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"Retire? Yeah, I want to die with my head in the typewriter. That's my idea of retirement."
- Alfred Bester

Ego-Likeness  
  An extremely detailed portrait played through a shigawire projector; capable of reproducing minute movements said to convey the ego essence of a person.  

This is a remarkable idea; it is more than a portrait, and more than a recording of a person's mannerisms. It is a portrait which presents a likeness that is evocative of the person himself or herself. It would be a picture that would remain true regardless of how the person changed their external appearance with hair length or color, beard or no beard, and so forth.

The impression given in the book is that this is an expensive process; only the wealthy can afford it.

My father, the Padishah Emperor, took me by the hand one day and I sensed in the ways my mother had taught me that he was disturbed. He led me down the Hall of Portraits to the ego-likeness of the Duke Leto Atreides. I marked the strong resemblance between them--my father and this man in the portrait--both with thin, elegant faces and sharp features dominated by cold eyes. "Princess-daughter,"my father said, "I would that you'd been older when it came time for this man to choose a woman." My father was 71 at the time and looking no older than the man in the portrait, and I was but 14, yet I remember deducing in that instant that my father secretly wished the Duke had been his son, and disliked the political necessities that made them enemies.
From Dune, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1965
Additional resources -

From the standpoint of technology, an ego-likeness is "portraiture reproduced through a shigawire projector that is capable of reproducing subtle movements said to convey the ego essence." Dune, for all of its action and technology, is a deeply introspective work. Although various forms of consciousness are explored (including transcendent states), the ego of the person is important and is left intact.

See also construct, a kind of artificial intelligence program that comprises the personality of a person.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dune
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Dune
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Ego-Likeness-related news articles:
  - Project Your Personality In Photos

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