New Short Story, 2008

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:25 pm

Pop Bottle Empty
By Jennifer Diane Reitz, 2008

The hologhost that came by last year made a big impression on me I guess, and I shouldn't have spent so much talking to it I suppose, but I was mad at the Elder for some reason at the time and it was pretty nice for a demon and I figured nothing could touch my faith so where's the harm?

She had talked about visiting this planet - it had talked about that planet, because demons can't be men or women because they aren't real people - it had talked about visiting another planet, another planet with actual life on it, and that was just too much for me. I guess I was seduced by the devil right there, because I did love reading all those old rockets and ray-guns stories out of the crumbling books in the back part of the library in the old city. It wasn't the best to go there, the city being run-down and abandoned and all, but there were books you couldn't get back in our village, and of course there was the thrill of courting danger and all. That's another sin of mine.

Anyway it sort of grew in me, like a little hell-fire, that it shouldn't just be the AIs and the hologhosts that get to see the stars, and that real people should be able to go into space too, and some had, and there should be at least one person from our village who everyone could say had gone there, and I wanted to be that someone. That's a sin of pride on top of everything else, I guess.

So when I left with the AI and the ghosts for the beanstalk momma cried and cried and papa was just silent and wouldn't look at me and my little sister wouldn't let go and kept screaming don't go, don't go, please don't go, and none of the Elders would have anything to do with seeing me off but I was adamant that faith means more than just going to church, and that there was Work to be done up there as well as down here. I really think that - having faith doesn't mean we have to be backward. I like our village plenty, but there is no reason we should be denied the stars.

The trip was really long, because the beanstalk was out in the ocean, and that was way past the abandoned cities and we had to use a hover to actually get there being as I was made of real flesh and blood like god intended. Maybe it would do the demons some good to see what actual travel was like, instead of just uploading or downloading or whatever it is that they do instead of bothering with seeing the countryside from one place to the next.

I'd been to the coast once before, when I was little, papa and the whole family, and part of the village too, had all taken the broken roads all the way out there to look on the remaining works of Man. We were supposed to see the fallen cities, and how the trees and animals were taking them back, and understand what we had lost when the Singularity happened, but all I could think of was how many books I hadn't ever read must be in those old libraries, and how much I wished I could get out of the bus and just explore.

The trip this time was really different. I think most of the cities were gone now, and the nice hologhost sitting next to me said that was the case because they and the AIs were gradually turning things back to nature to make the world a garden, just like the garden of Eden. I think it was trying to humor me in saying that - they'll do that you know - but however hard they try, the hologhosts still have this air of smug superiority to them, like they are talking down to a child. They think they are uploaded or downloaded or sideloaded humans or whatever, but they don't have souls, they lost those when they gave up their god-given bodies for earthly immortality, so they don't have any reason to sound so big.

I spent the whole beanstalk trip just looking out the window. It took hours but I wasn't the least bit bored - the earth just kept getting farther away, and the blue and white of the sea and clouds getting smaller was just mesmerizing. I couldn't hope to see the village, it was just all too complicated and unfamiliar from up high, but it was beautiful as can be, and I said prayers thanking god for such a beautiful planet because it was a beautiful planet. I was really grateful just to see it like that, from on high, the way the lord sees it, even for just a bit. Then we were in the spacedock up top.

They had to process all the meatbags - That's us of course - to cope with the rigors of travel in space. We had to wear special undergarments against the rays, and take medicine for the rays, and have injections against the rays and all I could think about was that there were a lot of rays in space. And we had to watch holos and listen to hologhosts give lectures and one time an AI even came in and directly addressed us in real language and everything. I'd never known that they could even speak like people before.

We were going to visit a world just beyond the first Gate, a planet with a simple race of creatures - they didn't look like anything I'd describe as people - that lived a tribal life on their tan-and-brown world. We were just there as tourists, we could take pictures, and collect things to take back, but we weren't supposed to get anywhere near the natives, and we were going to be watched really carefully about that. It wasn't for the sake of the creatures - instead it was because we might get hurt, since the tribals could get a little violent when they got scared and supposedly we didn't look like people to them!

Imagine that! They were so far gone that they couldn't even recognize the form of god himself, which Man was made in the image of. That was why I wanted to go out there, to help these poor things to realize the truth, to do God's work. I didn't suppose things like that had souls, but maybe they did, and someone should help them. That's only kindly.

Anyway, there was one last thing we had to do before we could board the ships, and some of the real people in our group wouldn't do it, and they had to leave and do the trip of shame back down the beanstalk, because it was mandatory and they refused. It was questionable in my faith, I admit, but I also knew it didn't matter because there was no way that any of this could touch my soul. Papa had taught me that much.

They had to make a 'backup' of everyone, it was their law or something. Before any dangerous thing they do that, they make a backup of themselves and everyone involved. For real people - meatbags - you sit in this chair with all the weird things that go to your head and spine, and they do a recording and you get up and that's it. I didn't care, they could record all they wanted, it certainly doesn't touch me at all. Record anything you want, my soul is secure, and so is my faith, so let's go and I hopped on the chair just to show them that being from a village doesn't mean we're a bunch of backward cowards.

I didn't feel a thing, because it's just a recording. I just sat in the chair, and they put all these things all over me, especially on my head, they come out of the chair and are kind of like little insect legs, and they felt good on my scalp, because it was a little ichy in the dry air up there. They even had a nice big window I could look out of and see the earth turning down below, and that was entertainment enough just by itself. The other real people and our hologhost guides were standing around in the distance, talking, while the ghost doctor - I guess he was a doctor - kept me company for the half-hour it takes to do a backup on someone who doesn't have plugs or anything unnatural in their heads.

"Almost done" the ghost said and smiled at me, and thats when something odd happened. I was looking at the earth, mostly, but occasionally I was looking over at the rest of the group of real people that had stayed, who were in the lounge just beyond the backup room. I had met some of them, and there was one I particularly liked, I figured we could be friends on the trip. She had come from a village not unlike mine, and we had a lot in common. Her village was up in some mountains, and I thought that was pretty interesting, since I had always wondered what it would be like to live on a mountain.

I was looking at her and suddenly, like changing a channel, they were all gone. Just like that. It was the darndest thing, they just blinked out of existence. I didn't know what to make of it. I looked back at the window, and it was in a different place, and the earth was funny - it wasn't blue and white anymore, it was yellow and brown, and that didn't make sense either. I got scared and lept out of the chair - only it wasn't a chair anymore, it was this weird tank-thing, and I was naked and covered with this slimy stuff that felt like oil or pond scum or something. I backed into a corner near the door, I was afraid because I didn't understand what was going on.

The room was completely different. The hologhost doctor wasn't there by my side, instead there were three or four of them, and an AI was there too. One or two of the group of real people were there as well, including the girl I was starting to be friends with. She looked very strange, her face was some emotion I couldn't figure out. I tried to speak, but my throat was full of that slime so I spent some time coughing it up all over the floor, but nobody seemed to mind the mess I was making.

I looked again at that girl. She was dressed in something very different than I remembered, and she started to cry and she turned away and the other members of the real people there were looking down or unable to meet my gaze. I finally croaked out that I wanted to know what was going on, was this a trick, what had happened? Had I passed out, was there a problem with the chair - I was worried that the backup chair had shorted out or something and I'd had to be rushed to the medical ward.

The girl I liked looked at me, and the look was pity and horror, and she ran out of the room crying, and I looked again out the window at the brown and yellow earth only it wasn't the earth, I saw that now, and it hit me that this wasn't the same room, and this wasn't the spaceport, this was the starship, and that was the alien world, and a lot of time must have passed, and that I wasn't there. I was down on that alien world, my body was down on that alien world, and my soul was in heaven with Jesus and the angels, and I was a demon who only thought that I was me, and that was when I knew I had no soul.

*?!
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Alikat » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:44 pm

Caught a native spear in the neck so they cloned him a replacement body and loaded his backup into it, eh? That would definitely mess with the head of a Control Human from a culture based on a primitive religion.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Tychomonger » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:51 pm

(I thought the protagonist was a she, did it actually say?)

Now the question is what will she do? Will she kill herself, safe in the knowledge that her soul has already moved on and save herself the torment of not being able to worship God, being a demon?
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:28 pm

This story was born from my speculating about what it would be like to awake from being revived, to awake from a backup of your personality and identity inside a fresh clone body.

You wouldn't feel any time had passed at all. That would be the weird thing about sitting down to have your memories and identity uploaded for storage - the last thing you think as you are being uploaded would be the first thing you think as you are revived, so to you, no time would pass. The world would just blink, and skip a beat, and suddenly everything would be different around you, but you would be the person that sat down on that chair.

It would be strange to sit in a backup chair, the actual sitting down part. You sit down, and you would realize that in just a few moments, either you would experience getting up and going off on your mission, or you would experience climbing out of a clone tank, one or the other, with no gap, no switch, no time, just one or the other, right after someone says, "Ok, that's it!"

It would be a little creepy, putting your butt into that chair, knowing that in just a few moments, either everything goes on, or you will be saddled with one hell of an existential problem as to what and who you really are, and what identity really means.

Some folks might just shrug, and go 'huh!', shake the goo off, and want to know how they were killed, what happened.

Some might be really surprised, not really believing that such a thing could actually happen to them.

And some, I figure, might be really traumatized, once the weight of it sunk in.

But always the problem would be that they would feel no different, at all, than the moment that they stuck their butt in that chair. They would feel like the same person, they would have all of their memories, it would seem as if the world changed and not them.

Think, for a moment, what it would be like, your butt hovering over that chair, knowing this. It's better to be backed up, just in case, it's better to save your game... but there's always that chance, that chance that you won't just get up out of the same chair you sat down in, and then to know that the you that did get up out of that chair died. Perhaps horribly. Are you... you? You know absolutely that you are yourself, yet... are you? And however this question is answered, whichever way you answer it, causes problems for the sense of identity, of self. Either way is troubling.

Someday, I wish within my lifespan, though I doubt it, we may actually have to deal with just this problem.

I find that wonderful and horrifying at the same time; I find it sublime.

How would I deal with this? I don't know. I think I would be contemplating it for a long, long time afterwards, trying to wrap my mind around what it means.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby strange_person » Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:12 pm

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:right after someone says, "Ok, that's it!"

Technically, right before. When they say "Okay, that's it!" then (if you're thinking about this kind of thing entirely too much) you realize that you're invulnerable for the rest of the trip. After all, if you were going to get killed, you would have woken up in the tank, right?
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Anna » Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:09 am

Well, one of my own favourite day dreams is, to be frozen in, and be awake in an age when genetic engineering is perfect enough to give me a nearly perfect shaped female body, and XX chromosomes of course, all Y would be eliminated.
Oh, yes and to be younger again, it doesn't make sense to live only as an old woman, and the opportunity to get children is something I wouldn't throw away.

Meanwhile, getting my hair back, would be much, much helpfull, sadly, even that can't be made, - to life on earth is hell.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:00 am

strange_person wrote:
Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:right after someone says, "Ok, that's it!"

Technically, right before. When they say "Okay, that's it!" then (if you're thinking about this kind of thing entirely too much) you realize that you're invulnerable for the rest of the trip. After all, if you were going to get killed, you would have woken up in the tank, right?


That... is the essence of the problem that this whole concept embodies. No, you are not at all invulnerable. You could march right off, go out the door, and be killed shortly after. The fact you are still in the chair means nothing... to you.

However, to you, the other you that is restored after your death, that is the you that gets to deal with questioning the meaning of identity.

The problem here is the issue of which you that you actually are. Are you the first self, who dies, or are you the second self that is restored later? Both people would assure you that they are the true self. The first self, just as it is dying, would claim that any clone is just that - a clone. It would claim that it is the true self.

But the clone would experience an unbroken continuation of self from chair to tank, and have to learn that it is a clone, and that its earlier self had died. Both people would be utterly identical from the save point in the backup chair. They would literally be the same person in every measurable way. Their minds, their identities, their very selves would be the same. Which one is real? Both? Only the first one? Only the second one because it is the one that survives? Does it matter (in a cosmic sense - it certainly matters a great deal to the individual) at all?

No, getting up from the chair confers no guarantee of safety. This isn't time travel, and this isn't fate. This is being duplicated, this is being copied. This is the mind as software and the body as hardware, and is identical to making a backup of a video, or a song, and losing one copy, but still having the data on your hard drive.

If you buy a CD, and you copy the data to your computer, and your CD is destroyed -broken-, and you burn a new CD to replace it, is the music the same music? Are the songs the same songs, or are they new songs that just happen to sound identical to the original CD?

If you copy the mind and memories and identity of a human brain, and the person later dies, and you grow an identical clone body, and download the memories, mind, and identity into the clone, is it the same person... or just a person who just happens to be utterly identical to the original person?

The question is exactly the same. There is no difference between the two examples. Not unless you believe in some immortal, mystic soul or spirit. But even then, what does that mean? Does the clone have a soul, or is it soul-less? Does a new soul grow in it over time, or does the original soul re-enter the clone body the moment it awakes? This is not something religion ever considered before, because all religion dates from pre-technological times. This is something new. The closest thing might come from the notion of reincarnation, which might lean towards the idea of the soul returning to an identical copy of the flesh. Or not.

It is, as I stated, a troubling notion.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby strange_person » Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:40 am

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:No, getting up from the chair confers no guarantee of safety. This isn't time travel, and this isn't fate.

I understand that perfectly well, but there are many who would not, which is why I think the practice of creating backups for people going into dangerous situations would be self-perpetuating. It distorts the subject's perception of risk.

I mean, on all the trips where (according to everyone else) the tourist got killed, the actual memory is waking up in the tank immediately after the scan. To a dualist, someone who thinks memories are retained in the soul, that just means that the soul departed the premises as soon as the backup finished. It was the 'demon' who went down to the planet and got killed.
Clearly, the natives' ability to recognize, overpower, and barbecue a soulless impostor is further evidence that they have some spark of righteousness, and need to be introduced to the True Way. I'll go down there myself and explain things properly just as soon as they finish backing me up agai...

...nope, back in the tank. Hmm. When I go meet them for real, maybe I should start by converting them to vegetarianism.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Anna » Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:20 am

Well, I haven't read it complete, but please let me give some thoughts to it.
I think/believe if a clone is alive, he/she/it has a soul, because every living being has a soul, if not, then there are no soul, and nobody has a soul at all, if you will let the clone grown up this clone will develope his/her own personality.
(sorry for using "his/her" but this comes from the german language, der die das, der Mann, die Frau, das Kind, simple, but then...
Die Tür/door, das Haus/house, der Schlüssel/key, das Auto/car, der Wagen/car. Der Klon/clone.)

This clone here is female. Allright.
For me a clone is a twin, later born, but a twin, if you download the content of a brain this would merge with the still devloped personality, and would be a crime, ... exeptions: parts of the memory, or parts wich was destroyed by an incident, and can be replaced with the memories and "behavior-software" of an other person, just to give a better quality of life. (Just as an idea)
But the old memory could overwrite the present personality.

The Schwarzenegger movie, "The sixth day" did show an other example of implant a personality in a clone.
These clones are in my opinion new persons, they are copies, yes, but the old original died, a human being died are we should mourning for them.
The copies, the clones well, they can fit in into the old life's, but it is philosphical question what they are, their created bodies are only a few days old, they hadn't the chance to create a personality of their own. so they could replace the original to become an original by themself.
But for me they are copies, because, not everything of the old memory couldn't be stored.
If the Original dies shortly after the saving of the brain content, well there are still some seconds which are not present in the memory of the new copy. allright maybe we could ignore it, a few seconds, doesn't matter and for what reason there should be a memory of the fear of the upcoming deáth?
A little problem would be if the content was saving a few days before, this different experience could be different, just some personal insight of the own life are lost.
However, a copy is a copy, and I can only say, yes you are not the original, and now you must start a live for your own.
But I have no doubt that this clone has a soul!
Not the same soul, an other soul, which destiny is to live as the person it is a clone from.

Hm, funny if there is this concept of reincarnation, there is a soul, ended a life and will be reborn in an other part of the world.
And there is an other soul which will be reborn as the clone of Mrs R.
cruel..., if the authorties, in the heaven or so, didn't send the same soul back in the copyclone body.
Would be an esoteric funny comedy, Jennifer, you can take this for a new story, it was your principle idea.

Well, I repeat it, if there is the concept of soul in our multiverse, then everything and being has a soul, or there is no soul at all.
If Jennifer understand the concept of spoul different, maybe a cultural misunderstanding and you americans do understand soul different then I do...
Soul music?? -example??
...then I'm sorry.
The conceptional soul, spirit, ghost...
Language and cultures, even in the western hemisphere are weird and different.


Oh, another movie example of cloning, "Judge Dread"
remember?
the end fight, ahm the fight before the end...
The story told that Judge Dread, Sly, was aclone and his arch enemy was also a clone from the same offspring.
But they developed different.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby draque » Thu Jun 12, 2008 11:20 am

Loved the story, and the question of identity that you raise here is one that I've agonized over for quite some time, myself. The conclusion I've come to is that our definition of "identity" is too limited to discuss the issue. By using the word, we limit our thinking to its meaning, which while not flawed, is inexact.

Our situation is that there is an identical copy (who we can be positive is a copy) who is awakened immediately after the death of the original. It seems like the big issue with the word "identity" is that it doesn't differentiate between our core of perception, our bodies and the memories and information that make up our pasts. A body and memories are both things that are very easy to imagine within the realms of science. Although their complexity outstrips our current understanding, it's very clear that both work with principles that we are already familiar with. If technology and science continue to proceed, there's no reason that we can't reproduce both.

The core of perception is the last bit, though, the part of you that actually experiences. It's very easy to say that it is simply a result of chemical processes in our brains, but I've never come across a single explanation of how they might be. Keep in mind that I don't necessarily doubt that it is in all likelihood be explained scientifically... but we clearly have no inkling currently of how it might be done. Until we have at least some sort of basic understanding, I don't believe that we will be able to have any meaningful answer to the question of whether or not it can be copied. We have no clue of what it actually is. None of the theories I have come across address the homunculus argument to my satisfaction.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby InterNutter » Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:19 pm

Bit of a Turing Test thing here, isn't it? If something is smart enough to fool a human into thinking that it's a human... then it should be another human. Note the qualifier. "Should"s cover a lot of grey ground.

If we define "soul" as "That bit that keeps us alive", then a clone with downloaded memories has a soul, and so does the original... and it's the same soul. Maybe. If all we are is the sum of our experiences, then the divergent point is the very moment when the progress bar reached 100%. As strange_person said, just before the attending techie says, "Okay, that's it," and each iteration has different lives from that point in time.

Personally, I think the larger portion of humanity will adapt based on the "Walks Like A Duck" principle. If, in all other respects, the being interacting with you looks and behaves like people, then treat it as people. Some in dangerous occupations may even back themselves up after deciding on a course of action. Some may implant devices that act like black boxes for their brains.

That'd be an interesting one to cover. Dunno whether to call it _Save Point_ or _Iterative Life_...
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby draque » Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:48 pm

InterNutter wrote:That'd be an interesting one to cover. Dunno whether to call it _Save Point_ or _Iterative Life_...


Still, if you die, you'll be dead. A copy of you will live on, not being able to tell that it's in any way different from the you that backed up (because for all intents and purposes, it won't be)... but your personal experience will end.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:46 pm

Here is an even trickier problem which asks 'would we even know ourselves?'

You take a person, and sedate them to full unconsciousness. Then you backup their brain and immediately download that backup into a pre-prepared absolutely identical clone, which is already sedated and thus not capable of unconsciousness. Now you take both unconscious people and put them in a room side by side. Then, you have a nurse go in and randomly shuffle the sleeping people, by just moving the wheeled palets around a bit so that nobody knows who is who. The nurse has no knowledge of any of this, she just does the task.

Now wait for both to wake up.

You are one of those people. The two versions of you are identical in every way, they literally are the same person.

Here is the big question: are you the clone, or the original?

How could you tell? Both of you have the same memories of being the original. Both of you would be equally sure and unsure of your status.

Even the original techs that did the procedure would not know which was which, and the nurse that did the shuffle (or not) was not informed of any part of this experiment, so she has no idea either.

I submit that you cannot know who you are. You cannot know yourself - you cannot know if you are clone or original.

This said, apply this understanding to the conditions of the story above for added depth of dilemma.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby strange_person » Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:23 pm

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:Here is the big question: are you the clone, or the original?

Nah, the really important question is "Your place or mine?"

Also I think it might be possible to distinguish by looking at isotope ratios.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby InterNutter » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:04 pm

Existentially, you are the clone *AND* the original :D

Since there's no definitive test for a soul, and the experiences are identical, there's no definable divergence point. You and your clone are essentially the same person until each begin to have different experiences.

Arguably, a clone could have a longer lifespan... given that their cell decay rates are initiated at a later stage than the originals... but that's a proof that would take a *real* long time to get.
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby draque » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:32 pm

Jennifer Diane Reitz wrote:Here is the big question: are you the clone, or the original? [. . .] I submit that you cannot know who you are. You cannot know yourself - you cannot know if you are clone or original.


I would agree that there wouldn't be any way to tell. The point that intrigues me is whether a distinction could be made. If there are no hidden variables (i.e. a "soul" or something like one, regardless of whether or not they are supernatural) that acted as some sort of unique identifier, then a distinction would be meaningful. If there were no hidden variables... that implies that all identical instances of the same pattern that results in a core of perception are identical. Taking it a step further, individual instances of perception (which would each take up one sliver of time) are distinct to the extent that they are separate from one another. I have to wonder if this doesn't mean one of two things. The first is more morbid, and that is the idea that we as perceptive creatures exist for only a single moment before being snuffed out, replaced by an incrementally different creature that thinks there was a continuity of perception from the last creature's moment to its (when in fact this is an illusion: the current creature only just came into existence). The second possibility is one that I like much better. It is the possibility that the passage of time really is an illusion and that we as perceptive creatures exist eternally in a single spot. That would mean we never have to truly die, as each momentary existence in truth lasts forever.

This whole conversation has me feeling like I'm condensing what I'm trying to say to the point where it's losing a lot of meaning... I think I am going to type up an essay on it or something. ^^
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Pop Bottle Empty (Story from Wednesday)

Postby Volair » Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:41 pm

http://www.pasteldefender.com/story1.html Brill, Jen. Had to delurk just to say that.

I fear you have more or less accurately predicted what the humans will be like once transhumans like us have moved on. But I suppose it will be their loss.

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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Volair » Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:58 pm

Brilliant, abso-BRILL, Jen. (not sure what we'll do about the topic I erroneously started above, ya?)

Now, what if there was such a thing as a soul?

What if, under the fabric of the universe, as Orson Scott Card once imagined, there was some sort of soulstuff cluster of entities which may swiff into a body and make it a Being, under the right conditions?

You and your clone wake up, and maybe decide to be roomies. (After all, you like all the same food, movies, sexual positions...)

After a while... differences arise. Your clone got a new whiff of soulstuff at the copypoint, after all. Maybe he gets this idea in his head that he used to be a cat, or maybe he just starts having a thing for motorcycles. You'd have long talks. Maybe it's chaos theory at work-- small differences like being the one on the left side of the bed have rippled into bigger ones like wanting to try hangliding, or maybe...

...just maybe...

Ah, what interesting social experiments our future performance artists will get on to!

#_@
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Wizard CaT » Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:32 pm

InterNutter wrote:Arguably, a clone could have a longer lifespan... given that their cell decay rates are initiated at a later stage than the originals... but that's a proof that would take a *real* long time to get.


Clones die faster. Our cells have their DNA ends already at 20 years, then you have to grow a body to a certain point, so it's 40 years now...
~Only in silence the word, only in dark the light, only in dying life: bright the hawk's flight on the empty sky.~ The Creation of Éa
Damn you Clemson University, you deleted the 'sploding Kay that Etherwings uploaded eons ago!
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Re: New Short Story, 2008

Postby Alikat » Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:58 pm

That's the problem with ascribing such importance to something as ineffable as a soul: Since it cannot be detected or measured in any way, the only way to tell if a soul is missing, damaged, or otherwise affected is by arbitrarily deciding it is so. For all the character knew, God gives souls to clones in tanks too. But he was certain that he had no soul because some patriarch told him that clones had no souls. He thought he was a demon because some patriarch arbitrarily decided at some point in the past that demons existed, that they had no souls, and that a human without a soul is "a demon." And we all know that demons are BAD, because some patriarch told us that demons are evil.

In other words, it's all arbitrarily-arrived-at conclusions being dressed up as cosmic facts of existence. For all we know, there very well COULD BE a human soul, but I trust those patriarchs to know what a soul is and how it works about as well as I trust them to know how to create a self-sustaining nuclear reaction using U-235, cadmium, graphite, deuterium, and water. They are ignorant fools who have elevated willful ignorance above all else. They are afraid to know "too much," because knowing a lot of things is akin to witchcraft in their tiny minds, and "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." Probably because they make the Patriarchy uncomfortable and looking foolish.
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