"I was involved in a cloning project. .. to send me into outer space along with a lot of other people. Not the whole me - just a hair from my head, while I still had some. I would thus pop up in another galaxy in the distant future."
The idea of a construct, or a recording of a person, was introduced in Neuromancer, by the same author. In this quote, however, the concept is given a delightful form, with more detail.
Gibson shows his writing ability by seamlessly fitting tomorrow's concept into a way of life that has endured for millennia. Meditating before pictures of people that you respect is common around the world; in this case, getting an answer is easier. Also, ancestor worship is deeply rooted in Shinto beliefs; certainly, a recorded personality has the power to influence the living world.
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