Reverse-Engineering You

I was thinking about immortality on the drive to work today.

Not the usual sci-fi methods of extended life medical breakthroughs or genetic manipulations or cyborgs or cryo-freezing or even brain-uploading… Well, maybe that last one.

I was thinking about the phrase “they’ll live on in our hearts”.

This referring to someone living on in the memory of those who knew them in life. Sure, it’s usually not the type of immortality people think of when you mention the word, but I got to wondering about how not everyone who’s met you has the same impression of you.

I’d imagine my wife has a pretty good idea of who I am. And I’m pretty sure my siblings, my parents, my childhood friends, my college roommates, they all can say that they know me. Or at least, these are the people I think of when I apply the phrase “they will live on in the memories of those who knew them best” to myself.

Who knows me best? Sure, I can say my wife probably knows me best. That’s the easy answer. But there are probably gaps in her knowledge of me that my parents will know better. And I’m pretty sure there is some things my parent’s THINK they know about me, but my brothers know better (like, sure mom thought *I* put shaving cream on the dog, but Kevin knows I was just covering for him). Point being, sure, my memory will live on in my wife’s mind if I were to die, as it will in my mom’s mind, and my brothers’, but each one would be a bit different.

And that’s when I started pondering a sci-fi scenario on my way to work this morning: round about the time I passed my old high school.

Imagine, in the future, you’re dead. BUT… there’s this new fangled machine that can produce new clone bodies: fully formed and a blank slate. AND, there exists technology to pre-program that new body’s brain.

Now suppose that all your loved ones had a big meeting at the Future-Science-Lab and were going to make a clone of you, and program it to BE you.

How accurate do you think they’d be?

Or a more curious question: would they, even unconsciously, aim to improve on a few aspects of your personality they don’t like?

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