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Saturday 4 May 2002

Screenshot DAoC

Pic of the day: Once before when I wrote on the same general topic, I illustrated it with a picture from The Sims. Another angle is this screenshot from Dark Age of Camelot, where my Enchanter character has the ability to summon another elf out of thin air to assist her. In real life, I can't even do that ... and it would not be enough, anyway.

Ways to be two

Another day off from work, another day of slight improvement for my hand. I could get used to this. I'm not going to make any decisions on sick leave before Tuesday at least, since the ultrasound treatment is scheduled to start Monday afternoon. Without a successful treatment, I would probably only progress to a certain point, even if I did not work at all. The day it stopped hurting, I would no doubt throw myself into a typing frenzy to catch up with fiction I have unwritten in my head. Not to mention mouse intensive games, which I now avoid, such as good old Daggerfall. (Dark Age of Camelot is not particularly mouse intensive, mainly because you don't actually swing your weapon yourself like in some first person games. Combat is tactical you choose what magic or combat moves to use, but otherwise your character just does its best with the training you have bought it.)


Sometimes I wish there were two of me. This is in fact a recurring fantasy of mine for many years. Nor am I the first to think of this: In a book from the Bhaktivedanta branch of Hinduism, the ability to have multiple bodies is listed as a high level yogi skill. (Anyone else think Hinduism would be great for role playing?) However, the number of bodies is limited. It seems that it takes more and more to add each extra body, and the only person known to have more than ten is Krishna. Then again these people insist that Krishna is God. His several hundred (or was that thousands?) wives presumably thought so too, since that's where he used this skill. I dare say that I am less ambitious and for other purposes.

But speaking of wives and men with multiple bodies, there is that pinnacle of superhero comics, Watchmen. It features among others Dr Manhattan, a young scientist who is reduced to an "intrinsic field" during an experiment, and eventually comes back to the world as a small god. (It looks slightly more believable when Alan Moore tells it.) One time he and his live-in girlfriend are having fun in the bedroom, and afterwards she finds out that he has had a couple other bodies working on a scientific experiment in the nearby lab all the time. Boy is she angry! I'm not quite sure why, but I think it is because he did not give her his full attention. Perhaps it reminded her of the fact that she was just a well-trained human, while he was so much more. Nobody likes to be reminded that they are inferior, I suppose.

I don't know if Multiple Man (Jamie Madrox, mutant in the Marvel universe) ever tried that. He had the ability to split into multiple bodies. I am not sure if there was any limit to the number. Evidently they were all psychically connected, which I guess would limit it unless they were dedicated to the same task. You only have so much attention to spare, after all, unless you happen to be a god.

I would be quite happy with less. Say two bodies for starters, and I wouldn't mind if they each had a separate consciousness, as long as they could merge every night to reconcile their memories into one personality. A longer separation than that would quite likely lead to separate personalities, and I would suddenly be two people with a shared past. That isn't too bad either, not with a past like mine, but not really what I would prefer.

But of course, you cannot really have two bodies. You cannot really do two things at the same time, except simple tasks like eating and playing games, or walking and reading, or biking and singing. I cannot even write one thing while I read another, though I have read that Julius Caesar could. (Actually he is supposed to have dictated one letter while reading another, but that goes for the same.) It kinda upsets me that Caesar could do something I can't, but not enough that I'm seriously trying to learn to do the same. After all, I am in no hurry to conquer Gaul. Or Cleopatra.


I guess the closest people get to having two bodies is a long-time, harmonious marriage. In these cases, I hear, the two people eventually have approximately the same soul, but still two bodies. I don't really think that is relevant to me, though. It would almost certainly be too late to start now, even if there were any likely candidates. And there aren't. Most obviously, nine out of ten women are simply not intelligent enough to consider. I don't mean this in any offensive way, but ... if you imagine a normal healthy man, would it be meaningful for him to marry a woman with an IQ of 60? A woman who would never be able to enjoy a book or even a newspaper, a woman whose political opinions depended mainly on the clothes the various candidates wore, a woman who simply could not grasp how society works or even a modern workplace? She could be nice, she could certainly be sexy, but there could be no true unity. It would be too much like rising a kid that never grew up. That's not what marriage is about, I sincerely hope. Well, transpose that situation up 40 IQ points. The differences may be more subtle, but in my case they are very real.

Even among those around my own IQ (and I mean around I know a few who are more intelligent than me, too) there is still no guarantee of compatibility. Often I find that intelligent people use their intellect only as a tool to earn money, or prestige, power, fame, envy ... They use it as if it was external to themselves, not to expand their mind. This is their choice. But to me, the greatest gift of a good brain is the ability to understand the world and even ourselves. Not fully; I think that is not humanly possible. But more than we could have done if we were not so blessed. More and more, with each passing year. And there is another gift, that may not come from a high IQ but is often found with it: The ability to create. I guess all humans can have this gift, but it takes different directions.

I admit there are times when I slightly miss the company of someone like myself. But we are few and far between - so far I've only met me. How convenient it would have been if there were two of me.

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: The nice voices in our heads
Two years ago: ILOVEYOU,TOO
Three years ago: Justice for the Losers!

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