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A tasp is a fictional device appearing in Larry Niven's Known Space novels. It can stimulate the pleasure center of the brain via electric induction at varying levels, even at a distance. Such a jolt of pleasure can be as totally disabling as a similar jolt of pain could be. More so, repeated use of the tasp at a low level can become addictive, allowing even greater control of the subject. Less malignantly, their use had become commonplace in parks on Earth, to give an unexpected shock to random passers-by, before their use was banned by the ARM. The act of randomly zapping people with a tasp was called "making their day."
Additional recommended knowledge
In Ringworld, Nessus had a tasp surgically implanted into one of his heads, enabling him to control the Kzin Speaker-to-Animals, the human members of the expedition, Louis and Teela, plus any Ringworld hominids the expedition might encounter.
In the second book The Ringworld Engineers, the tasp was mentioned in passing, but The Hindmost used other means. Louis Wu was a wirehead as the story opens, addicted to electric current performing a similar function to the tasp through a device called a droud; in order to control Louis, The Hindmost could just control access to the droud and meter Louis's access to the current. The Kzin was controlled by threatened loss of status. Louis became a wirehead after someone "Made his Day" when he was wandering a park on Earth.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a real technology that is quite similar to a tasp but requires direct wiring to the brain.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tasp". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|