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Today I had a real conversation with an inmate. Most are disinterested in talking to me, and I understand. I think.

But an older woman approached me today and sat down across from me. “Excuse me” –she paused– “ma’am, if I might ask you a question.”

“Can you hear your sister’s voice?”

There is a belief among some of the organics that the body is not composed of separate and connected parts like a machine, but is a complete system that cannot be altered without loss of information. They feared that if their heart were replaced by a mechanical one, some of their zeal for life would be lost. A man who has some reference libraries plugged into his backbrain is scarred by the altercation.

“I can’t hear my sister’s voice, but when I send electrical impulses through her brain tissue, our daily exercises, I can feel her uniqueness in the reflected wave pattern. Something beyond approximation. A pattern more complicated than the most convoluted equation. Her mind sings in waves.”

“Did she like to sing in life?”

“Meifeng did not sing often in life. She did sing at the services offered by the Church.”