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So the question for us has become, should we attempt to intervene? The quick and easy answer is no. As you know, we never spent huge amounts of time with her over the years, and have only become re-acquainted with her more or less since she returned from her decades in San Diego. Is it even proper for us to butt-in to someone's life like that, someone who doesn't seem as if they even want to keep living their own life?
In terms of what it's like when your simulacrum is operational (or "up" in the parlance), I've heard various reports. For phone calls it is universally described as talking on a hands-free head set with your eyes closed while lying in bed. As for using the virtual computer, that has been described as using a computer in a very dark room. When I ask them what their hands look like, the normal reply is, "It's so dark in the room you can't see your hands." Or else "I don't know...I always forget about 'em when the simulacrum is up."