Most people believe that there are only two real certainties: death and taxes. In California’s Silicon Valley, they laugh in the face of both. Here they get tax-breaks from the state government to pursue weird techno-dreams that defy death.
One dream is to convert all the thoughts and experiences within a person’s mind into a digital form and then upload it into some alternative bio-machine, an avatar if you like, that can go on living forever, even when their own human bodies and brains turn to dust. On the streets of the Silicon Valley, the first mass-produced avatar is now a common sight. Here, the three-legged, one-eyed avatar is fashioned together from dead physical remains of digitally-uploaded humans along with lab-cultured mammalian body parts made of plastic meat and silicone.
This three-legged, one-eyed, silicone-textured variety is selected because they are cheap and easy to make (cheap for billionaires, that is) and they are a little more stable than any two-legged varieties.
For some, these avatars are kind of cute and colorful. For others, they are so abominable they have scary nicknames thrown at them; being called 'Frankinbeasts' by some and 'Valley Zombies' by others. Yet for Silicon Valley technophiles they are a shot at immortality, an opportunity to live in on in a post-Death world.
Whatever, the only cities that don't outlaw their free-roaming existence are all in Silicon Valley, and here, they sell like hotcakes.
Of course, like all new technologies, there are unforeseen risks, and in the race to get the avatars out and into the market to serve dead and dying techno-freaky geeks and to make living techie-entrepreneurs lots of money, most of the avatars are not always perfectly engineered for the city environs. Sometimes, they clumsily bump into people, into each other, and into passing cars (self-driving ones and human-driven ones, alike). Other times they spill out toxic effluvia into the face of children, or swing their third-leg a little too eagerly and whack an elderly person in the mouth. In fact, they are so accident-prone, annoying and clumsy that most cities around the world end up outlawing-them altogether for safety reasons. But in Silicon Valley (soon to be re-dubbed Silicone Valley) they are free to roam around the streets at will.