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Smart Bodies: A Future Story From KurzWorld 2025

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A short, speculative story about how nanomite technology might allow humans to enhance our own bodies with technology.

Coach Kurzweil ushered the basketball team onto bus at Harvard to take that short trip to that little “Trade School” MIT, and he thought about the Flubber movies by Disney. In both the original, with Fred McMurray, and the Robin Williams version, the trick was to have the kids’ shoes enhanced with Flubber.

For his team, however, Professor Ray Kamen had gone beyond the concept of external tools. Before each season began, the team members were sprayed with Kamen’s nano suit so that the thin layer of nanomite muscle enhancers could seep into their bodies. Thanks to the enhancement, the boys from Harvard had made it to the sweet 16 of the NCAA for the second year in a row.

Once all the team members were “suited up,” Professor Kamen explained that the nanos would wash off over the next few days, but for the next three hours of scrimmages the Nanos would be providing muscular feedback that would be part of the their physical memory for the entire season.

Coach Kurzweil told the team that the day’s scrimmages were going to be orchestrated and not really a game. For the first hour they would have a game using the regular play book so that the nanos could evaluate and record the optimum muscle movements for each team member. The second phase would be a series of one-on-ones to allow the nanomites to enhance the players’ muscle memory by “playing back” the recording as the student athlete jumped, pass and shoot.

Kurzweil knew that the new freshman would need to be convinced. He had the proof of the program’s success in his amazing (and unfortunately senior) center, Rodriguez.

Kurzweil had Rodriguez stand next to him. At only six feet, three inches tall, he would normally not be considered center material. In fact, Rodriguez was recruited as a forward, but through the years the nano memory enhancer had improved his rebounding ability.

To prove the point, the coach asked the entire freshman team to put on a glove with paint in the palm and hit the wall at the highest point they could reach. Most of the kids, with a running start, managed to hit the wall at about nine and a half feet – not enough to dunk the ball. Then Rodriquez did an 11-foot vertical jump.

Rodriguez spoke to the other students.  “I have been tested for steroids, accused of blood doping and all sorts of crazy stuff,” he said. “The reality is that what we are doing here is learning. We are physically learning what best way is for each of us to do the fundamentals of this game. When the nanomites are gone, all that is left is the memory.”




Edited by Ken Briodagh
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