Another Kind of Immortality

Another Kind of Immortality

There’s ample evidence and research indicating that it’s just a matter of time before virtual entertainment becomes virtual living. How far out are we from being able to step into a world that is so perfectly generated, it becomes real to us and as it does, more and more compelling?

We’re already bored with the early mind-blowing attempts that brought this unfolding tech to the forefront. Occulus Rift seems a lightyear ago, with Augmented Reality such a compelling second step. But the case for Fully Virtual is incredibly alluring.

To be able to step into a world designed for your personal use, edification, advancement and pleasure isn’t just attractive, it’s being madly developed in tech centers from San Francisco to Tel Aviv. And as it moves towards a functional reality, another parallel track will follow. Perhaps sometime later, but with utter certainty. Virtual Life. And with it, virtual immortality.

In Richard Morgan’s barn-storming scifi detective novel “Altered Carbon” a central conceit features the ability of its characters — living somewhere around 500 years in the future — to store their living brain functions in a tiny implantable capsule that can preserve the essence of someone too sick to live or who has actually died.

Think about it: the sum total of your life experience in a tiny chip that is stored in a super facility, then implanted into another body for you to then be revived and alived all over again. Morgan refers to this process as slipping in to a new sleeve. And if you’re determined and wealthy enough, you can pick and choose the kind of body you want — including changing sex — and do it repeatedly, netting you lifetimes of hundreds of years, as you wake up inside another casing and figure out what you look like and how it feels to be someone entirely new.

Nuts? Nu-uh. It’s logical, possible, predictable and simply a matter of time. Gives the term “be seein’ ya” a whole new connotation, eh?

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