If Clothes Made the Man

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Some 40ish years ago I came up with a story line I called “If Clothes Made the Man”. The premise was that a variety of artificial, double-helix fibers are woven into a fabric and from that a suit is tailored. The fibers are made of conductors, semiconductors, fiber optics, etc. with a structure much like DNA and it makes up a fabric of criss crossing threads that is essentially an omni meta self -configuring deep learning supercomputer. Some of the fibers are photovoltaic and some thermovoltaic so the fabric powers itself from ambient light and heat. The fabric has a variety of sensory capabilities far beyond the human range…

Long story short, the clothes learn to tune into all the signals from the wearer’s brain and body and all the signals from the environment and the suit becomes an intelligent interface between the two. The clothes soon become a super intelligent AI with seamless communication with the wearer. The clothes also learn how to control the DNA and physiology of the wearer, thus “remaking the man”. Together the clothes and those who wear them become super beings and go on to save the world and stuff, though probably some go to the dark side, too.

I never wrote the story and probably never will, so if you or someone you know might like to run with it, be my guest. Just credit Poor Richard with the basic idea.

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Note: The reason I like the idea of weaving threads rather than printing semiconductors on thin films is that threads of different functions might be manufactured separately then interwoven, rather than printing complex patterns involving multiple materials on films that might be less flexible and fault tolerant. Either might serve the same purpose and might support a similar cottage industry, but the the thread/fabric idea might be lower tech and warmer (pun intended). Rather than extruding or spinning exotic fibers directly out of exotic materials, a conventional commercial fiber of nylon, glass, carbon, etc. might be infused with various exotic materials like amorphous silicon, metals, etc.

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