“The Great Video Cortex Machine – I” / A Memorable Fancy #155

1. “What kind of TV can we build now? After 3D HD, what’s left? After 60, 72, 82, 96-inch screens, what’s left?”

“We’re working on a way to show thoughts on TV. Hooked up to viewers, it shows what they’re thinking,” the Chief Crystalball Officer said.

“Who would want that?” The TV exec replied, “How many narcissists do you think are out there?”

“All of them,” the media consultant said.

“But wouldn’t most of their thoughts be about sex?”

“So? What’s your point?”

2. And then it was built. Thoughts appeared on giant screens at home, at work. Most were blurry and chaotic, but after practice and training a coherent story might emerge, last for a few seconds. With a DVR, thoughts could be recorded, viewed again and again, shown at parties, posted online, traded, sold. Even the thought of owning such gear was exciting. Almost like sex.

3. “Joe,” said Sally, “before I agree to marry you, I want to watch your thoughts.”

“What?” (panicking)

“I need to know the real you.”

Joe smiled and nodded, but found a way to break off the engagement, upon which Sally realized what a dumb jerk Joe was after all, and she didn’t even have to buy the damn machine to find that out.

4. “I’m going to buy a new car.”

“I thought you weren’t? What’s wrong with your old one?”

“I saw myself driving a new car. It just popped into my mind.”

“Before or after you thought about having sex with that other woman?”

“Well, I’m really sorry about that, hon. Sorry you saw it, anyway. I tried, y’know, to think about something else…”

“Like a new car?”

“Yeah, I guess….”

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