|"There's a sucker born every minute."|
There's a sucker born every minute!
Okay, we apologize. There's certainly nothing wrong with this sucker. But you have to admit; it piqued your interest to get this far!
Anyway, that famous quote (actually by a man named *David Hannum, Phineas Taylor Barnum's competitor) is still true halfway into the 21st century, almost 200 years after it was said.
Why would anyone volunteer to donate their brain to be incorporated into Phrenicea, the honeycomb-like structure filled with functioning human brains, resulting in the greatest machine of intelligence ever?
Unlike previous innovations, Phrenicea was based not on traditional technology utilizing the Earth's raw materials and manufacturing. The foundation for Phrenicea was the human brain, the product of millions of years of evolution and still the marvel of the universe. Despite more than a century of human technological progress, the brain's complexity was still an enigma, unmatched in functionality by anything man-made.
This is not to say that advanced technology played no part. "Braincomb chambers" were assembled to supply an oxygen- and nutrient-rich milieu to mimic the biological homes from which they were extracted. Computer interfaces facilitated person-to-Phrenicea and Phrenicea-to-person communications, as well as linking the many braincomb chambers into a cohesive whole.
So, why would anyone volunteer to donate their brain to be incorporated into Phrenicea?
Quite simply, the same reason why people beginning in the 1960s began to freeze themselves through the process of cryonics, with the hope that some day they would be revived into a world that could cure whatever ailment caused their demise.
Phrenicea offered the opportunity of immortality of the mind, or so the donors thought. Not advertised was the required procedure to eliminate the sense of self, accomplished by the targeted destruction of a small section of brain tissue in the right frontal lobe. (Imagine the chaos of thought within the braincomb chambers if each brain retained its ego!)
As a result of this successful ruse, Phrenicea became — brain by brain — an enormous body of knowledge, experience and wisdom thanks to the naïve generosity of thousands of brain donors.