Cleanliness
In a world of ultra-tech carpets, remote-control bodmods, and other computer-controlled gadgets, cleanliness is not simply a matter of taking a shower every day. Where once (pre-Singularity and pre-nanotech Old Earth) people only had to watch what they touched or ate or wallowed in, now people must also beware what they look at, hear, or receive via other I/O ports. Embodied folk need more advanced devices than a pressurized water jet to ensure their freedom from viral madverts, brainhacks or backdoors, and sensoriders. This applies especially to those with internal and/or external enhancements, but can also apply to Joe Baseline, whose slow, outmoded pinkware can also be hacked by nanobots or insidious meme-programming (read: subliminals).

An entire industry is based around the concept of mental cleanliness. You can buy optional wireless attachments to shower nozzles that perform antivirus functions, scan for unauthorized nanobots (though eliminating them requires further options), and otherwise sanitize the cortex and associated add-ons. Homes can have blocking firmware installed, from the simple anti-spam filters to advanced nanobot intrusion countermeasures. In repressive regimes, mandatory mental sanitation may be instated, involving government-monitored "showers" at customs stations and, potentially, public building entrances.
 
Related Articles
 
Appears in Topics
 
Development Notes
Text by Pran Mukherjee

Initially published on 31 December 2007.