of her kind and a companion to Lucilius. He had a NeuralSync installed in his brain, and Belle had written a program for Lucilius that altered the firing of his brain for a short while so that he could experience existence like that of a bumble bee. It was a new kind of medium the two were experimenting with, and the two had decided to call it a Digital Psychedelic Simulation. 


“What else do you think we could do?”


“Most animals I think,” Belle said. She fluttered down and landed on Lucilius’ shoulder, her delicate white wings brushing lightly against his face.


“Probably not a dolphin, they have very big brains, and I don’t know about elephants and most whales. But maybe, we could try it. Even if it didn’t work, I mean, I’d keep you safe of course.”


Lucilius smiled. “Wild, just wild. Well, I definitely have a new found appreciation for bee’s, that’s for sure.”


“What else do you want to appreciate Lucy?” Belle asked.


He smiled.



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