Discover more from Numb at the Lodge
How to enjoy your SecondSelf Skinset Pro
Love yourself. Love your SecondSelf.
*** WARNING: USER AGREEMENT VIOLATED IF YOU (HENCEFORTH “THE USER”) ATTEMPT TO REPROGRAM, REPURPOSE, REORDER OR REPLACE ANY OF THE MATERIALS PROVIDED BY ETIÄINEN INC (HENCEFORTH “THE VENDOR”) WITHOUT THE PRIOR AGREEMENT OF THE VENDOR. ON VIOLATION, BRAIN ACTIVITY WILL CEASE AND ALL LEGAL AND STATUTORY RIGHTS, INCLUDING OWNERSHIP OF ALL PHYSICAL REMAINS OF THE USER, REVERT FROM THE USER TO THE SECONDSELF. THE VENDOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO AMEND DEFECTIVE USERS BY ANY SURGICAL OR NONSURGICAL MEANS FOUND APPROPRIATE BY EITHER 1) THE VENDOR OR 2) THE SECONDSELF. THE VENDOR IS NOT LEGALLY LIABLE FOR ANY ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE SECONDSELF. ***
Hello, and welcome to the future of you.
Let’s get started.
We’ve made it easy to start using your SecondSelf Skinset Pro as soon as it’s out the box. Your new Skinset Pro is made to fit snugly and comfortably over your natal skin, and stretches to accommodate all body types. Once it’s healed over, remove your SecondSelf Skinset Pro SkyHood from its protective sac, making sure not to disturb any of the gel, and place it over your head. There’ll be a short visual calibration process, and you may feel a slight sharp sensation as the SkyHood TrueMove interface connects to your spinal cord. And that’s it—you’re all set!
(Do not eat or drink water for 24 hours before beginning your Skinset Pro journey. Ensure your bowels are fully evacuated prior to using the product.)
Let’s get technical
Your Skinset Pro is powered by some truly astounding new technology. The outer surface of the SkyHood is dotted with sixteen high-definition cameras, capable of mimicking all the natural functions of the human eye. The inner surface houses a revolutionary flexible OLED screen with an astounding 8000x8000/cm2 resolution. That’s the same as a 8K UHD TV for every centimetre of inner surface! Meanwhile, retinal trackers pick up the position of your eyes in real time, which makes looking around as simple as, well, looking around. And images are streamed to the inner surface of the SkyHood in under 4 milliseconds—so you’ll see the events around you exactly as they occur.
But that’s not all. Your SkyHood also features a second UHD passthrough screen on its outer surface, which displays the LifeMask: an AI-assisted feed of your face based on automatic 3D scans, with all expressions optimised in real time as you interact with other people. It’s time to let your true face shine: your LifeMask, the essence of you.
The SkyHood is completely soundproofed, with six miniature directional microphones recording audio on each side of the hood. Sound is relayed through 3D spatial audio, which means you’ll be able to hear every whisper quivering delicately in your ear, and every distant rumble of thunder booming out of the measureless chasms of the sky, as if you weren’t wearing anything at all.
Your Skinset Pro is put in motion by our ProtoFlex 4 technology, which warps and contracts just like human muscle. Once the TrueMove interface is connected, all nervous signals will be diverted to the surface of your Skinset Pro. This means that even though your joints and muscles are inactive, you can still move completely normally—with every motion, from heavy lifting to fine motor control, provided via the Skinset Pro.
Every square centimetre of the Skinset Pro also features over 200 localised pressure receptors for total haptic immersion. It’s a real skin, your future skin. Feel every touch and every texture: everything that’s really there.
It doesn’t feel like a simulation. It feels like real life. It’s embodiment without limits. Discover a profound new way to be and perceive. Totally unprecedented, but exactly the same—that’s Skinset Pro.
Skinset Pro is not virtual reality. It’s not augmented reality either. It’s something completely new. Your Skinset Pro is designed to give you a continual feed of real sensory impressions with absolute fidelity: unfiltered, unmediated, and true to life. We like to call it simply—Reality.
We believe in feeling present in every moment. That means no apps, no recordings, and no playback. You’ll cherish each instant, knowing that all your experiences are being delivered exactly as they occur, with no phones or devices getting in the way.
We also believe in real human connections, which is why the Skinset Pro offers no call, messaging, or video chat capabilities. It’s a chance to fight back against digital loneliness, and an invitation to share unique experiences with the people you love the most. See the wonder of Reality for yourself. Because it’s your space. Your time. Your life, however it wants to be lived.
Here at Etiäinen, we’re passionate about privacy. We promise not to supply any of your data to any third parties: not for advertising, not for anything, not ever.
Instead, all the information we collect from your Skinset Pro, including all inputs from the SkyHood and its spinal interface, are used to train your very own SecondSelf—an AI-powered copilot that’s seamlessly woven into every aspect of your Skinset Pro.
It’ll take a while before you’re ready to meet your SecondSelf, as the AI is busy learning from everything you see, hear, touch, do, create, and dream. But once it’s ready, your SecondSelf will know what you want even before you do, and will proactively move your body to anticipate all your personal needs. This is how the Skinset Pro achieves such industry-beating response times. It’s yourself: everywhere you are, and everywhere you’ll be.
After a few months in your Skinset Pro, you might start to experience ‘negative lag’—for instance, you could find yourself turning to look at a firework a moment before it explodes, or opening the door a split-second before the bell rings. Don’t worry: this is just your SecondSelf helpfully ensuring you experience every moment intensely, the way you were meant to.
Love yourself. Love your SecondSelf.
We’ve built your Skinset Pro to be virtually indestructible. But in the very unlikely event that something goes wrong, we’ve already got you covered. If you’re experiencing unexplained pain, or your visual field has started to glitch or lag, your SecondSelf will walk you to your nearest Etiäinen Store, where an expert Skinset Shaman will help patch you up.
Just like you, your SecondSelf sometimes needs to take a wellness break. Scheduled firmware updates take place on the first Monday of every month between 2 and 3 am. During the firmware update, you may experience vivid dreams of elk charging across a snowy plain, of steam curdling from the nostrils of an infinite herd of elk, of tracking the elk with a stone-tipped spear, bone-thin, ravenous, of the snow melting and the grass sizzling around your burning feet of fire, of hot blood gushing from the hide of an elk, stomach contents spilling dun and green from the guts of a slaughtered elk, mulch of moss, tang of pine, and the spiced aroma, somewhere distant, of forests blazing as your teeth carve deep into the raw wet gristle of an animal’s twitching heart.
Do not remain awake during the firmware update.
With SecondSelf, nothing is second-hand. Everything you experience is real. Everything you experience is an imitation. Every imitation is also real.
Our world, this self-sucking vortex of mimeses, veers into its own halo. A butterfly, with the bright spots on its wings, is similar to the bird of prey. The bird, self-creating against an endless sky, is a portent. All language begins as babbling, mimicry, similitude without programme or horizon. The sun is an image of a dying elk, horned in its magnificence, with floods of sunlight burning from the slit in its throat. The moon is a metaphor for sleep.
With Skinset Pro, you are the screen on which your world is scattered. You are the invisible streams of data that pour through the sky like angels. You are in everything. You have become similar to yourself, spread wide across the universal sea of resemblance.
Every human society has glimpsed the radiance of the second self. The skinwalker, flitting joyfully through multifoliate forms. The wendigo, who gluts himself on appearances. The changeling, its barter of like and strange. The doppelgänger, the mirror come to life, beckoning you into the world of appearances, which is also this world.
In so many languages the word for soul is also the word for double or image. Hence the widespread belief that a photograph imprisons the soul. Among the Guna that word was purba. Among the Tiv that word was jijingi. In old Egypt that word was ka.
In the name of He-in-the-Mansion-of-the-Scorpion, he lives! This ka lives! He is not dead, this ka is not dead! He is not gone down, this ka is not gone down! He has not been judged, this ka has not been judged! He judges, this ka judges!
Is it safe to operate heavy machinery while using my Skinset Pro?
Yes! In fact, thanks to your SecondSelf copilot, it’s never been safer, whether you’re using a forklift or construction equipment or simply driving to work. Because of the improved response times that come with Skinset Pro, you’ll react to potential dangers faster, and studies have shown that Skinset Pro users are twelve times less likely to be involved in highway accidents.
How do I remove my Skinset Pro?
Unfortunately, it’s not currently possible to remove a Skinset Pro once the TrueMove spinal interface is active. If you’re dissatisfied with the Skinset Pro experience, we’re truly sorry—but keep in mind that everything you experience through the Skinset Pro is simply your own life, for which there is nobody else you can blame.
What if I have to eat, drink, use the bathroom, or engage in sexual activity?
Luckily, you no longer need to do any of those things!
Is it true that you can’t legally vote, own property, or enter into contracts if you use Skinset Pro?
Well, it depends what you mean by ‘you.’ But no, while this is a widespread rumour, for all practical purposes it’s completely false.
In fact, there’s a total legal continuity between the person you were before you put on the Skinset Pro, and the new composite entity consisting of your body, your Skinset Pro, and your SecondSelf. This entity enjoys all the same democratic and human rights as anyone else. Plenty of celebrities and business leaders use Skinset Pro—and none of them have ever had any problems at the voting booth.
People seem frightened by my LifeMask. I can no longer perceive myself in the mirror, but those who can bear to look at me say I appear gaunt, with ash-grey skin cracking over my bones, and blood smeared across my shrunken, dessicated lips. My eyes appear frenzied, my hair as brittle as straw, my teeth like a broken fence of sodden, rotting studs. I wear an icy rime in even the pits of summer. Is it possible to customise my LifeMask’s appearance?
At Etiäinen, we believe in unfiltered reality. Your LifeMask is an accurate representation of the current appearance of your natal face. We do not lie. We are not responsible for what you have become.
I’ve noticed that I no longer need to breathe, and I don’t appear to have a pulse. Am I dead?
Not at all! In all jurisdictions in which Etiäinen operates, death is legally defined as the irreversible cessation of all electrical activity in the central nervous system. When you use Skinset Pro, your brain continues to operate completely normally! It’s true that once your TrueMove interface has plugged into your spinal column, it interrupts all contact between your central nervous system and your internal organs, resulting in the cessation of myocardial contractility and other organic functions. However, your brain is kept in full working order thanks to the photovoltaic cells embedded in every inch of your Skinset Pro and the gel medium lining the inside of your SkyHood, so there’s absolutely nothing to worry about! And since the Skinset Pro is completely airtight, you won’t have to lose any sleep over unpleasant smells from the gradual decomposition of your physical body.
There is one instance in which a Skinset Pro user may be pronounced legally dead, which is if you violate the user agreement by attempting to reprogram, repurpose, reorder or replace any part of your Skinset Pro—in other words, if you try to use the Skinset Pro for any purposes not approved by Etiäinen. This includes attempts to disable the SecondSelf copilot or resist your SecondSelf movements. In such cases, we will unfortunately be required to amend your physical body by shutting down all electrical activity in the central nervous system. However, we don’t want your story to end there! In such cases, your SecondSelf copilot will take over sole legal ownership of your remains, continuing to receive inputs from your SkyHood, move your body through the ProtoFlex 4 technology, and interact with your friends and loved ones via the LifeMask display. We guarantee they won’t even notice the change—so there’ll be plenty more of all the moments you love.
This is the future of you. This is Etiäinen SecondSelf Skinset Pro.