5

I wrote this paragraph with my character pulling out a laptop, when he literally has a computer Chipped into his Arm???

Greyson entered his study, he got his computer out of it’s briefcase and turned it on, the loading screen took a long time and when he entered his login information, he immediately began a dutiful search of the chimera in his living room. He searched for key terms and physical features. After about two hours of searching, he came up with nothing, so he logged off and grabbed his coat. He was doing some actual investigating.

I don't know how to re-write this without changing half of my story's technology. Can I get some pointers on how to change it?

For clarification, I am not asking you to fix it, just asking for pointers

(I re-wrote the whole paragraph and used the suggestions you guys gave me, this is the improved result.)

Still owning a laptop (for security purposes), Greyson entered the third room on the right in his home -his study- to research. Dusty from disuse, he wiped off his white metallic fibre desk, now browning with age. The old relic from his past sat in the center of the table, waiting to be used. Greyson walked back to close the door and turn the lights on, the bright fluorescent bulbs illuminated the bare, white room. His desk chair was leaning against the far wall, facing the center if the open space. There were no windows in the study, and no clock as well, but it did have a glass floor that looked over the garage. He saw down to his car and hover bike, Haku’s was homemade and parked right beside his own. He smiled a little and sat down in the chair, scooting it to the edge of the desk, where he turned the power button on and entered his code: 5073029. Haku’s birthday. He began immediately and searched the World Wide Web for renowned scientists. His search for biological scientists was extensive, and deep. He managed to get in touch with the black market to see if they were selling similar beasts (they were, but none that matched his description). ‘This is ridiculous,’ Greyson thought to himself, rubbing his calloused hands over his exhausted face. ‘I need to go to the source, but there’s only this lead for India,’ he threw his hands up in exasperation and slumped in his seat. ‘There’s a circus there, though.’

He downloaded the details for the circus into his holophane computer in his arm, grabbed his coat, and began packing for a long trip.

closed as off-topic by Craig Sefton, Galastel, sudowoodo, Sweet_Cherry, JP Chapleau Aug 29 '18 at 12:33

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question appears to be off-topic because asking what to write or asking for help rephrasing a sentence or passage are both off-topic here, as such questions are very unlikely to help anybody else." – Craig Sefton, Galastel, sudowoodo, Sweet_Cherry, JP Chapleau
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  • 7
    There's perfect logic to this: I have a laptop. I have a phone. I'm looking to invest in a desktop. Most of my time on both is spent reading information and writing responses... But I tend to be brief on my phone because the keyboard is not as easy to use as my laptop's or desktops. I currently use my laptop to write long stuff, but the fact that it's in constant transit means I have to put it away when I'm moving with it... a desktop is rarely moved, so at home, I would like that. It's also a bit more powerful... but I don't want it to listen to music at the gym. – hszmv Aug 27 '18 at 16:06
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    @AspentheArtistandAuthor: Thanks. There is also the valid answer of "Some people write on Typewriters because the like it for some odd reason." Of course, knowing details about the arm-computer would help my answer better. – hszmv Aug 27 '18 at 16:15
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    @hszmv So glad you asked! The computer in his arm is like a holopane, (what Tony Stark uses in the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie) that slides up and down inside of his arm. The screen shows up against his skin because it is illuminated. It's not tangible because it's under the skin. (I know, horrifying to think about) – Aspen the Artist and Author Aug 27 '18 at 16:24
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    --In addition to that, the searches are archived into the database which is tracked constantly by the government, so he hardly uses it. But it is a good communicator between him and his son. – Aspen the Artist and Author Aug 27 '18 at 16:25
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    If this goes beyond one or two paragraphs, I think this question is worth asking on worldbuilding SE. – Alexander Aug 27 '18 at 16:59
15

In this real world, we still have numerous reasons to use centuries-old technology, right? We still use AM radio from time to time, sewing machines are still in use, we still have a use for washing machines, etc.

The key here is for the laptop to fulfill a niche the chip in his arm doesn't. Maybe his chip doesn't store files as readable .docs or .exes, only a bunch of easily-garbled neural information that can't be read by other systems.

Maybe laptops are the only way to make easily-transferable information. After all, anything that's using the brain as wetware will be difficult to interpret by anyone that isn't the brain of origin, right?

  • Oh my God, you are a genius. – Aspen the Artist and Author Aug 27 '18 at 16:01
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    "We still use AM radio from time to time" Would you be scared, or amazed, if I told you that even the most modern jetliner wouldn't be able to operate normally were it not for its AM radios? When pilots communicate with Air Traffic Control, they almost always do so using AM radio (though not in the AM radio broadcast bands, thankfully), and radio communications (with ATC as well as with other aircraft) is crucial for the normal operation of an aircraft, from potentially the single-seat no-engine barely-any-electrics glider all the way up to huge jets with hundreds of people onboard. – a CVn Aug 27 '18 at 16:44
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    Nassim Taleb, the author of the economic theory books The Black Swan and Antifragile, argues that the older a technology is the more likely it is to still be used in the future. It's an idea that's very much in the spirit of your answer. Here's an article he wrote on the idea: wired.com/2012/12/… – Kevin Aug 27 '18 at 18:20
  • AM radio certainly isn't centuries old, the initial patent being applied for in 1901. – RonJohn Nov 8 '18 at 15:50
8

I see no reason to change it, sure you've got a computer permanently attached to you, that doesn't mean you actually want to use it for everything. There are things you don't want in your on-arm memory if you get caught snooping around by the private security team so you use something independent that you don't have to take with you. Similarly you use a burner phone when you don't want a direct data link between someone you suspect is dodgy and your on-brain communication systems, that way you can ditch the connection at need.

  • Why are the people on this site so much smarter than me? (Thank you for a very helpful pro tip) – Aspen the Artist and Author Aug 27 '18 at 16:02
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    @AspentheArtistandAuthor We're not necessarily any smarter than you, simply standing outside your viewpoint on the subject, a different perspective looks like magic sometimes. – Ash Aug 27 '18 at 16:04
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    Well, either way, you opened my views on this topic, and now I don't have to change it at all. I just have to put reasoning behind it! (: – Aspen the Artist and Author Aug 27 '18 at 16:05
  • @AspentheArtistandAuthor Justification is always easier than rewriting. – Ash Aug 27 '18 at 16:06
  • Agreed, which is why I'm now crediting you in my book lol – Aspen the Artist and Author Aug 27 '18 at 16:07
4

Because modern day computers no longer allow any sort of customisation or allow users to program themselves. This would probably be due to a rapid decline in education, a fascist state trying to take power from users or Apple increasing their market share.

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    Perhaps it is time for us to start considering Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google as fascist states ... – Amadeus Aug 27 '18 at 20:01
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    This would have been my answer. A good parallel (that is fortunately changing in the future) is how iPhones have NFC chips that could in theory be used for a lot of things, but is currently restricted to only using ApplePay - which is only available to customers who sign up with specific banks. For anyone outside of the permitted use cases the hardware is useless. Which leads to us using outdated technology in the form of a physical credit/debit card. – Dar Brett Aug 28 '18 at 3:37
2

Typing on your arm isn't as convenient as typing on a keyboard. Thus, the chip in your arm is mostly storage, and some communication.

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