A little to esoteric in the reference?
Let me explain.
Philip K Dick wrote about both devices in his classic Sci-Fi novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? A somewhat edited version for those who donâ€™t care for the smell of ink on wood pulp would be the movie Blade Runner.
Ever since I read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? I have been waiting eagerly for technology to catch up with the brilliant concept behind the Penfield Mood Device. Someone using this device can dial in emotions or even a regiment of feelings for the day and then go about their business. Get up each morning and dial in that you are a fantastic rider. No stunt is too hard or too impossible. Think how much more would be achieved if that pesky subconscious wasnâ€™t always rearing up its nasty head with nagging thoughts like: â€œWhat really? Youâ€™re going to jump that?â€ Or â€œI donâ€™t see this ending well at allâ€¦â€ One would never be slamming on the hand brakes and sailing over the handlebars from last minute second thoughts. We would all be transformed effortlessly into incredibly proficient riders.
The Empathy Box, on the other hand, is a little trickier. In the novel, the user grips onto handles attached to the box and is transported/fused into the subconscious of another person. In the book this happens to be Wilbur Mercer, but think about being telekinetically connect with a Pro Rider. How much easier could it be to pick up knowledge and skills when you are experiencing the ride via an expert rider? You would literally be â€˜dialed inâ€™ to borrow a phrase.
The draw back? Any injury sustained while piggy backing on the otherâ€™s subconscious while using the empathy box is physically manifested in the real world. Ouch. Better hope you pick the right pro to mind-meld with.
At any case, it doesnâ€™t look as though science has been taking either of these ideas seriously-much to my dismay- so it looks like we are stuck learning to ride the old fashioned, and perhaps, more gratifying way. By trail and error. And hey, whatâ€™s a bloody knee/dirt in the eye every now and then?