"[Science fiction] is the one literary medium left in which we have a free hand. We can do any damn thing we please."
- Alfred Bester
||A drug that breaks down the ability of the brain to perceive space and physical objects properly, or in sequence; a new universe opens.
|Phil Westerburg, the Los Angeles Police Agency chief deputy coroner, said to General Felix Buckman, his superior, "I can explain the drug best this way. You haven't heard of it because it isn't in use yet; she must have ripped it off from the academy's special-activities lab." He sketched on a piece of paper. "Time-binding is a function of the brain. It's a structuralization of perception and orientation."
"Why did it kill her?" Buckman asked. It was late and his head hurt. He wished the day would end; he wished everyone and everything would go away. "An overdose?" he demanded.
"We have no way of determining as yet what would constitute an overdose with KR-3. It's currently being tested on detainee volunteers at the San Bernardino forced-labor camp, but so far" - Westerburg continued to sketch - "anyhow, as I was explaining. Time-binding is a function of the brain and goes on as long as the brain is receiving input. Now, we know that the brain can't function if it can't bind space as well ... but as to why, we don't know yet. Probably it has to do with the instinct to stabilize reality in such a fashion that sequences can be ordered in terms of before-and-after - that would be time - and, more importantly, space-occupying, as with a three-dimensional object as compared to, say, a drawing of that object."
Westerburg, refraining from sketching, said, "A drug such as KR-3 breaks down the brain's ability to exclude one unit of space out of another. So here versus there is lost as the brain tries to handle perception. It can't tell if an object has gone away or if it's still there. When this occurs the brain can no longer exclude alternative spatial vectors. It opens up the entire range of spatial variation. The brain can no longer tell which objects exist and which are only latent, unspatial possibilities. So as a result, competing spatial corridors are opened, into which the garbled percept system enters, and a whole new universe appears to the brain to be in the process of creation."
|From Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said,
by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Doubleday in 1974
Additional resources -
Psychologically, the effect feels like this to the user:
"But to the subject an actualized environment envelopes him, one which is alien to the former one that he always experienced, and he operates as if he had entered a new world. A world with changed aspects ... the amount of change being determined by how great the so-to-speak distance is between the space-time world he formerly perceived and the new one he's forced to function in."
"We occupied two space corridors at the same time, one real, one irreal. One is an actuality; one is a latent possibility among many, spatialized temporarily by the KR-3..."
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