I'll Have My Species Call Your Species A look back at the historic moment that shaped the future of life as we'll know it.
By Stanley Bing

(FORTUNE Magazine) – In the year 2010 there appeared, in one incandescent burst, a new species of Man. And by Man, we mean Woman also. The new species of human being, so designated because it was incapable of mating with previous species (or at least unwilling to do so), was dubbed Homo connectus. "At last, we put the whole thing together," said genetechnical engineer Albert Feinstein, the visionary who was there at the creation. His quotation rocketed around the world and made its author an instant celebrity on the intraplanetary ecomedia system.

A million years before, a similar genetic event took place and a new human type was born. Where his predecessor was short, bunchy, and hirsute, this new individual was tall, lean, and covered like a baby duck with a fine mist of eiderdown. His muscles were a beautiful thing to behold. The previous human looked over the new one and with the best part of his brain realized that his day had passed. A thousand thousand years later Homo sapiens looked at what God and Albert Feinstein had wrought and faced the same brutal truth.

It happened on July 18 in the 11th year of the century, in a suburb of New York City, in the small laboratory that Feinstein ran on behalf of several entertainment and communications conglomerates seeking to perfect the ultimate consumer of their services. Feinstein had been at his job for almost ten years, experimenting with the threshold at which the human brain loses its tone and texture under increasing amounts of data, sound, and digital input. Then lightning struck.

For the historic experiment he selected an individual from the generation of business executives who had never operated without the benefit of cellular telephones, portable faxes, instant messaging systems, and the other accoutrements of digital broadband connectivity. "These people have been surrounded by hyperelectromagnetic activity since birth," Feinstein has since observed. "With the advent of broadband intercranial downloading in 2008, all things became possible, and the paradigm of an entirely new form of humanity became thinkable."

It is not completely clear that such is what Feinstein had in mind when he chose George Slobodkin as the first recipient of the newly developed CMNB (critical mass neural bundle) that was uploaded into his skull that hot July day in 2010. What is known is this. The Slobodkin brain had been softened and lightly scrambled by a lifetime of unceasing telecommunications input, which had left it spongy and ripe for a total change in its chemical and structural makeup.

On the day in question the subject enjoyed a typical lunch hour, during which he received 14 pages on his beeper implant subsystem and made no fewer than six extended calls from his cell. On the way back to the lab he was seen receiving data on his Palm while viewing at the same time a short industrial feature on file-compression technology that had been pulled down off a bird in transit. His cochlear auditory unit was receiving stock quotations. All was in order.

The CMNB packet was uploaded at approximately 2:37 P.M. It was immediately evident that something marvelous was transpiring. The subject's eyes smoked slightly and his ears turned a variety of primary colors. Most interesting, a not inconsiderable amount of grayish fluid, later found to be brain matter, leaked out of the subject's nose, and all his hair fell out, as did his incisors and molars. He collapsed and writhed on the floor for several moments and then got up a new man, literally.

Feinstein rushed to the subject and made certain tests, determining that what stood before him was an individual no longer fully organic, for this being monitored his own activity with senses augmented by digital technology embedded in the very marrow of his bones, the interstitial neural network of his brain, and the muscles and nerves that ran his autonomic system.

Slobodkin's first words--"Oh, mommy. That was weird"--are of course history. Less well known are the difficulties the subject encountered at first when he went back to his job as a senior vice president at a dot-com concern. Slobodkin was not recognizably human in the accepted sense of the word. His eyes no longer focused in the accustomed way but whirred and jiggled in their sockets disconcertingly. He no longer had to rely on speech, simply uploading his thoughts, feelings, and opinions into nearby cell phones, pocket calculators, and, at least once, a smoke detector.

Like all who are different in this world, he was shunned, particularly by attractive women. It was not until Feinstein succeeded in creating the first digital female, Edna Purvis, that Slobodkin's lot improved. The couple's operating systems were immediately found to be compatible--no thanks to engineers at Microsoft.

The couple were married in the fall of 2012, and the rest you probably know. With the birth of their child, Randall, the new species, Homo connectus, was so designated by an international tribunal. By that time an industry had been born dedicated to the creation of this new form of humanity, and its waiting rooms, treatment facilities, and upgrade centers were full to bursting. In 2018, Blue Cross/Blue Shield became the first virtual insurance company to provide coverage for the procedure, and corporations began sending their senior management for transformation in droves.

Today Homo connectus and Homo sapiens live side by side in harmony. The former accomplishes all executive functions in a variety of important businesses and makes the most money per capita. The lower form of life still burbles along in its own streambed, being necessary mostly for functions that require any sort of what used to be called thinking.

Let us take a moment to salute our forefathers and mothers for making our bright, multispecies world a reality. Our heads must come off to those early pioneers of connectivity in the Narrow Ages, without whom none of this would have been possible. Thanks to them, we can look forward to a future where no one need ever be alone; where other people's thoughts, ideas, pictures, and sounds are in our heads always; where the gigantic computerized nexus that binds all human beings to one another can never be broken.

Get me out of here!

By day, STANLEY BING is a real executive at a real FORTUNE 500 company he'd rather not name. He can be reached at stanleybing@aol.com.