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Experimental mind-reading machine makes everyone into mental copies of the first test subject

otistdog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
188
This is not a story I've read myself, but it's an unanswered question on another forum, and I'm curious about it so I thought I'd run it by the expert pool here. The original post is at:

http://scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/63257/mind-reading-machine-overwrites-everyones-brain

and the original poster's description was:

"I read a short story about 15 years ago, and I'm trying to find it again. There was a college kid who volunteered to test out a mind-reading device. Something went wrong, and the machine ended up copying his mind over everyone else in the world.

Chaos ensued, since the kid didn't know how to fly airplanes or perform surgery. The kid's girlfriend, since everyone loved her, became the de facto leader. Eventually, the different copies began to diverge and learn new specialties to keep society going.

Does that ring a bell with anyone?"
 

otistdog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
188
FYI for anyone coming across this, the story was identified as "Created Equal" by Ken Jenks, published online. A relevant quote from the story (now difficult to find outside of using the Wayback Machine):


I sat up in the chair. "Okay, Doc. Let's go." The sequence started and I pushed the buttons as they lit up. Four minutes later, the sequence ended. I unstrapped and said good-bye through the intercom. I thought it was a little odd that I didn't get a response. Shrugging, I ducked out to the bike rack, unlocked my rusty ten-speed and rode back to our apartment on Gregory. Traffic was weird. There were a whole lot of people running, driving and riding toward the Beckman Institute, and there were even more headed in the same direction I was.

My apartment building was surrounded. There must have been three hundred people there calling Katie's name. She peered out the window, surveying the crowd, looking like a princess in a tower.

I made my way through the crowd, which parted around me. They started calling my name, too. There was no pushing or shoving, and nobody was being rude. It was like a dream. An hallucination. Too little sleep, I thought. And I've got to cut down on the Mountain Dew.

The stairway was packed, but they let me through. When I opened the door, the nearest people tried to come in with me, but stopped when I told them to back off. Weird.

Katie was waiting. She looked odd, nervous. "Hi," she said. "Are you still Mitch?"

"Yes," I said, "as far as I can tell."

"So am I," she replied. "I think Dr. K's telepathy experiment did something weird. I have your brain in Katie's body."
 

otistdog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
188
Unfortunately, I didn't think so. It was an interesting premise but weak execution. I think you can still find a link to it via that stackexchange page.
 
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