Friday, May 4, 2007

“Come to the wired as soon as you can…”

Considering my ambivalence towards humanity, especially the primitive human body still bound by countless needs (sleep and nourishment) and urges (sex and violence) I am really intrigued by the idea of disembodiment or an a corporeal entity. The concept holds some interesting connotations in relation to the problem of travel across infinite space. Regardless of how fast a space vessel could move journeys to other star systems would still require several decades at least and most likely a few generations. Quite an inefficient means of moving from point A to point B, but if the human psyche could be translated into a set of data and transmitted as a wave to their destination; we are no longer bound by the body (space) or time. As a result, within Schild’s Ladder those who choose to travel embodied are typically the target of humor, since it would be akin to someone walking from Boston to San Francisco even though they are more than capable of buying an airline ticket.

Convenience within travel aside there are two sides to consider in relation to embodiment. In one sense it would be wonderful to no longer be bound by the restraints of humanity and have the power to create any image conceivable of oneself. This to me would allow perfect expression of individualism for one could choose their gender and small physical traits; however, such a scenario would possibly allow some of the dangers seen in Snow Crash brought forth into reality, namely some of the ridiculous avatars in the metaverse or an infinite amount of Clints and Brandys. Furthermore, the question of post humanity exists, in such a scenario are humans even human anymore or is it that humanity has transcended to “post humanity”? I have no attachment to my humanity and would be willing to see a giant tomato conversing with a talking reproductive organ in the street if it meant I could live as an a corporeal and choosing to become embodied allowed for the freedom of choice. Yet the connotations of change are still justifiability frightening for some.

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