[sl4] Bluetooth Suicide Story. Has Nanobots

From: Eric Burton (brilanon@gmail.com)
Date: Wed Oct 15 2008 - 16:08:11 MDT

Here's a story I wrote on my now-defunct blog -- can anyone spare a
shell account? :P -- that I present for your consideration, amusement,
and possible edification. It's about nanoassemblers, but I wrote this
in '06 when those were still very much the stuff of legend. So to me,
it seems prescient, although not an awful lot in the world of
nanoassemblers has changed since then.

It is also about suicide, which is a contentious subject, but my blog
was for the very git 'ard. The morbidness herein represents my
angst... I had angst. I hope it's enjoyed!

Suicide by ingestion of nanobot atom-mills.
This phrase occurred to him, as it had a lot lately, as he fell
sideways. He hit the ground and began to convulse.
There were a lot of uses for nanobot atom-mills. They had critical
applications in chemical plants, water purification, manufacturing
protein and vitamins. They pulled material in one end and emitted a
new one out the other. They could assemble simple structures:
crystals, molecular lattices, more atom-mills. Internally, crippled
atom-mill prescriptions were available to convert unsightly cellulite
into energizing glucose or belligerent testosterone into soothing
If some madman could give them tiny wings and the mouthparts of a
mosquito or a buzzsaw then no doubt all life was doomed, but the
consensus was that they were much too small for that to happen. The
more real concern, a growing one, was the black-market distribution of
cutting-edge nanobot cultures -- and the unethical uses it allowed.
Turning water to wine could now be done by the bathtub, practically
and in hours, for the fair price of a few grams of sugar -- if you
could just get the technology.
Well he'd got the technology and he had no want for more material
gain. He'd wondered what to turn to -- gold? Lead? Meat? He'd
considered meat -- if he went to the trouble of programming the mills
to preserve his abdominal organs then they'd find him starved to
death, a skinless brainless flesh doll incapable of mastication with
its tiny flesh teeth. That had seemed interesting.
But instead he'd chosen cocaine, and he knew right away it was the
right choice. He was humming to himself as he scrolled through the
control software's molecular menu and, when he was sure he'd set the
properties appropriately, he sent the program over Bluetooth. In a few
minutes he was high. Now, he was dying.
He'd die of stimulation, not transsubstantiation, and that was
immensely comforting. Eventually, he did die. When anyone finally came
to see why he hadn't paid the rent there was no sign of the man --
only a hundred and sixty pounds of bloody cocaine.
Eric B

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