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 14, 2009
you may find 'machine man' interesting - http://maxbarry.com/machineman/
Sep 14, 2009
Everytime you say "you knew I was going there" I never realised where you were going...it makes me feel incompetent and complacent. Or maybe you are just random!
Sep 14, 2009
Everytime you say "you knew I was going there" I never realised where you were going...it makes me feel incompetent and complacent. Or maybe you are just random!
Sep 14, 2009
Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away, there lived a race of gentle people on the planet Urd. They were pretty technically advanced, so their astronomers were able to calculate that Urd was receding from its sun, and would, in not too many years, be too cold to be habitable. They set to work immediately.

The astronomer Urds found another planet closer to their sun that was in a very stable orbit, so they decided to go there, and in honor of what it meant to them, they named this planet Warm.

The engineer Urds went to work on giant rockets to take all the Urds to Warm.

The chemist Urds got busy in the labs and concocted the fuel for the rocket.

Alas, the rate at which Urd was cooling was so fast that they had time to make only enough fuel for one trip in one rocket, but one rocket would hold only a small fraction of the Urds. How to decide who got to go?

They settled on a foot race, but they had to make it fair.
100 yards from the rocket they lined up all the little Urd children.
200 yards from the rocket they lined up all the women Urds and infirm Urd men.
300 yards from the rocket they lined up all the big, burly, athletic Urd men.

Their calculations were off, though, and when the gun sounded, all the big, burly men trampled over everyone else, and they were the only Urds who were saved.

The moral of the story?

Only the burly Urd gets to Warm.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 14, 2009
Barring the extremely unlikely event of some gynormous (as my daughter says) body causing the Moon's orbit to change, as Kingdinosaur says, the Moon would eventually escape the Earth's gravitational pull. So you do not have to worry about it crashing into the Earth. However, before the Moon even has time to escape from the Earth's pull, the Sun will have ballooned up to a red giant in about 500,000,000 years, swallowing everything within the Earth's orbital distance. Mars may survive and the asteroids will probably survive, so you will have to move before then. If you choose to move to the asteroids, be sure to give consideration to the added drag on their orbits -- they may not last very long in their current locations once the Sun swells up.

Also keep in mind that by this time we should have been able to shrink electronics (or whatever takes their place in a half billion years) pretty much down to the planck limit, so your entire existence shouldn't take up more than an atom or two I wouldn't think. If you are stable at high temperatures, you could conceivably live inside the Sun at that point. Then all you need to worry about is the heat death of the universe in 10^100 years or so.
Sep 14, 2009
All I can say is... Scott, did you forget to take your medication this morning?
Sep 14, 2009
Scott, the moon is slowly moving away from earth at the rate of about an inch or so a year so that is the last thing you should worry about. If you become a robot you should be more afraid of hackers deleting you, strong EMR, or environmentalists deciding that robots are more environmentally unfriendly than real people and passing a law that'll put you in the scrap heap.
Sep 14, 2009
I'm toe-curling happy, but I think I would be happier with a number of improvements to this meat-body, even leaving it as meat.
Sep 14, 2009
Did you read the prequel series of Dune that was written by wannabe writer Kevin son of the great Frank Herbert? This is almost the exact scenario that he writes about except in his version of the future, the robots hate the humans and they are at war.
Sep 14, 2009
Ha...Black Sabbath has already predicted this..

Robot minds of robot slaves lead them to atomic rage
Plastic flowers, melting sun, fading moon falls upon
Dying world of radiation, victims of mad frustration
Burning globe of oxyn fire, like electric funeral pyre

And they play it to a killer riff...
wo wo wo-wo-wo
wo wo-wo-wo

When I die they'll play electric funeral
Sep 14, 2009
Gee, all the science programs I've watched foretell the moon moving further away at around an inch a year. When it leaves it might be a nice ride to hitch on...until it gets caught up in that solar gravitational field thing.
The doomsday scenario is the uncontrolled wobble in the Earth's rotation w/o the moon's influence.
Sep 14, 2009
Will the Moon be better off after leaving the grasp of Earth or vice versa? Best to hedge your bet and put personal robot clones on each. More likely both will be doomed to a fiery death in the Sun, so sprinkle a few robot clones on the other planets just to be safe. Other galaxies too. And then make a few extra in case there are battles with other clone armies over scarce resources. Finally make one clone black with a deep voice.
Sep 14, 2009
someone's been watching their BSG season 4.5 DVDs...

personally, I played Beatles Rock Band... ;-)
Sep 14, 2009
Two thoughts:

1 - "Happy Robot Planet" is a good name for a band.
2 - There's a movie coming out starring Bruce Willis based on a similar idea. It's called Surrogates.
Sep 14, 2009
A thought experiment on the efficacy of scanning brains and uploading copies...

Get you brain scanned.

While waiting for your scan to be uploaded into the metal robot copy, sit down at a table with a deck of cards on it.

Thought experiment technology is fast so it's only a few minutes later when the metal robot copy of you walks in and sits down across from you.

A voice from the ceiling says, "Metal Scott, please shuffle the deck and draw a card without showing it to moist Scott. Remember, we've got very advanced lasers pointed at you so please obey." You watch as he shuffles the deck and draws a card without showing it to you.

The voice now asks you, "Moist Scott, what card did metal Scott draw?"

What card did he draw? You don't know. You look across the table at the metal copy and realize that you are still in your own head, seeing through your own moist eyes not his metal ones.

The voice says, "Metal Scott, please leave and take the cards with you." He leaves.

Like a Twilight Zone episode, there is a click as the door locks and two wall panels slide up revealing the kitchen and bathroom. You live out the rest of your life here and never find out what card the metal copy drew or what happened to him after he left.
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 14, 2009
If this is my robot body on New Earth, i'm very disappointed that my human made my life so sucky... Maybe this is just beta version 0.8, and version 3.0 meat robots are happily living forever in paradise. I envy them.
Sep 14, 2009
... maybe our robot brains are experiencing this simulation of humanity while speeding through space trying to find NE ... like in that kids movie a couple of years back, except instead of a proper spaceship, we're just software inside a robot brain execution environment ...

... but this and all your other fantasies, (while fascinating and hugely entertaining for any sci fi fans), always fail on occams razor :(

most likley explanation is that we're a chemical scum on the side of a rock, and our best bet for immortality is to spread our genes
Sep 14, 2009
Just build rockets into each robot body instead of transporting them all on ships.
Sep 14, 2009
Scott, you don't read much sci-fi I guess.

Author Poul Anderson wrote a series of books about this topic, called Harvest of Stars. Kind of freaky. It's one of the few series by him I haven't read multiple times. He goes over the same things..personality uploads, robot girls, extra-terrestrial colonization.

If you think about the Star Trek "beam me up", is the subject actually killed & reborn without loss of continuity everytime they are transported? Is matter actually transported through a vacuum? I haven't bothered to read about the science of Star Trek.
0 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 14, 2009
"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"

You mean to make new !$%* movies ... we'll need those since our robot brains will be capable of memorizing all the movies ever made. Unless we program our robot brains to enjoy watching robots making out.
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