Monday, October 30, 2006

After Life:

Some very interesting worldbuilding in this short sci fi story. Very seamless, if a little mystic. A+.

For non-transhumanists in my audience, this story assumes some scifi concepts, the central conceit is uploading.

Uploading is a sometimes murky concept, but the central thesis is that neuronal activity is computational in nature, we're built of neuronal activity (ie, we are our brains, mostly), so it ought to be possible to do all that computational work on something other than neurons(since all computers are equivalent. see The Church-Turing Thesis).

Once you have the instruction set for a human, and a computer capable of running it (we don't yet, brains are very very expensive), then you can have the virtual equivalent of a person. They will react and behave exactly like a real person (assuming you also simulate them a place to live, or hook them up to a robot body).

So in this story, we explore a future history of the effect of a successful human upload. I enjoyed it a great deal, and I'll probably post some spoiler discussion in a few days.

This is a high bar, I'm glad I'm writing fantasy for my NaNoWriMo and not Egan-esque scifi, because I don't know how I'd avoid pilfering from this, reading it one day before November.

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