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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
Alduous Huxley approves of your plans for a perfect species.
 
 
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Sep 14, 2009
And all the animals were once some other type of robot animals, and they were brought here as well? In a giant ark? two by two? Tiny, once flesh fruit flies, were reconstructed and brought to this future planet? No one loves fruit flies that much.

Are you also saying that this time in existence is the only time that has really existed? There is no past, the past is just a background program that outlines a history for us? Because super modern robots from another planet probably would not go "ugh!" and live in animal skin huts and burn poop to keep warm. One would hope they would bring some gadgets to keep them warm, cook their food, entertain them, and probably some really smokin' good batteries. No one's discovered the neolithic Xbox360 yet.

However, maybe when we came here, we DESTROYED everything so there would be no evidence! Yeah... that makes... sense? Or maybe the batteries DID run out, and we ended up ditching all of our technologies, which of course rusted or eventually eroded away, because they are not items that can petrify, like dino bones.

I think your one page of thought is about as probable as Adam & Eve, and Steve the cautious, but sexually curious, gay neighbour.

Thanks for the entertainment!
 
 
Sep 14, 2009
I'm cutting my arm open right now to check for cables....
...ouuuuuch, that hurt.
Nope, no cables or electronics though it did take me a bit longer to write this sentence with one hand. But perhaps I'm programmed to see these as flesh; how do I get around this? Perhaps I just perceive the oil as blood? In that case, why when I see blood that I don't know where it came from do I not see it as oil? That must mean that I AM flesh and blood. Damn.
Excuse me I have a doctor's appointment now.
 
 
Sep 14, 2009
Why find a new planet? Wouldn't we be able to create a matrix that makes us think we are on a great planet, even when the actual planet is inhospitable? Why the need for mechanical bodies (requires maintenance and physically being near friends to communicate) instead of computerized reality? It seems like you are describing the movie of "The Matrix," but are trying to come up with a hybrid between reality and full-blown matrix. Wouldn't reality have lots of problems?
 
 
Sep 14, 2009
Actually, the Moon is moving away from Earth at a rate of about 38mm per year[1]. So I wouldn't start building your rocket ship just yet.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_Laser_Ranging_Experiment
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 14, 2009
I realize this is irrelevant to the point of your article, but the moon's orbit is actually getting larger as time goes on. Eventually the moon is going to escape earth's gravity and fly off into space.

Of course if, going along with another theory of yours, we are all in a computer simulation perhaps the moon was programmed that way so we would not have to face that problem "again."
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 14, 2009
The odd thing is that so few of us are truly happy.
 
 
Sep 14, 2009
Scott - you need to stop eating spicy foods before you go to sleep, or you need to find better ways to keep yourself occupied than to dream these sorts of things up. If I'm a robot (moist, real or otherwise) I'd probably be programmed to be a lot more productive than it seems I am most days. And I wouldn't have to spend so many hours at the gym. And I'd rather twinkle out like a candle when my time is up, rather than stick around forever.
 
 
Sep 14, 2009
As convenient as it would seem, I cannot accept that I am a robot believing that I am a human. Besides the large conspiracy that all doctors in the world would have to belong to, and all of the quacks out there who would then be selling miracle 5W30. Besides the fact that I have seen too much of my insides to know that I don't have a metal body, and unless they wanted to be able to kill us easily later on, our robot masters would not have built a shell so fragile.

Your fears however are unfounded, assuming that whatever causes the moon to start hurtling towards us will not be a speedy event, and it would be more like a slowly decaying orbit. Which means that the tides would go nuts first, and would wipe out those of you living on the coast, triggering earthquakes, which would drop the rest of you coast dwellers into the ocean. So you will need to come up with a better exit strategy as Cape Canaveral would most likely be under water, and I would rule out an undergroud bunker unless you plan on growing gills.

BTW, you are thinking way to much about anatomically correct robots to be healthy for you. While that may be funny for about a week's worth of comics, your wife really should be worried about you.
 
 
Sep 14, 2009
Yesterday I thought of a new way to arrange my wardrobe space. You extrapolated humanity's future out to the stars. But who's wearing the crease-free trousers, eh?
 
 
 
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