Oct 232012

I’ve been sick over the past week, which reminds me again just how much we’re just biological machines.

In my previous life I had dismissed the importance of a bodily incarnation entirely. I am my mental processes, what do I care for the meat life-support system I’m stuck in? I didn’t much care what went into it so long as it kept my brain running. I couldn’t wait for the day I could replace all my organic bits with cybernetic variants, which would last longer, work better, and be easier to repair. In my ideal world I’d be able to become an entirely disembodied intellect, possibly running on a computer network.

Once I decided to get in shape and started caring for my body, I suddenly realized how much of who I am depends on the meat I’m composed of. I’m more assertive now, and quite a bit more pro-active. Before I would complain about having to do anything that required manipulating the physical world, now I stand up and get shit done.

While I was sick I naturally couldn’t do much physically. But the change to my mental patterns was far more pronounced than it had any right to be. I was gloomy and irritable. I started dwelling on the suckitude of humanity, and how we’re all doomed anyway, so what the hell is the point of anything? I was reverting back to my previous self. Not for long, and not nearly as extreme, but in occasional sharp bursts before I got it back under control.

I realize a lot of being an Agent is figuring out how to hack your body and your mind so that you can direct them into doing what YOU want, rather than what the Elephant wants. Episodes like this make me worry. It was ridiculously easy to unseat my Rider with a viral invasion. Could I have altered my tactics to overcome this, given enough time? Or once I become old an frail will I succumb to permanently becoming a less happy person?

Part of this blog’s purpose is finding out. I’m leaving a permanent record I can compare my future states to, and see how much has changed.

It also leaves me wondering – would an emulation of me without this dependence on a bio-machine be a good enough copy to consider it truly me? Are Humans 1.0 doomed to forever be stuck on top of unwieldy unconscious systems that they have to fight against? Is that part of what it means to be human? Only one way to find out…

It seems like the claim of some deaf that getting a cochlear implant will forever fundamentally change what it means to be them, and that it is an assault on all of deaf culture. Maybe this is true. Maybe Deaf Johnny is a different enough person from Hearing Johnny that Deaf Johnny can be said to be dead. But if we wouldn’t choose to deafen people, we have a case for saying that Hearing could be a good thing. I’m certainly glad I’m fit now, and I wouldn’t chose to become fat again, and I’m not sad that Fat Eneasz is dead. Frankly, Fit Eneasz is better.

So if post-humans were to make the case that life is much better after abandoning the seething mess of urges we’re built on… hell, why not? Gotta keep changing and growing, or you’ll be left behind with the Amish.

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