Go Download Yourself

10 Dec

Deep Thought
The problem I have with the futurist idea of downloading your brain into a computer is the same problem Dr. McCoy had with using transporters on Star Trek.

His complaint was simple: despite the fact that a version of you pops out at the far end, the process dictates that the current you is destroyed, a blue print of your former body is sent to some distant point, then a new you is assembled.

Despite my great love for technology, and the possibilities it will be presenting us in the next hundred years, I do not believe the process of dumping your brain into a computer is ever going to catch on as anything more than a disturbingly precise last will and testament, or possibly as some sort of wisdom dispensing novelty that will drive Japanese ancestor worship into the stratosphere.
The Tron Laser

You’re sitting in a chair, an over-sized helmet held in place via a black chin strap, a tingling at your scalp. The process has taken three hours, but finally the technician who helped you into the rig comes back into the room and brightens the lighting.

“All done,” she says.

“That’s it?” you ask.

“That’s it,” she replies.

So you walk out, exiting the office with an awkward wave to the receptionist. Sure, there’s another you somewhere, a digital-you that may continue on for thousands of years with a little luck and a decent back up routine, but you’ve still got to get your left leg to stop being asleep after sitting so long in an awkward position, and there’s the drive home to consider.

You’ll never be that machine, and you’ll likely never think of it as anything more than an offshoot of yourself, a child that might have some sort of immortal superiority complex.Master Controller From Tron


4 Responses to “Go Download Yourself”

  1. Justin December 10, 2010 at 11:54 #

    Honestly, without the daily distractions of my body, I think my unattached mind would become dangerously obsessive-compulsive, and insanity would follow in fairly short order. Find me a berserker to control or something.

    The psychology of the disembodied. We’re so not ready for this.

    • JRD Skinner December 10, 2010 at 12:12 #

      Ahh, you’ve got a great point there. Our brains are wired for the familiar five inputs, what happens when we change up how our data comes in?

      We might have to build “the matrix”, not as some nefarious battery-babysitter, but as a padded room to keep our digital-selves from having psychotic breaks.

  2. bmj2k December 10, 2010 at 12:28 #

    “or possibly as some sort of wisdom dispensing novelty that will drive Japanese ancestor worship into the stratosphere.”

    Oh, the thought of myself ending up as a Tomogatchi-like toy on my great-grandson’s keychain is horribly depressing.

    • JRD Skinner December 10, 2010 at 13:05 #

      Just wait till you accidentally end up lost behind the couch for three months.

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