Futurology, Minds, Philosophy, Politics, SciFi, Technology, Transhumanism

Sufficient technology

Let’s hypothesise sufficient brain scans. As far as I know, we don’t have better than either very low resolution full-brain imaging (millions of synapses per voxel), or very limited high resolution imaging (thousands of synapses total), at least not for living brains. Let’s just pretend for the sake of argument that we have synapse-resolution full-brain scans of living subjects.

What are the implications?

  • Is a backup of your mind protected by the right to avoid self-incrimination? What about the minds of your pets?
  • Does a backup need to be punished (e.g. prison) if the person it is made from is punished? What if the offence occurred after the backup was made?
  • If the mind state is running rather than offline cold-storage, how many votes do all the copies get? What if they’re allowed to diverge? Which of them is allowed to access the bank accounts or other assets of the original? Is the original entitled to money earned by the copies?
  • If you memorise something and then get backed up, is that copyright infringement?
  • If a mind can run on silicon for less than the cost of food to keep a human healthy, can anyone other than the foremost mind in their respective field ever be employed?
  • If someone is backed up then the original is killed by someone who knows the person was backed up, is that murder, or is it the equivalent of a serious assault that causes a small duration of amnesia?

Sapiens Plurum contest entry

This was my entry into the 2019 Sapiens Plurum short story contest. In news which will shock precisely nobody, as this was my first attempt at writing a short story for a contest, not only did it totally fail to win, it didn’t even get an honourable mention.

“‘Save the world’, dad said”

Continue reading

Fiction, Humour

Mote of smartdust

Matthew beheld not the mote of smartdust in his own eye, for it was hiding itself from his view with advanced magickal trickery.

His brother Luke beheld the mote, yet within his brother’s eye was a beam of laser light that blinded him just as surely.

Luke went to remove the mote of dust in Matthew’s eye, but judged not correctly, and became confused.

Mark looked upon the brothers, and decided it was good.

SciFi, Video


Megastructures are big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big they are. I mean, you may think you live in a big city, but that’s just peanuts to even the smallest megastructure.

Three of the more famous megastructures:

  • A Halo installation: 10,000 km by 318 km (¹)
  • A Culture Orbital: 3,000,000 km by 12,000 km
  • Larry Niven’s Ringworld: 299,200,000 km by 1,600,000 km (²)

Oh, and the Sun for scale. It’s at the end of the video, the small white dot in the middle of the Ringword’s… er… ring. Radius 695,700 km.

Rendered with https://threejs.org/editor/

¹ Do not put a big ring this close to the ground. If you do, the heavy stuff of the ring will pull on the big deep water between land, making the water go very high and over everything, and everyone will have a bad day and not go into space ever.

² A Dyson sphere is the same size, but fully encloses the star instead of just encircling it