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"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Ecstasy Plug  
  An implanted module that allowed a wirehead to plug himself into ordinary house current.  

Gil Hamilton is investigating the death of his friend Owen, finding him in a chair mere feet from food and water. What killed him?

It was a standard surgical job. Owen could have had it done anywhere. A hole in his scalp, invisible under the hair, nearly impossible to find even if you knew what you were looking for. Even your best friends wouldn't know, unless they caught you with the droud plugged in. But the tiny hole marked a bigger plug set in the bone of the skull. I touched the ecstasy plug with my imaginary fingertips, then ran down the hair-fine wire going deep into Owen's brain, down into the pleasure center.

No, the extra current hadn't killed him. What had killed Owen was his lack of willpower. He had been unwilling to get up.

From Death by Ecstasy, by Larry Niven.
Published by Galaxy Magazine in 1969
Additional resources -

See also the entry for droud from the same story.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Death by Ecstasy
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Death by Ecstasy
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Ecstasy Plug-related news articles:
  - 'Sex Chip' Like Niven's Ecstasy Plug
  - Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
  - PEDOT Polymer Could Enhance Brain-Machine Interfaces

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