Li Yao held his breath. He did not expect Professor Mo Xuan to be so outspoken as to tell all the secrets without him asking anything.
Was his professor really up to nothing at all?
The main focus of our studies in the Virtual Spirits Sector was to perfectly simulate the environment of the material world when life was born. To be more specific, we created a virtual primitive planet first and then added more conditions to it, hoping that it would slowly generate virtual fungi, trilobites, dinosaurs, apes and eventually virtual intelligent life.
I regret to say that we were too nave and hasty back then. We completely underestimated the difficulty of creating life and overestimated our computational ability that we could output.
Or rather, it wouldve been useless even if we had infinite computational ability, because computational ability was not proportionate to the soul.
I dont understand, Li Yao said. Can you explain?
Let me use a metaphor. If you have a metal puppet that weighs one ton and has strength a hundred times bigger than a human beings, what will you do if you want to turn it into a real human? By increasing its weight and force? Can the puppet be endowed with wisdom and will when it grows from one ton to a hundred tons and has a million times a human beings strength instead of a hundred?
Deep in thought, Li Yao shook his head.
Of course, nobody is silly enough to do that because weight and strength have nothing to do with consciousness whatsoever. In fact, computational ability is the same. Increasing computational ability crazily is equivalent to turning the weight of the metal puppet from one ton into a hundred tons. No life will be created at all. The only consequence will be collapse!
Its a shame that we did not understand the logic back then. Or rather, we were unwilling to believe the logic.
When there was the earliest sign of primitive life in the Virtual Spirits Sector, we gathered the twelve super crystal processors and poured their computational ability into the Virtual Spirits Sector crazily. Eventually, it crashed.
I do not want to talk much about the crash. You mustve read about it in the news anyway. Despite all the exaggerations, the result is not wrong. Su Changfa was killed in the Virtual Spirits Sector. My soul and Lu Qingchens were heavily wounded. In the end, I aborted the Virtual Spirits Sector project, and Lu Qingchen even betrayed the federation and joined the Imperiums side.
However, let me tell you a secret. I aborted the project not because I was too frustrated but because I suddenly thought everything through when I was about to be torn apart in the turbulence and storms of the Virtual Spirits Sector caused by the infinite computational ability!
Too stupid. I had been too stupid and inflexible before!
It is both impossible and unnecessary to create a virtual life from scratch in only several hundred years because we obviously already have a virtual life, one that is perfect and will absolutely not be against mankind. It is ourselves!
The more he spoke, the more excited Professor Mo Xuan became. He pointed Li Yao and Ling Xiaole!
Li Yao and Ling Xiaole were confused.
Wait Taking a deep breath, Ling Xiaole bit her finger and asked, Professor, can we be counted as virtual life?
Why not? Professor Mo Xuan opened his arms, as if he were embracing the entire world. Look at our status right now. Is it any different from the virtual life you imagined before?
But we have a body! Ling Xiaole said in a hurry. This is a virtual world. Our body is still in the real world!
Watch your words. This is the Spiriters Realm, not a virtual world. Professor Mo Xuans tone turned rarely rigorous. A moment later, he lowered his voice and said, Yes. You do have a body, but ghosts do not. Ghosts are just a clip of complicated, mysterious waves that can be stored in a tiny chip. Therefore, can you agree that ghosts without shells are a virtual life?
Ling Xiaole tilted her head and thought for a long time. II think so. If you must put it that way, ghosts are indeed sort of a virtual life. They are the Spiriters.
Theyre more than that, Professor Mo Xuan said. From the perspective of both law and ethics, ghosts are a member of mankind. Do you agree?
Of course! Li Yao and Ling Xiaole did not hesitate at all.
It was a simple question. Since the Affirmative Action for Ghosts had been enacted two hundred years ago, ghostsor rather, the Spiriterswere already equal to regular humans in terms of legal statues.
Two hundred years was more than enough time to allow most spectral Cultivators to melt into the regular society.
So, you all agree that a human is a human not because of his body but because of his soul, right? Professor Mo Xuan asked. As long as they have the soul of a human, it doesnt matter how their body changes or if their body does not exist at all, right? For example, Representative Lin, if you unfortunately sacrifice yourself in the battle to defend humanity one day in the future and lose your body, only to be reborn as a spectral Cultivator, will you still be a human being?
Li Yao blinked and said, Of course!
Therefore, the body is not important. The real foundation of the life form we know as human is the soul. We are essentially a unique virtual life, Professor Mo Xuan concluded. The so-called body of flesh and blood is nothing but a shell that helps us arrive in the material world for activities. It is similar to a crystal suit, except that the crystal suit of flesh and blood is gear that we are born in, like the eggshell for ovipara!
Because the body is just a shell, it doesnt matter if the body exists or what it looks like. It doesnt matter if the body has horns. It doesnt matter whether the body can lift a weight of fifty kilograms or five thousand. They are just the differences among different models, but they are fundamentally the same, correct? Do you agree?
Li Yao and Ling Xiaole both opened their mouths. Professor Mo Xuans theory sounded ridiculous at first, but as they thought about it more carefully, they somehow found that it was absolutely flawless!
If they admitted that ghosts and demons were a member of mankind, then the only conclusion would be that the appearance of the body of a human did not matter at all and that it was the soul that really counted!
Therefore, the body of flesh and body was just a shell, and human beings were a virtual life form in the first place!
You understand my stupidity in the beginning now, dont you? Professor Mo Xuan mumbled in self-mockery. Mankind is a virtual life. Yet, I turned a blind eye to such an obvious fact and dedicated myself to the creation of a brand-new virtual life instead of reaching my hands for what was right next to me. My attempt even led to a catastrophic accident. It was truly stupid of me.
Wrong. Wrong. Our previous studies were fundamentally wrong. As the technology on crystal processors and the Spiritual Nexus developed explosively, the key point that we should focus on is not to create a brand-new virtual life but to make human beings take a leap in the path of evolution and enter a new form where they are completely virtualized!
Li Yao suddenly raised his hand.
Whats your question, Representative Lin?
Professor Mo Xuan, I wonder, if the laws of this world permit, could you make a giant rainbow lollipop first and introduce the rest of the information while licking it?
Why would I do that?
Because I feel that you truly look like one of the ambitious supervillains in the fictions, games, and movies right now. Im getting quite nervous. Therefore, I was wondering if the atmosphere would be more comfortable if you talked while licking a lollipop.
Well, professor, I second Special Representative Lins proposal, Ling Xiaole said. Your theory is indeed a bit creepy.
He snapped his fingers and then delved into his pocket. Then, he truly picked out a big, round rainbow lollipop. Ripping the package, he licked the lollipop carefully and said, If you are still nervous, would you feel better if I tell you that all those theories have been written into books and delivered to the leadership of the federal government and the major academic institutions, and that every corner in the entire Carefree World, including the conversation we are having right now, is being closely monitored by the Secret Sword Bureau?
I can even ask the Secret Sword Agents who are monitoring this place to join us. Perhaps you will even recognize a few colleagues from them. Do you want me to do it?
A middle-aged man whose eyes were deep and whose face was solemn was now licking a giant rainbow lollipop carefully. It was indeed quite a weird scene.
However, it did wash away the gloomy and zealous atmosphere from a moment ago.
Li Yao and Ling Xiaole both blinked. It did make sense. As the special representative of the Speaker of the Star Ocean Republic, Li Yao was there to visit such a highly confidential project as the Tinder Plan. It would be utterly unreasonable if he was not spied on by the Secret Sword Bureau.
I know what you are thinking, but things are not exactly what you imagine them to be, Professor Mo Xuan said casually. Representative Lin, under normal circumstances, how much time do you spend on the crystal processors and cyberspace every day?
Li Yao thought for a moment and replied, Counting the training in the Grand Illusionary Land, ten hours or so. After all, for Cultivators of my level whose computational ability and soul are powerful enough, we can lengthen time in the Grand Illusionary Land and turn one hour into three to four hours. A lot of training and deduction work can be done in the virtual world.
Professor Mo Xuan nodded. What about you, Miss Ling?
Ling Xiaole thought for a moment and replied, Its not fixed. When Im on a mission, it will be shorter, but Im basically online all the time during holidays. So, its also ten hours or so on average.
Alright. You are both very close to the average online time in the federation. Professor Mo Xuan smiled. According to the latest statistics, after exchanging all the time lengths in different planets and starships into twenty-four hours a day, the average time that a person in the federation spends on the Spiritual Nexus every day is nine hours and twenty-two minutes. For the active age group between eight and a hundred and twenty, their average online time is twelve hours and thirty-three minutes a day.
Although the time is only half an entire day, almost all the important things that modern people do, i.e. entertainment, socialization, self-improvement everything is done on the Spiritual Nexus.
We can even say that the focus of modern human life has long been completely and irreversibly shifted to cyberspace!
I would like to ask you a question. If you have to spend half of your life and do ninety percent of the important things in your life, including work, training, friend-making, and so on, through the Spiritual Nexus, and you are even glad to do things in such a way, are you really a carbon-based life form or a virtual life form? Do your souls live in cyberspace or in the material world? Is the body of flesh and blood in your so-called reality not just a shell that ensures that you can surf online normally and allows you to reproduce for the next generation who will also surf online?
Is it really difficult to admit that mankind is a virtual life and cyberspace is our future, our foundation, and our everything? Professor Mo Xuan declared resolutely while biting his rainbow lollipop hard.