Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Altering Our Carbon

Some years ago I read a novel by Richard K. Morgan called Altered Carbon. It's premise is that people's personalities could be digitally stored and downloaded into other bodies. Or, sometimes, artificial bodies (I have read similar stories in the past).

Now the intriguing thing about this is: how many people would give up their organic bodies, and all the ills it is heir to, to be downloaded into a perfect artificial body? No disease, no unnecessary pain, none of that.

I doubt this is going to happen anytime soon. But I wonder when the day will come when all diseases are cured. I suspect we would have been there already if so many people hadn't been killed in wars - which is hundreds of millions.

Exactly how far are we behind where we should have been? Five thousand years, maybe? That sounds about right.

The Greeks built the first analog computer - the Antikythera mechanism - in the first century AD. If not earlier. Europe didn't repeat this accomplishment until the 1400s.


Enbrethiliel said...


Have you seen the movie Chappie? It was co-written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, who also gave us District 9 and Elysium. Part of the story involves the premise you're describing here.

Bob Wallace said...

Chappie, no, not yet. The other two, yes.

Rusty Shackleford said...

I'd like to have just my brain put in a titanium exoskeleton. I read once that the human brain could potentially last hundreds of years longer than the heart and other organs. Think of how stupid it is that a well functioning mind should cease to exist just because of kidney or liver problems. It's like junking a car because its oil filter is clogged. A fully electronic version just based on my personality and memories doesn't do much for me, though. In humans, I don't think you can separate the hardware and software. I'd want the original hardware.

Glen Filthie said...

You would fundamentally alter the character of man, Bob.

The civilized human capable of producing the technical/scientific/social leaps forward understand the precious commodity of 'quality time' and the need to make maximum use of it. Immortality would dispense with that. Plus - those visionaries do their best work in war time as opposed to peace time.

The next question you would have to ask is 'what would we do with immortality'? Judging from the actions of my fellow man, I think we would all end up trying that much harder to kill each other.

So if Rusty hot rods himself with that titanium exoskeleton and enhanced biosystems - I will need a nuke of at least a couple megatons to take him out!

After we finished bombing ourselves back to the stone age...I would like to hope there are a bunch of big titted topless amazons with fur G-strings and flint spears to repopulate the earth.

Anonymous said...

There is Project 2045, though I'm getting some bad tower of babel vibes off of those people.

Mindstorm said...

I don't expect in my lifetime to witness any technology of 'ersatz' human bodies similar to the one from "Altered Carbon". I think that would be even more difficult to achieve than interstellar travel.