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Книга A Scanner Darkly. Содержание - 8

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“A federal clinic?” Fred said.

“Yes. Now, what do you see in this drawing, among these particular black and white lines?”

Death City, Fred thought as he studied the drawing. That is what I see: death in pluriform, not in just the one correct form but throughout. Little three-foot-high contract men on carts.

“Just tell me,” Fred said, “was it the Lions Club speech that alerted you?”

The two medical deputies exchanged glances.

“No,” the standing one said finally. “It had to do with an exchange that was—actually—off the cuff, in fact, just bullshitting between you and Hank. About two weeks ago … you realize, there’s a technological lag in processing all this garbage, all this raw information that flows in. They haven’t gotten to your speech yet. They won’t in fact for another couple of days.”

“What was this bullshitting?”

“Something about a stolen bicycle,” the other deputy said. “A so-called seven-speed bicycle. You’d been trying to figure out where the missing three speeds had gone, was that it?” Again they glanced at each other, the two medical deputies. “You felt they had been left on the floor of the garage it was stolen from?”

“Hell,” Fred protested. “That was Charles Freck’s fault, not mine; he got everybody’s ass in an uproar talking about it. I just thought it was funny.”


BARRIS: (Standing in the middle of the living room with a great big new shiny bike, very pleased) Look what I got for twenty dollars.

FRECK: What is it?

BARRIS: A bike, a ten-speed racing bike, virtually brand new. I saw it in the neighbor’s yard and asked about it and they had four of them so I made an offer of twenty dollars cash and they sold it to me. Colored people. They even hoisted it over the fence for me.

LUCKMAN: I didn’t know you could get a ten-speed nearly new for twenty dollars. It’s amazing what you can get for twenty dollars.

DONNA: It resembles the one the chick across the street from me had that got ripped off about a month ago. They probably ripped it off, those black guys.

ARCTOR: Sure they did, if they’ve got four. And selling it that cheap.

DONNA: You ought to give it back to the chick across the street from me, if it’s hers. Anyhow you should let her look at it to see if it’s hers.

BARRIS: It’s a man’s bike. So it can’t be.

FRECK: Why do you say it’s ten speeds when it’s only got seven gears?

BARRIS: (Astonished) What?

FRECK: (Going over to bike and pointing) Look, five gears here, two gears here at the other end of the chain. Five and two …

When the optic chiasm of a cat or a monkey is divided sagittally, the input into the right eye goes only into the right hemisphere and similarly the left eye informs only the left hemisphere. If an animal with this operation is trained to choose between two symbols while using only one eye, later tests show that it can make the proper choice with the other eye. But if the commissures, especially the corpus callosum, have been severed before training, the initially covered eye and its ipsilateral hemisphere must be trained from the beginning. That is, the training does not transfer from one hemisphere to the other if the commissures have been cut. This is the fundamental split-brain experiment of Myers and Sperry (1953; Sperry, 1961; Myers, 1965; Sperry, 1967).

… makes seven. So it’s only a seven-speed bike.

LUCKMAN: Yeah, but even a seven-speed racing bike is worth twenty dollars. He still got a good buy.

BARRIS: (Nettled) Those colored people told me it was ten speeds. It’s a rip-off.

(Everyone gathers to examine bike. They count the gears again and again.)

FRECK: Now I count eight. Six in front, two in back. That makes eight.

ARCTOR: (Logically) But it should be ten. There are no seven— or eight-speed bikes. Not that I ever heard of. What do you suppose happened to the missing gears?

BARRIS: Those colored guys must have been working on it, taking it apart with improper tools and no technical knowledge, and when they reassembled it they left three gears lying on the floor of their garage. They’re probably still lying there.

LUCKMAN: Then we should go ask for the missing gears back.

BARRIS: (Pondering angrily) But that’s where the rip-off is: they’ll probably offer to sell them to me, not give them to me as they should. I wonder what else they’ve damaged. (Inspects entire bike)

LUCKMAN: If we all go together they’ll give them to us; you can bet on it, man. We’ll all go, right? (Looks around for agreement)

DONNA: Are you positive there’re only seven gears?

FRECK: Eight.

DONNA: Seven, eight. Anyhow, I mean, before you go over there, ask somebody. I mean, it doesn’t look to me like they’ve done anything to it like taking it apart. Before you go over there and lay heavy shit on them, find out. Can you dig it?

ARCTOR: She’s right.

LUCKMAN: Who should we ask? Who do we know that’s an authority on racing bikes?

FRECK: Let’s ask the first person we see. Let’s wheel it out the door and when some freak comes along we’ll ask him. That way we’ll get a disheartened viewpoint.

(They collectively wheel bike out front, right off encounter young black man parking his car. They point to the seven—eight?—gears questioningly and ask how many there are, although they can see—except for Charles Freck—that there are only seven: five at one end of the chain, two at the other. Five and two add up to seven. They can ascertain it with their own eyes. What’s going on?)

YOUNG BLACK MAN: (Calmly) What you have to do is multiply the number of gears in front by the number in the near. It is not an adding but a multiplying, because, you see, the chain leaps across from gear to gear, and in terms of gear ratios you obtain five (He indicates the five gears.) times one of the two in front (He points to that.), which give you one times five, which is five, and then when you shift with this lever on the handle-bar (He demonstrates.) the chain jumps to the other one of the two in front and interacts with the same five in the back all over again, which is an additional five. The addition involved is five plus five, which is ten. Do you see how that works? You see, gear ratios are always derived by—

(They thank him and silently wheel the bike back inside the house. The young black man, whom they have never seen before and who is no more than seventeen and driving an incredibly beat-up old transportation-type car, goes on locking up, and they close the front door of the house and just stand there.)

LUCKMAN: Anybody got any dope? “Where there’s dope there’s hope.” (No one

All the evidence indicates that separation of the hemispheres creates two independent spheres of consciousness within a single cranium, that is to say, within a single organism. This conclusion is disturbing to some people who view consciousness as an indivisible property of the human brain. It seems premature to others, who insist that the capacities revealed thus far for the right hemisphere are at the level of an automaton. There is, to be sure, hemispheric inequality in the present cases, but it may well be a characteristic on the individuals we have studied. It is entirely possible that if a human brain were divided in a very young person, both hemispheres could as a result separately and independently develop mental functions of a high order at the level attained only in the left hemisphere of nor mal individuals.



“We know you were one of the people in that group,” the seated medical deputy said. “It doesn’t matter which one. None of you could look at the bike and perceive the simple mathematical operation involved in determining the number of its very small system of gear ratios.” In the deputy’s voice Fred heard a certain compassion, a measure of being kind. “An operation like that constitutes a junior high school aptitude test. Were you all stoned?”

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