Friday, January 06, 2006

I think it's always important to know your outs. This applies to many areas of life:
  • Driving: When I'm in someone's blindspot and they're acting a little jiggy, I'll look around to see if there's an escape route, like other lanes or a shoulder
  • Poker: It's extremely useful for me to calculate how many cards are left that will probably give me the winning hand. If I weren't all boozed up when I played, this would be even more useful.
  • Career: What will I do if I get laid off? Or if I get assigned to the Computerized Runtime Application Processor?
Now that my 40's are are looming, and I'm coming in contact with more and more relatives who are suffering various old-age maladies, I'm wondering what my outs are for old-age. I hope that I live a long, healthy, and happy life, but that crap has a way of not working out. Bodies give out beneath us and brains seem to have an unpleasant way of rotting in our very skulls. So, how do I escape an unpleasant descent into old age?

Sure, there's healthy living and keeping mentally sharp blah blah blah, but all that seems like a lot of effort for an end-result that ain't guaranteed. I want easy answers. Traditionally, I've assumed that my only option was:
  • Death!
This one is actually pretty appealing. Although I've never even come close to committing suicide, I've always found the notion comforting. There's a reason why my personal motto is, "I am prepared to give up at any time." Just having that out, and knowing that I can escape virtually any situation, has always enabled me to think rationally and find other less-drastic ways to avoid extreme unpleasantness. Old age, however, appears to be trickier to deny.

Until now!

After reading my one zillionth science fiction book, I have concluded that I will escape a frail and demented old age by....getting uploaded!

Between the ever-increasing storage and power of networked computers, Google's mysterious moves in the areas of "dark fiber" and my unassailably Pollyanna-like view of technology, I am convinced, CONVINCED, that someone (hello Larry and Sergey!) will figure out a way for us to upload our brains into some gigantic computer.

I can't wait!

No more jogging to keep fit! No more eating vegetables! They'll use my body as a battery to help fuel a computer big enough for us all! We'll spend our days discussing the minutia of zeroes and ones, flying through file systems portrayed as city-scapes and racing virtual motorcycles!

I am serious, people. This is going to happen and I am going to be first in line to sign up. The rest of you "meat" animals can wallow in your analog and dirt playgrounds.

Oh, and, happy Friday!


Badaunt said...

Have you been reading Greg Egan? (Which one was it, anyway?)

Mike said...

I have read Diaspora by Greg Egan. That was a pretty good life-in-a-computer book. Right now I'm reading "Everyone in Silico", which takes a very different and lighthearted approach to a similar topic.

Please note that I do read SOME non-sci-fi. Mostly sci fi though. I'm a big dork.

Mike Duffy said...

Two (non-fiction) books for you, Mike:

1. Younger Next Year: A Guide to Living Like 50 Until You're 80 and Beyond (sad news, you'll need to exercise 6 days a week). Still, an excellent read.

2. Ray Kurweil's "Fantastic Voyage : Live Long Enough to Live Forever". Basically, making sure you live long enough for you-in-silicon technology to become a reality.

zelda1 said...

Having just past the half way mark, the half way mark between 1 and 100, well, I must say the giant computer and me, well, maybe. I like the notion that instead of getting all crapped out with the various old age maladies, that I can hook up to a maching, though I would want a nice machine, one with a lot of stainless steel and no plastic, and that machine could take my neurons create new pathways, while my body is suspended in mid air with these cables and air moves around it, there must be air, no sores on my buttocks. Anyway, that seems appealing and I would be one of the first to say, "HOOK ME UP." But until then, I'll just hope the brain doesn't rot, the body doesn't completely fall apart, and the good thing is I have no more parts that can be taken out. So, it looks like clean sailing from here on out, well there are my hooters, but so far the girls have been disease free. Okay, now you know I'm nuts.

Mike said...

Hi Mike Duffy, that exercising-six-days-a-week thing isn't likely to happen, but I'll check out the other book. Hopefully it's a eat-steak-six-days-a-week kind of book.

Zelda, once they suck our brains into the giant Googlatron, who cares what they do with our bodies? They can suspend me with wires and make me do pantomime, or they can feed me to pigs, or whatever they want. I'm game.

zelda1 said...

Mike, I hope that a giant space ship hoovers over earth and sends down this feeler thingy and decides that they want me to join the big brain in the sky and they take me there and I meet a big brain king and we hookup and experience real cyber sex and have cyber kiddies, well X the kiddies, but anyway, then we can do all these great things in zero gravity and my brain will grow and fill with more stuff and I never have to see Bush again or never have to hear Celine Dion sing again or watch the news or...or...well all the really bad things here on earth, like fat free yogurt. YUCK!

Mike said...

Zelda1, that sounds lovely.

The Mincemeat Vixen said...

blah blah, blah blah blah blah

I'm still stockpiling morphine.

Mike said...


That's also a good out. However, I don't know how to get a hold of large quantities of morphine, so I think being uploaded into the giant computer brain is a more realistic idea.

For the record, however, the wife and I have two activities planned for our later years: Bridge and heroin.