Picture-perfect for the virtual reality suit,” approves Pamela. She wants to install an Earth hike in the capsule to complement another from Twin. The twin planet has beautiful landscapes, but no geological drama like the Rockies. Hiking to Emerald Lake, we missed this Nymph Lake view at first, but on the way back a few lucky steps off the trail reveal it all: the little beach, the water lilies, the fluid shades of aqua, the rugged mountain backdrop. Squirrels prancing for nuts, Clarks calling from pine trees; they know most hikers carry some trail mix.
I ask how this majestic reality can be squeezed into a capsule. Pamela suggests we are already in a virtual reality of sorts. Our senses receive signals from the outside world, the brain fuses them, the mind projects it outward, and that’s our reality. But when a signal skips the track, a subject may “see” music. That shows how our reality is built from signals received by the brain. If a computer can replicate to our senses what they are taking in right now, our mind puts us right back in here. “But that must take huge amounts of information,” I wonder.
Virtual Reality Suit: Quantum Supercomputer.
“Something like a quadrillion bits per second,” reckons Pamela. The suit has superfast quantum processors wherever information is to be transmitted or received: around the head, body, the fingers… The crew is encased in one massively parallel computer. “But if the computer is dispersed throughout the virtual reality suit, how does it all tie together?” Pamela remembers Harmony talking about this – a phenomenon known as entangled quantum particles keeps connections unaffected by distance.
“Say the two of us feel cramped in the capsule, and want to go back to Nymph Lake. What do we do?” Pamela explains that every virtual room in the capsule is programmed with a door. You approach the door and command it to open to another room of choice. From your virtual bedroom, you tell the door to open to the bathroom. Or the kitchen, or the flight deck. If we say, “Hike to Nymph Lake,” that’s where we go. We get the views, the sounds of nature, and are free to stretch and move around. And the door will appear in some tree or rock when we call it to go back. One can bypass the door, especially in an emergency. For Pamela a bit creepy: you drop everything and instantly are someplace else.
Now the Human Factor.
Back at the Bear Lake trailhead for a pit stop and shuttle to the parking lot. One last question: “With all this powerful technology, can people tell what is virtual versus what is real?” Pamela does not think so on the flight deck which is sight unseen. But in more familiar scenes they can because of the signals being digitized. Just like music lovers find analog recordings more faithful than digital. Harmony also believed there was a spiritual difference – we live in unity with nature and the Creator, but in a computer program there is no God.
Driving down to the Grant Valley, Pamela hums Merle’s timeless: “And if God doesn’t live in Colorado, I’ll bet that’s where He spends most of His time.” Must’ve heard it at Alpha’s and Otis’s place. It’s good to see Pamela recovered from the tragic death of her friend Harmony. She sits next to me looking great, energized by the hike, and I’m glad this is not some computer virtuality but the real thing.
Interested in more stories? Join #TheTwin Readers Community.