Knowledge Vials in Lem

Something interesting that I believe we weren’t able to discuss was the use of this knowledge vials – or digestible information that provided you with encyclopedic knowledge with consumption. It was strange to me that while Tichy was attempting to distance himself from the outside influences of drug use, he was still consuming these ?pills? in order to pass the time. Although consuming these knowledge vials was not as obviously suspicious as the other drugs taken in the novel to alter one’s emotions or state of mind, I do believe that the idea of digesting quick information like this has some sinister potential.

It’s clear that this society was bent on manipulating the present through the use of undetectable medications. These¬†omnipresent drugs changed the way you were able to perceive the Now. But by reading about these knowledge vials, I was immediately drawn to the idea of 1984, or the rewriting of history in order to reflect the present. I think it would be incredibly easy to feed a new generation of scholars and students these knowledge pills, and rewrite history within them. In the sudden influx of knowledge about history, for instance, the government could manipulate conventional ideas about the past in order to advance their own sinister agenda. I was rather alarmed, then, to see Tichy so readily ingesting these knowledge vials. The government had no qualms about manipulating the perception of the present, and it would be extremely easy for this novum to be used to manipulate the past. Combining this with the drugs that ca “purge the mind” of excess information baggage, it is terrifying to think of the extent that something like this could delete all traces of past events.