Lately I have been looking at the moon and wondering if it will someday kill me. If I live another 50 years (which is entirely possible) I assume I will eventually be a robot, having shed my old skin and bones body and uploaded a scanned and digitized version of my brain to a machine. My fellow robots and I will live among the meat people for eons until the moon's orbit degrades, either gradually or because a meteor gives it a nudge, and Earth is annihilated in the collision. You might say I worry too much. But I've successfully avoided death so far, so I say I worry just enough.

Because of this impending moon problem I have been planning an exit strategy. By the time the moon starts heading our way I imagine we'll have the technology to send me into space in an escape rocket, searching for a habitable planet. I could power down my robot brain so the trip isn't so boring.

But even if this plan works it will be lonely when I find my new planet. And then there is the issue of the 400 billion meat people and fellow robots I leave behind, including my hot robot wife, Shelly, and the rest of my robot family. I want a solution for them too. Sure, I could reprogram my brain to not care, but that's not how I roll.

Unfortunately, I assume there would be no practical way to build and launch enough rockets for everyone to escape, at least not in time. So sending the entire population of Earth to the new planet isn't going to work.

We need a better plan than that, and it goes like this: Once we have the technology, we begin scanning and digitizing everyone's brain routinely, perhaps once a year during regular physicals. By then I'm sure we'll have universal planetary healthcare. Remember, this is the far, far future.

Once the moon starts coming our way, we launch some of the robot people, including me, as scouts for the new planet. Each of us will carry a huge flash drive filled with all the scanned brains of the meat people and robots that will be left behind. We will also bring enough technology to build more robots on New Earth.

I suppose we'd also want to freeze a few regular humans and take them along in the cargo bin so we can begin breeding them on New Earth, just for old time's sake. Obviously the meat people would be regarded as old technology, and a huge pain in the ass, always complaining about sinus problems and toothaches and whatnot, but we could turn off our robot ears when we visit them in the zoo on New Earth.

I look forward to my new robot planet. You might think that being a robot would be less fun than being human, but I think fun is exactly the sort of subroutine we'd design into the robot system. Or maybe we could just buy it at the iTunes app store.

Perhaps you think you would miss being human, but that's a subroutine we'd leave out of the robot mind. You would be designed for happiness. And I'm not talking about ordinary happiness. I'm talking about the kind that makes you scream and curl your robot toes. It will be a happy robot planet.

Another possible future is that we are so invested in our humanity, with all of its flaws, that we design our future robotic containers to perceive ourselves and other robots as flesh and blood humans. In other words, there's a good chance this plan already happened and you're a robot living on New Earth. You're only programmed to believe you are human.

Yeah, you knew I was going there.
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Sep 22, 2009
closer than the moon. a great killing in time for your kids McClatchy Washington Bureau | 08/27/2008 | Scientists close in on
mass killer of life on earth
((end of the next century, the CO2 level could approach what it was
during the P-T period.))
Scientists close in on mass killer of life on earth
WASHINGTON — It was the greatest mass murder of all time — poison
billions slain! — but the killer or killers have never been
The lessons of the P-T massacre are "directly applicable to the
present," said
John Isbell, a geoscientist at the University of Wisconsin in
Milwaukee. He said
the world today is in danger of exceeding a CO2 "threshold" that
could set off
an environmental upheaval as great as the one 251 million years ago.
Isbell said CO2 levels in the atmosphere at the time of the P-T
reached 1,000 to 1,500 parts per million (ppm), far higher than
today's level of
385 ppm. (That means there are 385 carbon dioxide molecules for every
1 million
total molecules in the atmosphere.)
CO2 levels are now rising by 2 ppm a year, and that's expected to
accelerate to
3 ppm a year. If carbon emissions aren't reduced, some researchers
fear that by
the end of the next century, the CO2 level could approach what it was
during the
P-T period.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 16, 2009
"Unfortunately, I assume there would be no practical way to build and launch enough rockets for everyone to escape, at least not in time. So sending the entire population of Earth to the new planet isn't going to work."

Are you kidding? By then, all the brains in the entire world can probably be stored on something the size of an iPod. In fact, all the brains in Washington can probably already be stored on an iPod.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 15, 2009
actually i read or heard somewhere that if the moon keeps going at its current rate in a few billion years or more it'll eventually leave the Earth's gravitational field and will fling itself into space. here is a link to a forum where this is talked about (not the original source that i heard it from) http://tinyurl.com/mreskw

according to that website the moon is slowly taking away energy from the earth so that its rotation is slowing down. so what will happen is the years will get longer. also, we will no longer have tides. werewolves will no longer be forced to change from human form to wolf form. you are correct that it will be Armageddon. you're just wrong as to how it will kill us all. but its ok, our robot bodies will not be affected by the moon being gone. we will just look up to the sky, remember and be sad
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 15, 2009
Wow, you got all that from looking at the moon, huh?
Sep 15, 2009
Why go to all that trouble? We'll already have invented the resurrection hub and FTL drives. Frakking toaster.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 15, 2009
May be we should simple nudge the moon back in orbit and be done with it?
Sep 15, 2009
Of curse I knew you would be going there. After all, I programmed into your system.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 15, 2009
Assume we're all running as simulations in a machine. Shouldn't we be more concerned with the machine than the moon? What if the grad student running this thing decides the machine will make a nice shelf for his subwoofer?
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 15, 2009
Domo Arigato...
Sep 15, 2009
Robots? Nonsense. We'll upload our minds and conscience into the Cloud.
Sep 15, 2009
Assuming we have invented the Robots to carry our concious in, Over crowding on earth would mean that we would have already had to escape. probably leaving the meat sacks behind, We could creats more robots (without brains) to do all the boring stuff like wipe out other civilisations and find out what the heck Google is doing with its aliens logo's As we wont be on earth at the time, it will only be the boring meat sacks that get drowed as the moon flys away, or crashes into us. Either way i will be waving goodby from a nother solar system...
Sep 15, 2009
Your issue with the Moon has one very big flaw!!! It is actually getting further and further away from us every second. This is due to conservation of angular momentum. The Moon will each year be 3.8 cm further from us until the gravitational pull from earth is no longer capable of holding the moon in it's orbit. The Moon will then become a object in space with it's own orbit around the sun.


So you don't have any reason to worry!
Sep 15, 2009
1. in the far future, if the moon is about to crash into earth, we should have the technology to push it away and put it back its place. probably a rocket with a nuke to push it back. that sounds cheaper and better than evacuating the earth.
2. if we are already human brains running on 'robot' hardware(which we call meat) now, its a pretty bad technology, and definitly a time for upgrade.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 14, 2009
There was a guy I knew in the Air Force who had the same issue: Selenophobia (Fear of the Moon).

To him, the Moon was his enemy!

He went around telling anyone who would listen that the Moon was out to get him! He would walk outside of the barracks at night, stare up toward the Heavens and announce in a loud voice, "The Moon is my enemy! We must destroy the Moon!"

One night he was so convinced that the Moon would get him, that he decided to off himself first. R.I.P.

Don't be so quick to blame the Moon. Quite often, the problem is right up here <<TAPPING TEMPLE>>.

Sep 14, 2009
Discussion of this post has developed at the Volokh Conspiracy blog volokh. com/ posts/ 1252972775. !$%*!
Sep 14, 2009
Discussion of this post has developed at the Volokh Conspiracy !$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*!$%*
Sep 14, 2009
Scott "The Architect" Adams
Sep 14, 2009
Projecting technology no more than a century, we get to the separation of human software (mind, soul) from hardware (meat), and we can expect that this will happen to any sufficiently advanced civilization. After that, we may "live" in virtual worlds (Tron, Matrix), or load copies of minds into synthetic bodies if such are needed for real-world "away" missions. (Some think the reported gray aliens are androids produced for the mission and discarded with completion.)

This leads to speculation concerning what economic interest an advanced alien civilization might have in us. They wouldn't need materials or energy. Those are abundant in the Universe. The one apparent value we could have for them would be as an incubator for the "minds" of new members of their society, an incubator that might produce randomized minds that might be more diverse and creative than ones they could produce in their too-tame environment. A "primitive" planet could be a better incubator than any they could build.

So when religious leaders preach about a soul being "saved", they could mean, "liKe onto a disk drive", for re-use as new (noncorporeal) citizens in a galactic society.

For a great website see constitution.org
Sep 14, 2009
When I was a little kid I made a first pass at projecting that the tidal transfer of angular motion from Earth to Luna would first expand the lunar orbit, until the Earth day was synced to the orbital period of Luna, then transfer from the Sun would further tidally slow the Earth's rotation, which angular momentum would be transferred to the lunar orbit, contracting it. I worried about that for a while, so I learned enough math to put numbers to it, and found that, first, Luna would disintegrate when it reached the Roche limit of about 2 Earth radii, becoming a thick ring that would gradually bombard Earth with debris, and second, that the entire process would take more than the 5 billion year life expectancy of Earth before the Sun expands to consume it.

So the Sun will get us first.

Ever since then, my friends have been able to joke that I am the only guy they know with a 5 billion year planning time horizon, and Roland's Panacea: Do nothing for 5 billion years. The problem will take care of itself.
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Sep 14, 2009
If each of the scouts carries a copy of the brain of every person on Earth, then I suppose every scout could start a New Earth and replicate every person on it. In that case, every person from Old Earth would have multiple new selves, living out distinct new lives. Now, that's a creepy identity problem to consider!
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