Earrings! Honestly! It struck me only then: how like her, to follow fashion right off the cliff into that quaint disfigurement. In my day when you poked holes in your head it was to expand your mind, not just for decoration. Except, of course, for the people who had fake sockets drilled, so everyone would think they could afford a real set. As I drove toward Alma-Ata I wondered idly what those people were doing now that the real status was in being wired invisibly, like Keishi. Wearing hats, I supposed. And carrying around fake totems with fake chips plugged into them. I ought to do a retrospective.

Vanity. I took out the rest of my chips -- all but two -- and drove to Alma-Ata quite inviolate, my head accepting input only from the holes that Nature drilled there.

(Raphael Carter, The Fortunate Fall, p. 35)