A computer screen places each of us in an interface and virtual reality provides a totally simulated environment, a virtual world that we can enter. Enterface is a novella that examines the question first posed by Michael Heim: How far can we enter cyberspace and still remain human? It also explores the power and the limitation of language and the role of stories to shape reality in human life. Its themes are death, technology, ethics, and love. It is informed by Wittgensteinian philosophy, Norse mythology, and the "metaphysics of virtual reality."
The plot involves Moses Mackinow, a former Air Force officer and entrepreneur, who decides there should be a way to simply live forever. He hits upon the idea that life could be digitized, and a civilization, a world of complete, sentient humans could be created in cyberspace-a world he could enter upon his death and continue to live. A variety of technologies are available to digitize the physical human (x-rays, CTSCNS, Magnetic Resonance Images, graphic images, etc.), but the big problem is how to synthesize his human heart. Moses decides that the stories of his life are the keys to creating the "rag and bone shop" of his eternal heart. Getting the stories "right" is critical to the prospect of digitizing life and is a major focus of the novella action.
The novella traces the reduction of Moses as a human being as he pursues his obsession, compromising one principle after another. Everything in the environment of the novella, reflects this reduction. Everything becomes less than it was, a glimpse of humanity reduced to bits and bytes, floating 1's and 0's. Enterface is a work at war with itself.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
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Masters Thesis (Open Access)
McLeod, Hubert Calip, "Enterface: A Novella" (1999). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 2189.