Currently I’m reading Vacuum Flowers, by the inimitable Michael Swanwick, for about the eighth or ninth time. In it, people’s personalities can be temporarily altered by a type of programming called “wetprogramming”, since you’re programming the wetware of the person, ie, the brain. You don’t need special training to be a dentist, or a bodyguard, or a courier. You just need someone with a wetware programmer and the right set of wafers to imprint the skills you need on your persona.
In the novel, people’s faces are painted to indicate what they’re currently programmed as. Surgeons might wear an orange butterfly, couriers a green triangle, pierrots a harlequin mask.
Today I saw this photo on Flickr:
…and part of me thought, I wonder what that paint might indicate.