A Small Story.

6/22/2036

Felix Fawkes,
Chief Executive Officer
Vision Industries

I have been working for Vision Industries over the course of 20 years, and the company has been a place where I would call my second home.  The people I have met and the opportunities provided to me have bene priceless memories for which I am forever grateful.

Unfortunately, today I must regretfully inform you that I must tender my resignation from Vision Industries and all of its subsidiaries. This reason being that the current projects and direction of the company doesn’t agree with my personal and professional ethics. This letter is my final effort for you to abandon the Project Genie.

Twenty years ago, at the start of my tenure at V.I., I was placed in the research and development division where I began work in the development of the more immersive virtual reality environments.  Started with Project Feel, which hoped to bring some realistic textures and sensation to gamers. Using the Feel controller that pushed electrical signals into the hands so that the player could have realistic sensations of touch in the virtual environment. Even with its extended development period and an even longer period of public hesitation we were all excited for its success and mass adoption. It wasn’t until our next project went underway, and expansion to a Feel Suit, a suit that would expand the electrical signals to the rest of the body, people started voicing their concern for the general public on the matter of creating an environment that is too rich and immersive.  We all, including myself, dismissed that concern, stating the people would be able to decipher the differences.  With the success that even dwarfed the original Feel Controller, the Feel Suit went beyond just gaming to include both Feel Movies and TV Shows.

The Feel Suit had its limitations, it still required a spatial environment where the user could walk around in, and the desensitization of nerves to constant stimuli.   It was next logical step was to input the signals directly into the brain. Through the reservations, and resignations of the staff who thought that the project was taking it too far, we all pushed ahead to getting the Sense Chip approved by the FDA for widespread use.  It was an uphill battle with several wrongful death class action suits on our hands, but when we got the approval, the general public was just as accepting of the Sense Chip as our other products.  Even though it require a microchip inserted into the spine that would transmit signals given off by the brain into actions in the virtual environment will simultaneously blocking the brain signals to the physical body, people had no hesitation adopting this emerging technology.

At this time, is when my reservations with the project began, though the product was paving a new way for people to interact and expanding fields in medicine, therapy, and business opportunities, the reliance on our product was disconcerting.  There was always the barrier to overcome with still requiring screens, and that sensation did not extend to the face and head. I began to believe that it was a good step in science and technology it was a step back for us as the human race.

I pushed forward with Project Genie, hoping that my reservations with the project would dissipate with time. Inserting the chip directly into the brain as to stimulate sensation at the source was the final stepping stone. Unfortunately, when debriefing the testers after inserting intraneural chips and exposing them to test environments, they began to experience confusion and a desire to return to the test environment.  After running more tests, the subjects could not differentiate the virtual environment from reality.  Some became somewhat paranoid and created outlandish theories as to why they were transported to this lesser reality from the paradise they had experienced while others who could keep reality and the virtual reality separate began to suffer social withdrawal.  All participants desired for longer and longer sessions with Project Genie going so far as to ask for time in the machine rather than the monetary compensation they received.

It surprised me when after my negative reports about the potentially disastrous outcome of releasing Project Genie to the public, the product was set to be released for the Christmas season. After my pleading with you to cancel the project, you threatened my termination from the company.  My only regret in all this is that I did not listen to my colleagues during the previous project stages who urged me to be cautious about what might come about with pushing too far into virtual environments and immersion.

I have taken the liberty to wipe the drives that have all the data and destroy the blueprints for the microchip. I know the company can replace these things with time, but if you have an iota of doubt about this project, I implore you to abandon the project.  We are losing grip with our reality and once its gone, there is no going back.  I know it seems that I am making the choice for billions of people but I know that we will abandon our reality once we find one that is better.

I know after what I have done, there is no place for me in the company.  I apologise for taking matters into my own hands but I feel it is the only way to get people to talk about the potential implications of Project Genie.  Thank you, I was genuine when I said V.I  was a second home for me. I hope for all of our sakes that we can find a better way.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bartholomew F. Peris
Senior Project Manager For Research and Development

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