The ancestor of the laptop was the paper notebook, but its loss, while devastating, was not quite fatal. I lost two notebooks in my life, and I convalesced a year for the first one and six months for the second. After losing the first at 16, I thought I'd never write again. After the second, I thought that I might but that I'd be a monk, tied to my desk in the scriptorium. I forgot the notebooks when I emptied myself into the laptop. The only difference between Achilles and myself is that his vulnerability was his alone, while mine is everybody's. What I mean is that if somebody attacks my chip I can attack theirs. No one is exempt from this Achilles' heel.
The greatest dread of our secret agencies and research labs is the theft of laptops. When computers were big, they were harder to steal. Now even a cockroach, if properly trained, can drag a super-secret chip from a carelessly placed laptop. In fact, a cockroach may be a chip itself, a nanobot thief. In order to secure our chips, we'll have no choice in the end but to imbed them in our bodies. The preferred insertion point so far is the neck and the wrist, but for reasons of mythic beauty I'd suggest the heel. With the chip there, our whole body becomes a laptop, returning to the godlike condition of Achilles. This return to original vulnerability may not abolish history, as one might be tempted to think, but it may prove that time itself did not pass. Achilles' heel may have had a chip in it in the first place, and that hero, like all heroes, was a laptop.
Andrei Codrescu's latest book is New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writing From the City (Algonquin Books).