Totally Fake Recall: Buy Proof of Trips Not Taken

Persey Tours, a travel agency in Moscow, was a failure at offering real tours. It has achieved success in recent months, however, by offering fake vacations instead.

For just 13,460 rubles (about $500 in American currency), Persey Tours will sell you all of the stuff you would expect to have after your exotic vacation: faked ticket stubs, hotel receipts and even photos with your picture professionally superimposed on exotic landmarks.

Just give Dmitry a call; he even faked a trip to the Moon for $2,000—the fake trip of a lifetime for a Siberian gas station owner who wanted to fly to the Moon on Russian space craft.

Science fiction fans will recognize this capitalist impulse—it comes straight from the 1990 film "Total Recall," which was taken from the 1966 Philip K. Dick short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale."

In the story, an ordinary guy wants to take a vacation courtesy of Rekal, Incorporated. At Rekal, they just implant the memories of a great vacation:

"Is an extra-factual memory that convincing?" Quail asked.

"More than the real thing, sir...our analysis of true-mem systems—authentic recollections of major events in a person's life—shows that a variety of details are very quickly lost..."
(Read more about Philip K. Dick's extra-factual memories)

Let's hope Persey Tours doesn't hear about this idea; it turns out that implanting false memories is actually possible. Northwestern University researchers found the area of the brain where it happens; read more about how Northwestern Researchers Can Remember It For You Wholesale.

Fortunately, though, Harvard researchers have been working on a way to distinguish memories of real events from "memories" of events that haven't actually happened: read more about the New Technique That Detects False Memories.

This has been a good week for Phil Dick fans; he is back in the news this week for the movie A Scanner Darkly, taken from his 1977 story of the same name.

Original story here.

(This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission from Technovelgy.com —where science meets fiction.)