‘ad valorem’

    “I understand your company has some sort of new digital information sharing technology. What can you tell me about it? I might be interested.”

   “Sure come right on in! I’d love to tell you all about it. We believe it’s going to revolutionize the world and advance mankind to the next level of civilization. It’s truly an amazing breakthrough in technology. Do you have specific questions? I don’t want to bore you with technical details or things you may have already heard.”

   “Well, I don’t know very much about the process. A friend just mentioned it to me. I guess I’m curious about its limitations, the biological health risks involved and of course, the cost.”

   “Yes, of course. We do live in a material world, don’t we? No matter how amazing the process is, if it isn’t practical or affordable from a financial standpoint, then it’s just a theoretical exercise. You’ll be glad to know that our intellectual transfer technology is quite reasonable in price. Financial assistance and payment plans are available to qualified customers. We can discuss those mundane details at the end of the presentation.”

    “Presentation? Wait a minute. I just want some basic information. Don’t you have a brochure or web literature I can check out? I don’t want to feel like I am committed to something too expensive, dangerous or time consuming. I just want a general overview of what your company has to offer.”

    “Certainly. I completely understand your hesitancy and concerns. Let me just outline our services. We can ‘copy and paste’ entire vocational skills or artistic abilities from one person to another through a digital synaptic link interface! D.S.L.I. For short. Want to play guitar like a legendary guitar god? We can do that! Want to paint just like a renaissance master or shoot a basketball like a professional NBA player? That’s available too. The arduous process of spending years of practice and training to master a trade or artistic skill, is now completely obsolete. 

   For a nominal fee, you can check into one of our D.S.L.I. clinics and walk away with world-class knowledge in one short afternoon! We have a huge database of licensed professional uploads; and the download library is growing exponentially. It’s no longer necessary to train for months or years to learn a professional trade. Even better, it’s not just limited to job training either. 

   Want to say that you read ‘War and peace’ but don’t feel like devoting weeks to reading that intimidating tome? In a few minutes, you can know every single word! Every single one. Wouldn’t that be amazing? How about the collected works of Shakespeare or other great pieces of world literature? It’s all available! We also sell ‘exotic experiences’. If you’ve ever wanted to scuba dive or sky dive without the considerable risk, we offer that too. 

   It’s our sincere hope to accelerate the evolutionary development of mankind, by eliminating the massive time expenditure required to acquire knowledge or master a skill. While the direct result may not be a longer life in the chronological sense, we offer rich personal experiences that would normally take a hundred lifetimes. Now it can all come within a single human lifespan. Pretty impressive, huh?”

   “Sure, if it really works. But what guarantee do your customers have that with the skill or experience they request, they don’t also pick up undesirable side effects?” 

    The salesman looked puzzled at the unusual question. The customer explained further. “In other words, just because someone can play ‘Stairway to Heaven’ like Mr. Page, doesn’t mean that he might not also be a serial killer; Right? It seems like copying someone’s knowledge on specific things would lend itself to possibly also absorbing some undesirable side effects in the transfer.”

    “Ah, I see what you mean but you have nothing to worry about. We vet all of our sources heavily and there is a bandwidth filter applied to the process which strains the upload for only what we seek from them. There are no personality traits associated with the copied memories. The process of sharing knowledge is localized to the synapses and is totally safe.”

   “Ok. That’s good to hear. From the historical accounts, most of the great composers and classical artists of the past were clinically depressed or manic. Nothing like suicidal thoughts to go with your Van Gogh lesson.”

    “Keep in mind sir, we do not have Mr. Van Gogh or his famous psychological problems to directly connect to. If you want a lesson in his style of painting, it would come from a contemporary expert in his style. As stated before, we ensure all our available lessons come from vetted sources for authenticity and the highest quality.”

    “Ah, well. I wasn’t interested in learning to paint or play music, anyway. It just occurred to me that if there was a chance of personality bleed-over from the original source, regardless of subject, there could be serious issues. To be honest, this sounds like little more than expedited ‘how to’ sessions, right? Even if you vouch for the safety of the procedure, there’s still the undisclosed cost. You mentioned payment plans and offering financial assistance. That has to mean that your services aren’t cheap. Isn’t this really just an expensive hobby?”

   “Not at all. The augmented effect of our intellectual sharing services is that a person downloading multiple things can achieve unparalleled greatness. Just think of a world-class surgeon, a scientist and mathematician all rolled into one dynamic mind! He or she could offer the world superior insight that no ordinary human could ever amass under regular life experiences. 

   From this wellspring of shareable knowledge, it should spawn the solution to complex global problems like hunger, poverty, war and the end of deadly diseases. Perhaps even death can be defeated over time! Just think of the potential! The sky is the limit, my friend. How would YOU like to improve yourself or the world, today?”

   “Ok, I’ll be honest here. I’m just here for the ‘bimbo special’. My buddy Dave said it was fantastic.”


About Bo Bandy

Just a creative soul trapped in a world of cookie-cutter pragmatism...
This entry was posted in Different Perspectives, Fiction Stories, Future technology, Humor, Science Fiction, Uncategorized, Whimsical. Bookmark the permalink.

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