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"Another reason why privacy could be just a passing fad, terrorism is going to get too good. [1997]"
- Larry Niven

Brain Rejuvenation  
  Erase unnecessary parts of memory to make room for new impressions.  

"...our life span has been so tremendously increased that 85,000 cycles is not an uncommon age among us. That is because there are no parts to wear out. But what does happen is this: You know that the brain is only capable of absorbing a certain amount of knowledge and ideas. In the case of such a race as your own where the lifetimes are so short, this fact is of no account, as you probably only use a small fraction of your total mental capacity. But with us it is different. After a very long time the brain becomes saturated and loses the power of recording any new impression. When this occurs the individual is no longer conscious of the present but of the past only. Originally, as such a one was of no use to the community, they used to be painlessly exterminated. But in the light of advanced science it became possible to make certain operations on them which destroyed all the less important impressions and thus partially rejuvenated the brain. Each Extrosian can survive about forty of these treatments which are undergone once every two thousand cycles. After the brain has taken more than forty treatments, it grows stale and becomes worn out. Then it is extinguished. I myself am comparatively young, for I have as yet only taken eight treatments."
From The Message From Space, by David M. Speaker.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1930
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Science Fiction in the News

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'the registration number which the traffic control automatically photographed as she left the controlway...'

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