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OPTI UPLOAD UNIT
OPTI (Optical PNEP (Passive Neural Education Process) Transition Instruction) units are standalone pod stations created to non-invasively imprint certain data types into the human brain through the optical receptors.
PNEP is a general system of data imprinting through direct cortical stimulation (rather than the senses and standard biochemical pathways to memory). The primary use of the OPTI system is to rapidly commit an accessible knowledge base into the individual in the advent of technological failure or unavailability. This is made possible by utilizing storage in the individual's own memory centers. The average Conglomerate citizen does not utilize more than 2.2% of their total neural capacity (a statistic that has actually DROPPED by half since its first measurement in the 20th century).
Native specifications (including known culture and history) and linguistic codecs (which allow for deciphering and rapid adaption to virtually any spoken or written language) remain the principal uses for this technology.
OPTI units were originally created for diplomatic missions to minimize the uncertainties of translation as much as possible. It also maintains a level of confidence that the opposite party is not attempting anything untoward. The effect of OPTI technologies largely depends on the individual where, for example, one already versed in linguistics might find their abilities augmented many times over and the results permanent. For those less versed in the languages, the effect would be akin to their non-OPTI limitations, whereby due diligence and continued practice will maintain the codecs in their brains. Lack of use in such a person would eventually result in forgetting this information outright over time.
It should be noted that because data is fed through the optical nerve, if a unit isn't properly calibrated to accommodate those with imperfect vision, the datastream itself may be corrupted by the individual's corneal curvature. While generally a non-issue (there are limited tolerances), information being stored into the user's brain can experience a number of odd results. Chief among these are quirks in the linguistic particulars they were to have learned. It can be as small as a misregistering of definitions, proper grammatical structure or, most commonly, an “accent.” In more severe cases, honorific and slurs can become confused, resulting in uncomfortable diplomatic situations. Task-specific testing after OPTI upload is the only way to determine the transfer went as planned.
The most serious condition of OPTI datastream decay (ODD) is the creation of false memories. A handful of situations have been documented where an OPTI recipient's suspicions were somehow transposed into the “hardened memory” sections of the brain. Everything from non-existent romances (heavily slanted in unwanted males pursuing attractive females) to crimes of passion (including, but not limited to murder) have resulted from these unfortunate ODD events. In other instances, the overwriting of an individual's memories has also been known to occur.
Modern OPTI systems will now calibrate according to the condition of the eyes presented before it, but many older systems remain in use to this day. Advanced technical students had taken to using OPTI technologies in an attempt to improve their testing levels. OPTI units are exorbitantly expensive, and the resulting “OPTI-induced insanity” of older (defunct, or independently assembled) units used by these students created a rash of suicides and assaults as corrupted data recording began to erode certain regions of the brain.
The abuse was particularly pronounced at the Hargaanian Academy, where over 80% of the student body had attempted to use the same, out of service OPTI unit for their exams. The violence which ensued required five heavily armed Enforcer platoons to return order to the city. Local Security Agents experienced heavy casualties and were incapacitated within 24 hours of the outbreak. The Conglomerate now outlaws the use of OPTI technology except where it sanctions them for interstellar purposes. It also decommissions older units with a coded self-destruct protocol that fuses all internal components and renders them irreparable.