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Josie was digging holes out behind the kitchen when Matt found her. She held up something small and wriggly in greeting. “Look, I found an earthworm!”

Matt crouched down beside the hole and leaned forward, balancing himself with one hand. “Nah, I don't think that's an earthworm, Josie. It looks like some kind of larval beetle.”

“No, it should be -” she broke off and her face fell. “Glass says it's a rhinoceros beetle larva.” She dropped the creature and sighed loudly.

“And you're just going to believe it?”

“Well, it's Glass.” She shrugged.

“And what does Glass have to say about this?” Matt frowned and moved his fingers in a flickering pattern that was too complicated for Josie to follow.

“That can't be right.” Josie giggled. “Glass says you're a lesser spotted palewing butterfly. Have you filed a bug report?”

Matt looked at her seriously. “Josie, you can see right now that Glass has generated its own bug report.”

“What? That can't . . . ” she trailed of into silence before standing up and brushing off her hands. “You're just being silly.”

“ 'Course I am.” Matt grinned. “But see, Glass isn't always right. Come on, I'll show you another way of looking at it.” He stood up and reached forward to press on her temples.

She started back and stared at him. “What have you done?”

“Don't panic. I've just turned Glass off for a bit. I'll put it back as soon as you like, but why don't you come look at your worm for yourself first?” He crouched down and scooped at the larva. “What can your own eyes tell you?”

Josie shrugged, but she stepped around the hole and crouched down beside Matt.

“Look at the colour of this thing. What colour would you say that is?”

There was a silence before Josie answered. “Sort of see-through and greyish, I guess.”

“Exactly. Now I happen to know that earthworms are a pinky brown colour, so this can't be an earthworm, can it?”

“We already knew that. It's a rhinoceros beetle larva.”

“And I'm a lesser spotted palewing butterfly.” He carefully laid the larva on the earth between them. “How do we know it's a rhinoceros beetle larva?”

Josie shrugged again, but she peered at the bug. “It has legs?”

Matt nodded. “That's good. We know it isn't a worm, since it has legs. So it's pretty likely that it's some kind of larva. Do you want to give me some more details on the colour of it?”

“It's pretty much all squishy and grey.” Josie tilted her head, considering. “Well, I guess the one end is a bit browner. It doesn't exactly look like that's just dirt.”

“Very good. In fact, that's how we can tell it's a rhinoceros beetle larva. Other creatures wouldn't have that colouration.” He grinned and stood up.

“Okay, I guess that was kind of interesting, but you can turn Glass back on now.” Josie presented herself to Matt and looked up expectantly. He reached out to her temples and applied a gentle pressure.

“That's better.” Josie shook her head slightly to reorient herself. “How did you know all that about rhinoceros beetles anyway?”

This time Matt shrugged. “I asked Glass.”
For Memnalar's Seven Days of Sci Fi (Day One). The prompt was "nonessential prosthesis" and the word to include in the story was "larval".

Glass is named for Google Glass, but more in an inspired-by than based-on kind of way. Most of the research here went into rhinoceros beetles. (Yeah, I googled them.)
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-05-18
Also suggested by NamelessShe .

Glass by PaperDart does what all good science fiction should do: makes us ask questions about where we're going. ( Suggested by zebrazebrazebra and Featured by neurotype )
:iconaerondust:
AeronDust Featured By Owner May 25, 2014
I like the story though I find it kind of funny and sad at the end that Matt asked glass as well.
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 30, 2014   Writer
Hey, thanks. :D I'm glad you liked that!
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:iconwishingunderthatstar:
WishingUnderThatStar Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Also, congrats on the DD!
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 30, 2014   Writer
:dance:
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:iconwishingunderthatstar:
WishingUnderThatStar Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
An interesting read. It definitely gave me something to think about. :nod:
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 30, 2014   Writer
Thanks! I definitely feel like I've achieved something then. :)
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:iconravenwingedgurl:
Ravenwingedgurl Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Great story but may I ask,
Who is Glass? Or what is Glass?
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 18, 2014   Writer
Here's the wikipedia article on Google Glass: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_G… Glass in this story is inspired by the idea of being connected to the internet all the time, with web search just a word -- or in the story, a thought -- away. In the story it's no longer a pair of spectacles, but an implant that interfaces directly with the brain. Could that actually happen? Well, I don't think it's completely implausible, though it won't be any time soon.
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:iconravenwingedgurl:
Ravenwingedgurl Featured By Owner May 19, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Ohhhh that makes so much more sense.I am a dummy!  That's really cool too.:D (Big Grin) 
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:iconrainbowcharizard:
RainbowCharizard Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! Great piece!
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 18, 2014   Writer
Thanks! :D
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:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
I’m very happy for you!!! :iconloveloveplz: :tighthug:
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 18, 2014   Writer
Thanks! :highfive:
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:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconflyingheartsplz::iconsweethugplz::iconflyingheartsplz:
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:iconblessedarrow:
blessedarrow Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I really liked this, congrats on your DD :)
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 18, 2014   Writer
:D Thank you!
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:iconc-a-harland:
C-A-Harland Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Student Writer
Great piece. I loved the inclusion of Glass, and how whilst this is still a new/developing technology now, it is completely plausible that the next generation will think and behave in this way. I also love how you made Glass flawed, showing that the answers it gives aren't always right, and sometimes we would be better off with a little observation and common sense.
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 30, 2014   Writer
Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment!
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:iconstarrysweets:
starrysweets Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Very interesting!  It would be sad if the world turned into something like that, it makes you think about our future ;;
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 18, 2014   Writer
I guess that's almost what science fiction is for: giving us a way to think about the future! I'm glad you found this interesting - and thanks for commenting. :thanks:
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:iconryua:
Ryua Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really intriguing. I like it.
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 18, 2014   Writer
Thanks!  It's nice to hear that it gave you something to think about. :)
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:iconrobotlibrarian:
RobotLibrarian Featured By Owner May 18, 2014
I liked this a lot. Always good to remind us all to think for ourselves and really experience the world around us by engaging in it. Really interesting concept and I enjoyed your writing!
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 30, 2014   Writer
Thank you for the kind words! :D
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:iconayeaye12:
AyeAye12 Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Student Writer
That last line though. Daaaaamn
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 30, 2014   Writer
:D
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:iconepsilonaturion:
EpsiloNaturion Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Got me thinking, considering Google is usually my answer to everything. Very deep. 
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 30, 2014   Writer
It's very encouraging to hear that my writing made you think. Thanks for the feedback! :)
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:icontuesdaynightcompany:
TuesdayNightCompany Featured By Owner May 13, 2014
I can relate to this entirely too much.
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 18, 2014   Writer
Heh. Doesn't hurt to think about how we think every once in a while. Thanks for commenting!
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:iconvigilo:
Vigilo Featured By Owner May 12, 2014  Student Writer
This is so great. I missed your writing; I'm so glad it's back! :heart:
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 14, 2014   Writer
Aww, thank you! :blush:
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:iconnamelessshe:
NamelessShe Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I loved it! :D
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 8, 2014   Writer
Thanks! It's awesome to hear that. :)
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:iconzebrazebrazebra:
zebrazebrazebra Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Professional Writer
Oh my. Thought it was a sweet little demonstration of how we can learn through observation, but then it got dark.

So goddamn good!
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 5, 2014   Writer
Thanks, Sarah, and for the :+fav: also. I think it's trying to be a chocolate pudding: both sweet and dark. :P
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:iconacefleam:
AceFleam Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Aw, Matt! :D You had me believing in you, man!

Nicely done. I laughed at the ending. Also probably much closer to life than I'd probably like to admit.
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 5, 2014   Writer
Hey, at least he tried, right?

Thanks!
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:iconlunaticstar:
LunaticStar Featured By Owner May 4, 2014
Oy it's one of those things that is soooooooooo true.  SO TRUE.  
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 5, 2014   Writer
Hey, it's on the internet, of course it must be true. :D
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:iconlunaticstar:
LunaticStar Featured By Owner May 6, 2014
gassspppp!!!!
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:icongdeyke:
GDeyke Featured By Owner May 4, 2014   Writer
It's so easy to rely on technology when it's readily available. This definitely made me think.
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 5, 2014   Writer
I shall count it as a success, then. I think what's scary is when we don't even realise we're relying on technology! Thanks for the comment. :)
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:iconafricanobserver:
AfricanObserver Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
The ability to think! To learn. To know with my own brain, to be able to understand.
This makes me feel more than a little atavistic.
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 5, 2014   Writer
Atavistic is a big word. I had to look it up. ;P

I think we've always learned stuff by being told. Not sure how aware of that we are/should be, though.
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:iconafricanobserver:
AfricanObserver Featured By Owner May 7, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
To be honest, I checked first. 'Cos sometimes I want to use troglodytic, which has a similar, but not identical meaning, I think.

We have to learn by being told (hearing, reading, seeing, etc). Self discovery is exponential orders of magnitude to progress. One of the things we are told however, is that we must think critically, and about what we have been told.
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:iconnewpapers:
Newpapers Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Student General Artist
I really like how this comes a full circle, where they seem to question Glass, but in the end, all the information they use to question Glass comes from Glass itself. I can also easily see this happening in the future, if Google Glass does become used widely, people may just believe whatever technology tells us, kind of like how we might just believe everything on the internet now. A good read! :D
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:iconpaperdart:
PaperDart Featured By Owner May 4, 2014   Writer
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. :D

I would love to see data on whether or not we're really getting worse about believing everything (and how much). I remember being told as a kid not to believe things just because I'd seen them in a book. The internet may be worse in some ways, but the idea's the same and we do seem to be more aware of it.
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