Roleplayer
Roleplayer #25, August 1991

The Rivers of Minds

by Stefan Jones

Almost all adult kee (96%) are members of a information network that uses a form of technological "telepathy." FTL transceivers are implanted directly in each kee's brain. Communication is received either audibly, or in the form of meaning-laden pictographs. Communication through the Rivers of Minds is extremely fast and efficient; skilled netspeakers can keep up five or six conversations at once. Ordinary speech is used only when dealing with youngsters or unconnected adults, and on intimate, artistic or ceremonial occasions.

Except for vital signs monitors (which are permanently linked with medical facilities), Net use is purely voluntary; netmembers can't read or "hack" each other's minds. Youngsters are forbidden from using the Rivers of Minds; the individuality-loving kee fear that joining the Rivers of Minds before adulthood might cause the races to involuntarily merge into a mass-mind. Even so, much of the intellectual activity of the Jowuril Kee takes place via Net conversations. The amount and variety of information surging through the Rivers of Minds at a given time is staggering; a human tapping into this raging sea of babbling voices and flickering symbols would be swamped and driven insane in moments.

The ebjo jarum kee communicate with their living brethren through the Rivers of Minds. The keeli urom d'kthist can listen in on Net conversations as well. Occasionally the personalities of long-dead kee stored in that vast memory store surface to send messages to their descendants.

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