Digital Detoxification Depot
Archibald was always late. His meeting had gone long and his portable analogical simulation unit had been malfunctioning. He knew he should have gotten that taken care of last week, but now he was hustling down State Street before his clock ran out. The world was quickly spinning out of focus. His pulse was rising and his mind was reeling with datastrips, image packets, video environments, relationary equations, human networks, and machinic protocols. Sweat started to drip down his forehead and his eyes were starting to go fuzzy. He staggered past a crowd of blissfully smiling people up the hazy front steps of the Digital Detoxification Depot which was dutifully spewing its haze on to the street outside. These people seemed to look to the bit strewn world with an almost euphoric rapture, like children gazing upon the ocean for the first time.
At this point in the history of the digital revolution a content limit had been reached. The speed and saturation of daily life with connectivity had produced an irrevocable deterioration of the body’s ability to bounce back into “natural” reality. With most of his time spent in the digital virtual world it was necessary for Archibald to replenish his analog conditioning and awareness for 2 hours in a Depot for every 33 hours he was connected to the Network. Otherwise his mind would become fried and he would become one of the Computors, perpetually existing in a spiral of information halfway between the life of an avatar and that of a comatose vegetable. His society had to develop a renewed focus on spaces that would reenergize them in the face of this technological exhaustion. But it was no longer enough to simply get on the freeway in search of open space for a picnic next to a waterfall. Sensory overload via the power of the Detox system was on the only way to reboot ones capacity to feel.
Archibald slipped through the door, disengaged his ocular computer implant and collapsed into a fold in the floor. During the next few hours he went through a series of rooms in which his traditional five senses went through a regimen of analogically restorative procedures as administered through the building. A thick cool fog descended over him lowering his blood pressure as his chair began to slowly emit a low humming frequency that shook him to his bones. Patterns and color tones swathed the room reseting his sensory presets to basic norms. The room proceeded to slowly cycle between high pressure humid climes where the liquid suspended in the air could be cut with a knife and arid low pressure environments in which he could almost taste the desert dust in the air. The walls swelled and contracted in time with the varying pressures and temperatures. Saturated smells, tones, and textures permeated the air lulling him into a trance and restoring his instinctive relation to the world. An hour in, once fully relaxed he left the silence of the isolation chamber and proceeded to the communal pit where he sat with others around the caveman tv. Sitting around what the floor that acted as a fire pit they warmed themselves by the radiation that emanated and recounted stories of almost lost sensations from camping trips they may or may not have taken as kids. The room slowly hummed in response to their collective memories as they returned to normality. Feeling fresh and with senses temporarily rejuvenated Archibald and the others got up out of their chairs and walked to the door. Taking a deep breath of the crisp city air he slipped his Net-connect bud back in his ear and reconnected his neural network to those of the other denizens of his digital world. As the voices in his head chirped to life and his eyes glazed over Archibald started back toward his office for the afternoon meeting.