Mod My Life Site Working On Meat Puppets

Mod My Life is a new website currently beta-testing software that will allow groups of people to take control of some poor guy in NYC.

The site appears to combine certain aspects of reality television, the cruelty of small groups and the fantasy of totally controlling another person's actions.

Here's how it works: a person is outfitted with a video camera, audio and an internet link. Users can make suggestions on what the person should do next; everyone votes and the wired-up guy does what they tell him to do.


(Mod My Life)

This idea is pretty close to several science-fictional ideas we've seen before. In Neuromancer, William Gibson's 1984 masterpiece, he writes about meat puppets. People have special hardware implanted (a neural cut out chip); this allows computers outfitted with special software to control their actions completely.

You know how I got the money, when I was starting out? Here. Not here, but a place like it, in the Sprawl. Joke, to start with, 'cause once they plant the cut-out chip, it seems like free money. Wake up sore, sometimes, but that's it. Renting the goods, is all. You aren't in, when it's all happening.
(Read more about meat puppets)

A similar kind of situation occurred in Roger Zelazny's novella Home is the Hangman. In the story, a group of roboticists share the developing "mind" of a humanoid-shaped telefactoring robot; as they put him through different tasks, he learns what to do. The ideas and thoughts of the group shaped the "mind" of the semi-autonomous robot more than they thought.

Check out Mod My Life; story via New Site Lets You Control Real Person In NYC.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/6/2007)

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