Trope-a-Day: Tastes Like Purple

Tastes Like Purple: Comes along with switching bodies and having sensory modalities available to you that aren’t part of your natural heritage. Until your mind and brain both adapt to the new information they’re receiving, you tend to spend some time staggering around babbling about how everything tastes like purple, looks like F sharp, and smells like orthogonality.

The other common situation in which it occurs (leaving aside dreamer’s honey and other fun recreations) is when an adult is fitted with a neural lace, rather than having one grow naturally. In the latter case, you see, it learns how to speak brain right along with the brain; in the former, it has to figure it out after the fact, which bedding-in process has results much like the above until everything’s bedded in properly.

Trope-a-Day: Technopath

Technopath: A ubiquitous talent in the more civilized Worlds (largely because Everything Is Online, including people’s brains – usually with both regular old WiFi and a high-bandwidth laser-port in the back of the neck that interfaces with any of a large number of comfortable chairs.) This is also how the majority of people do much of their jobs – be it the botboss conducting a mechanical symphony of drones from amidst them, or a group of high-level engineers collectively managing the affairs of a vast industrial complex from the comfort of their virtuality couches, the I-think-it-and-it-happens interface is where it’s at.

Heck, in lesser matters, you don’t even have to think it. One of the advantages of having your muse – the AI in your head – read your mind and pass selected relevant data on to, say, your house brain is that it can arrange to light the fire, turn the lights down low, put on some soft music, fetch that new book you hadn’t got around to reading yet, and pour you a glass of wine before your conscious mind quite realizes that you want a quiet evening at home, much less worked through all the tedious details of how to get one.

Trope-a-Day: Computer Voice

Computer Voice: Played straight with house brains and some institutional computers that talk to everyone around.  Played somewhat straight with muses, terminals, and various other more personal machines, with the twist that they’re talking to you inside your own head, on a secondary audio channel that doesn’t interfere with your ability to hear.  And can pick up your surface thoughts in reply, not just your subvocalization.  No-one wants to have the cellphone-conversation social problem made 10,000 times worse by people’s personal computing devices, after all.

And the voices, even the internal ones, are generally completely customizable to the user.  After all, when you have a constant companion inside your own head, you want to enjoy listening to them, right?

Trope-a-Day: Comm Link

Comm Link: In the modern era, the ubiquitous neural lace, which is actually built into your brain, or at least, wrapped around your brain so you can talk with your thoughts.  Earlier than that, the wearable virtual interface, which was worn as fancy glasses and a few other discreet devices, and subvocalization was the order of the day.  Earlier than that, the ubiquitous (and often still carried as a display/collaboration device) terminal, which was basically a fancy smartphone/tablet, only with more computing power and based on mesh networking sending digitally encoded audio in encrypted network packets rather than our cellular system (see Can You Hear Me Now?) – its descendants still use the same back end.

By themselves, they don’t help you accessing alternative communications or if you’re outside of the range of their parent network, but you can add supplemental devices to your personal-area network to interface with alternative systems, or reach the network from out of range via relay, satellite, or even tangle.