November 4, 2017•576 words
Humans today are pathetically ephemeral. It’s what defines our existence. Death lingers in the back of our minds like an unpaid bill (a huge scary bill). Tragically, we may be some of the last ephemeral beings the world sees before this problem is solved. Technology and medicine are moving fast. Within decades, or no more than a century, aging will be cured or delayed, or better yet, electron-emitting devices will be manufactured that can create anything.
I try telling my friends about my wild theory that sometime in the (near) future, humans will be able to make nightly backups of their 3D electron sequence. If the next day you get run over by a bus, your at-home particle emitter will be notified, and respawn you from your most recent backup.
You’ll be able to make backups of your entire family, every night, automatically as they sleep. If gods-forbid something fatal should happen to your daughter, no worries—just restore her from the last backup. Her entire electron sequence would be reconstructed into 3D space. After her restore, she’ll be the same person she “was”. If during the backup process she was in the middle of a sentence, she’ll continue this sentence the moment her respawn is complete.
This is of course assuming that consciousness is made of matter, which I, and science for that matter, believe to be the case. Some people I tell this to ask, “But what about the soul??”
This may all seem far-fetched, but consider the electron-capturing and electron-emitting devices already in existence today. A microphone captures physical air patterns and re-distorts reality to play it back. Speakers literally change the air (and thus the electron sequence) in their vicinity.
A camera captures light information and re-distorts reality to play it back on your screen. Your iPhone screen is a 2D particle emitter. And let’s not forget about our huge 60-inch particle-emitting flat-screen TVs right in our living rooms. These mega machines reenact reality by distorting a 2D electron space to mimic captured data.
So, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched after all to say that in the future, a similar device can exist that can be pointed at an object to scan its 3D particle sequence, and can later re-emit this sequence in another 3D space. Essentially, a hi-tech camera and a hi-tech 3D printer. Easy.
The implications are of course troubling, if not fascinating. With death no longer being the constant nag it is to us today, humans will transition from a human to a post-human existence. Fear for us today has its roots in our aboriginal fear of death. Without this defining characteristic, our consciousness will shift. And given of course that you can 3D print a being from backup, you could print any object just as well. Theft, jealousy, lust, greed—these will all be things of the past. Why would one steal or be jealous of anything when they could have what others have in an instant? War, famine, poverty—all things of the petty human past.
No—with this technology, we will transcend our petty human existence into that of immortal gods. And that’s really where my imagination ends. What does a universe of a billion gods look like? Well, either we’ll find out soon enough, or, the universe is recursive in nature, and we’re already living in such a world: Our gods have gotten a hold of a similar device and have used it to create our universe.