Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The proof of my existence

I’ve been spending some time lately investigating the current theories in immortality.

I’ve uncovered two interestingly plausible ones.

The first is a medical solution.

Through genetic manipulation, we may be able to halt the aging process, and gradually eradicate any and all potentially fatal diseases. Thus rendering one immune to death by natural causes. Of course that method doesn’t render you immune to being hit by a bus, but it does theoretically lengthen your life-span indefinitely. You could live for centuries, or millennia. Not quite immortality, but close as dammit to it.

The second solution is a technological one. I think this is more exciting.

Within 50 years or so, we will probably have computers sufficiently sophisticated that they will be able to match, if not better, the processing power and storage capacity of the human brain. We will also, most likely, have developed interface technology allowing us to use computer instruments to read and interpret the electrical signals and chemical subtleties of the brain, thus allowing us to effectively “read people’s minds”.

What the theory proposes is that we will be able to combine these technologies in such a way that we will be able to copy the human mind in its entirety and install it within a computer.

Once your mind is running within the computer, there will be two of you. A biological one (the original you) and a digital one. Each living its own life, with its own experiences. Although the biological you will most likely eventually expire, the digital you can continue to live as long as there is a computer for it to live in… or at the very least a backup medium for it to be stored in.

Of course, being like any other data, the digital you can itself be copied, and installed onto other systems, thus creating even more copies of you. The more copies there are of you, the less likely it is that you will “die”.

Naturally this raises all sorts of interesting metaphysical questions. What about the immortal soul? Which one is the real you? Will a digital human still see themselves as human? Will digital people be capable of things like emotion, compassion and love?

I can’t wait to answer those questions.

What got me interested in this in the first place was when I started thinking about my own mortality.

I’m not afraid of dying. When I was young I had a dream about my own death... It was actually very pleasant and, to be honest, I’m sort of looking forward to it. What does concern me is my life coming to an end, and not having anything to show for it.

If I died tomorrow, what would my legacy be? I hope there would be some people crying at my funeral, but once the mourning was over, what effect would there really be?

Would I really leave a hole in the world that no one else could fill? Centuries from now, would people say “Thank goodness for that 01. If he hadn’t done what he did, we would really be in the soup now”?

If pressed to answer those questions, I would have to say “I don’t know. Probably not.” Not for lack of trying though. I don’t even have any children who can thank me for their existence.

Thus, I have been drawn into a quest for immortality. The way I see it, the longer I live, the more time I will have to do something truly remarkable, and really make a difference in people’s lives.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Who needs the real thing?

Now this is really cool. If I had one of these I wouldn't need a real woman!

There's no better feeling than lying on the couch or whatever with your head in her lap. Now I don't even have to go through the hassle of acquiring a real-life girlfriend to enjoy that sensation!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

It's official

So this weekend marked a milestone in my life. I had it confirmed by a respected authority that I am as smart as I always thought I was.

Yup, I took the Mensa test and passed!

Guess that makes me some kind of genius or something. I dunno... I still feel the same.

Too bad being a genius doesn't help you laid in this country. Oh well.

I know this isn't really a big deal... I now know for a fact that my school teachers were right when they kept telling me I wasn't reaching my "potential". Truth is I'm probably smarter than all of them. That's a cool thought.

Although I was quite chuffed about it, I didn't get the ticker-tape parade I was expecting.

Sure, my mom and my best girl were happy to hear it and proud of me and all... but it seemed there was something missing. Some kind of party to celebrate the fact that I really am more remarkable than is immediately apparent.

But none was forthcoming. My celebration consisted of going home to watch Star Trek by myself. Maybe being a genius really isn't all that remarkable.

I suppose it's selfish of me to expect people to drop everything to help me celebrate something they see as trivial and frankly unimportant. It seems many of my recent achievements in life have gone largely unnoticed by those closest to me.

Maybe my achievements have been trivial and unimportant.

Or maybe that's part of being a grownup. If that's the case, maybe I should consider a new career as a Forest-dwelling, green-clad, flying pirate-slayer.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Equality my ass

This morning on the radio I heard an advert for 'First for Women Insurance'. As you would expect it made all sorts of claims about feminine superiority in an unveiled attempt to impress their target market.

I'm sure I'm not the only South African man to take offense at the fact that such a company even exists! Can you imagine the ruckus that would ensue if someone were to start a company with a specifically male clientele? Even strip joints, although catering to a largely male market, never (to my knowledge) close their doors to any women who may want to frequent them.

Apparently their business rests on the fact that women are "better drivers". This statistic is laughable. They state that women are involved in up to 20% less incidents than men. But now think about this for a sec... (in South Africa) there are a lot more male drivers than there are female ones. Also, many women's cars are insured under their husbands' names, so when a claim is made, it will be under the name of the husband, and not the wife. Don't you think that might throw off their stats a little?

But while I'm on the subject, I'm going to rant a bit about this whole gender equality thing.

There is no doubt that women have, for many centuries, been marginalised and treated as second class citizens. I'm not defending that at all. It's despicable and regrettable. But that time is over. Ladies, you have the vote, you can drive, you can do ANYTHING we can do.

I was raised in a home with 3 older sisters... feminists all of them. From the day I arrived on planet Earth I was subjected to a constant barrage of comments about how women are better than men... anything I could do, they could do better. As a 5-year-old, I believed them. I didn't know otherwise.

This resulted in an inferiority complex that has plagued me my entire life. Upon reaching adulthood, and entering the dating scene, my self-esteem issues continued to pervade my experiences with the opposite sex. Even now, in my mid twenties, I reckon I'm a fairly attractive, relatively successful and unbelievably intelligent man... a real catch! Yet, despite that knowledge, I find it extremely difficult to muster up the courage to so much as ask a girl out.

Why? Because equality is a joke.

Although my feminazi sisters flew the nest long before I did, I continued to be bombarded with their anti-male sentiments from all directions. The media, "joke" emails, my female friends, even the women I've dated.

I'm all for equality, but it's not about that anymore. It's not even about revenge, it's about power. Women have it now, and they're using it to make us do whatever they want.

So I'm a man... what does that mean? What is a man in the 21st century? Are the genetecists right? Is the Y-chromosome headed for extinction? Does anyone even care?

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Do I really want to do this?

As a youngster I read the Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, and was inspired to begin documenting my own life. I was very dedicated about it for the first few years and managed to fill a few volumes with my childish ramblings.

Years passed, priorities changed and I forgot about the diary I had so dutifully updated.

Not long ago, my first serious girlfriend moved in with me. And, as live-in girlfriends are wont to do, she undertook to reorganise my living space, removing clutter and replacing it with candles and pretty little boxes too small to put anything in.

In her efforts, she uncovered a pile of books I instantly recognised and snatched away from her, lest she should be exposed to the many hidden truths contained therein. I stowed them for later, solitary perusal.

Once alone, I cracked open the first volume of the books I had spent many hours scribbling in. Immediately I was bombarded with memories of my childhood. The small things that brought me much joy, as well as moments that I had been more keen not to remember.

After some time reading, I came to realise the tone of the writings was not that of the relatively happy childhood I had remembered, but spoutings of a deeply sad and unhappy young person. That disturbed me. Once struck with that realisation, I was unable to continue. I once again hid the books, and forced myself to forget the location. To this day I don't know where they are.

The experience of awakening repressed memories and emotions was traumatic. In itself a memory worth repressing. It was the fear of repeating such an event that has prevented me from climbing onto the blog bandwagon... until now.

Hopefully this will be a more pleasant life-record than the last one.

May the Force be with me!