and also here:
There’s a good chance that in a few short decades science will develop three separate paths for human immortality:
- Science will “cure” aging. (See Google’s announcement.)
- Humans will be able to transfer their minds to robots.
- Humans will be able to transfer their minds to software-only virtual worlds.
But what about Reincarnation? I know that atoms and molecules combine to make things and once those things get destroyed, the atoms become something else. A tree gets cut and becomes a piece of furniture. Perhaps that furniture gets burned in a house fire. That wood becomes charred carbon, with some atoms being released into the atmosphere. Do these atoms ever become a tree again?
I find it rather wasteful that we don't reincarnate in some way. Not just our bodies but whatever this spirit or soul thing is. I mean does that mean a pyramid builder from whatever year BC doesn't somehow get recycled as a plumber in 1932? Or a programmer in 2012? It just kinda seems sad that our life experience doesn't get reused or that we only get some slight sliver of time that doesn't even register on the Cosmic Scale.
One of Dilbert theories is that we are or eventually will become moist robots with our personalities and memories downloaded into these android like machines. In various science fiction this crops up from time to time and I always wonder: in a world where you could do that, wouldn't everyone design a body that is attractive, in good shape and young? And would that cancel out so that people would create models that weren't so attractive just to be unique? Or is it like the Cylons in the Battlestar Galactica reboot where they evolved and reproduced?
Stole the next two sentences from Scalzi's blog: Because I've been thinking about this topic a lot recently, but it's not resolved itself into a coherent narrative. So to hell with the narrative, let me just toss out some thoughts I've been having on the subject, in no particular order.
When I drive to and from work, I often think about the past. It might be my time at NMSU or it might be my first job as a Paralegal_JR at BigName Law Firm 1.0 or my time at the No-Name Software Company, or any of a million other interactions between me and other humans.
I really want to turn it off, like the vampires turn off their humanity in The Vampire Diaries. Unfortunately, I cannot. Some of it is guilt and remorse because I realize in a lot of those situations I didn't act in the best form. Sometimes it was immaturity, sometimes it was anger.
Sometimes it's just the fact that I often fell flat on my face in situations most other people navigate with automatic grace and poise.
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