© 2018 by Rob Favre

Put your brain in a computer

June 30, 2018

It's a trope we've heard so many times: upload your consciousness into a computer, and become immortal.

 

Now, immortality has some obvious benefits. For example, not having to grow old. Trust me, I've been walking around on the same knees for more than four decades now, I get the appeal. Plus, there's the whole not dying thing, which definitely means more time for stamp collecting or learning Thai cooking or whatever it is you want more time for.

 

But we know how uploads work. We know how computers work. When you take a file from your computer and put it on Dropbox or whatever, it doesn't cease to exist on the computer. You just have two copies of your file now.

 

So uploading your brain to a computer doesn't make you immortal. Best case scenario, it means there's now an immortal copy of you in a computer. But you - the you who wants more time to collect stamps or make Thai food - you're still there, in your body, dying at exactly the same rate you always have been.

 

Anyway, all this to say I wrote a short story that tries to deal with some of this stuff. Feel free to read it, and let me know what you think.

 

After I wrote that, I watched some episodes of Black Mirror, and came to realize that this is the plot of literally every episode of Black Mirror. I'm not sure what that means. I guess it means, if you get the chance to upload your brain into a computer, be careful what you wish for.

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