Franklin Veaux (tacit) wrote,
Franklin Veaux
tacit

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Some thoughts on immortality and identity

I was rather surprised by the number of people answering my last poll who thought that replacement mechanical bodies are sucky rather than cool. Perhaps it's my perception of the Void, or perhaps it's my attitude about change, but I've always thought that was a gimmee--a better, immortal, mechanical version of my body? Yes, please...where do I sign?

Then again, there's almost nothing I would not do for immortality. This is not necessarily because I do not believe in an afterlife (I don't, really, though I won't say I know for sure one way or the other)--but there is little doubt in my mind that if there's an afterlife, it's nothing like this one, and I'm not done with this one yet. There are still way too many things to see, do, learn, and experience. The afterlife can wait, preferrably until the heat death of the universe.

Which, on a scale of eternity, isn't really all that far away.

So, out of curiousity, two polls. The first: What would you do for immortality? The second: How attached are you to your body?

Ready, kids? Here we go:

Poll #262326 What would you do for immortality? Would you do:

A drug regimen (eg, a daily assortment of pills to halt ageing and boost the immune system)

Yes
24(80.0%)
No
6(20.0%)

Replace your organs with mechanical devoces as they fail (eg, replace your heart with an artificial heart)

Yes
23(79.3%)
No
6(20.7%)

Replace your entire body with a mechanical equivalent that worked like the original and could not be detected as mechanical except with an X-ray

Yes
17(58.6%)
No
12(41.4%)

Replace your entire body with an obviously mechanical, but humanoid, equivalent

Yes
13(46.4%)
No
15(53.6%)

Replace your body with a completely non-humanoid mechanical replacement (eg, transfer your brain into the central control system of a spacecraft)

Yes
14(50.0%)
No
14(50.0%)

Be injected with nanoagents--self-replicating, self-determining, microscopic machines designed to repair tissue damage

Yes
24(80.0%)
No
6(20.0%)

Non-destructive uploading (copying your consciousness into a computer--you would still age and die, the computer copy of your memories would continue)

Yes
16(59.3%)
No
11(40.7%)

Destructive uploading (transferring your consciousness permanently into a computer, during which your body is destroyed)

Yes
15(51.7%)
No
14(48.3%)


And, somewhat but not entirely related:

Poll #262327 How attached are you to your body? Would you:

Change your body permanently in a decorative way (eg, piercings, tattoos)

Yes
30(90.9%)
No
3(9.1%)

Use a temproary mechanical device, like an artificial pancreas, for six months while your body healed from an injury

Yes
33(100.0%)
No
0(0.0%)

Use an assistive device that compensated for a faulty organ or limb (eg, eyeglasses)

Yes
33(100.0%)
No
0(0.0%)

Use a permanent mechanical device, like an artificial heart, to replace a failed organ, assuming that your quality of life was not impacted

Yes
32(97.0%)
No
1(3.0%)

Use a strictly decorative, non-functional prothesis in place of a body part lost to injury

Yes
27(84.4%)
No
5(15.6%)

Use a mechanical prothesis in place of a mechanical limb lost to injury

Yes
32(97.0%)
No
1(3.0%)

Use a mechanical prothesis to replace an intact, undamaged limb, if the mechanical one were better (stronger, more sensitive, etc)

Yes
16(48.5%)
No
17(51.5%)

Replace undamaged structural parts of your body--your torso or legs, say--with mechanical versions that were better or more reliable

Yes
12(36.4%)
No
21(63.6%)

Replace your entire body with a mechanical body, even if your body was not dying, damaged, injured, or ill

Yes
8(25.0%)
No
24(75.0%)

Give up your body completely, if your mind and consciousness would continue

Yes
23(74.2%)
No
8(25.8%)
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