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Is the Person Copied if the Brain is Copied

Watched Netflix’s “Altered Carbon”.

Not bad. I felt I needed to hit my “believe” button more than I would like and the ending was really pushing it, but it’s a descent show.

What was interesting was one of the main features of the “Altered Carbon” world- the ability to digitally copy and transmit the consciousness of a person. For the show, whenever desired, a person can transfer their consciousness between bodies. Any body not currently occupied. This is usually done in the event of serious bodily trauma or death...if the person can afford it.

But it seemed like once the original human being is dead, what is preserved is not a human being but the imitation of a human being. In other words, copying someones mind and putting it into another body is not ressurection or preservation of the original. It is merely creating a digital clone of the original.

The show didnt seem to explore what I felt was the far more desirable ability to simply download ones consciousness directly into a machine or the internet itself, where it is not confined to the limitations of a body. For intance, you could download the consciousness of a fighter pilot into a war plane to have a highly skilled “human being” without costing a human life or the maintenance of one.

Even so, to me, these aren’t people but deceptively human-like copies of people. I never read the books this show was based on, so I don’t know if this is an already established underlying truth in the books, but what I got from this whole thing was that in the future, the companies that control this technology would make unknown sums of money giving desperate and deluded people the illusion of life after death when, in truth, they die when their body dies. The show never looks at it from that angle and when you do, you see how utterly bizzare and creepy the people of the future are. It’s like watching some sort of sick mass-delusion. At least...in the way they are using it. I do think there are some really good uses for this kind of thing, but I it seems so slippery that gross things are bound to be normalized with something like this.

Ah well. The shows not bad. Interesting ideas. Sorta cheesy. The plot gets unbelievable, but it’s not necessarily unfun. 6.5 stars?



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