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Upload is a new sci-fi sitcom on Amazon about how in 2033 you’ll be able to upload your consciousness to a computer just before you die and something something something you will live forever in an artificial intelligence digital afterlife! (I’ve never been sure why people who think this sounds like a good idea are convinced that in that sentence the “you” before the “something something something” and the “you” after are in some meaningful sense the same thing.)

Whenever I hear about this idea, I think: “While dying can be expensive, one thing you can say in favor of being dead is that at least it’s free. But next they’ll make being dead require a monthly subscription fee for all your crucial software upgrades.”

And, yeah, that’s exactly the theme of “Upload.”

Upload is created by sitcom titan Greg Daniels from an idea he came up with in 1987 as an SNL writer. He enjoys co-creator credits on King of the Hill, the American version of The Office, and Parks and Recreation. Upload is not hugely funny, but it’s interesting and insightful. And it looks nice.

A vain young man is mortally injured in a self-driving car accident (or was it?), and his rich Ivanka Trump-lookalike girlfriend promises to pay for him to be uploaded to a swanky AI heaven modeled on the grand old Mohonk Lake resort hotel in the Catskills.

But it turns out that being dead in 2033 is even more stressfully expensive than being alive for all but the very richest people/simulated entities.

 
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  1. Some people think we live in a simulation, because of all the absurdities, coincidences and glitches. Maybe we all got uploaded a long time ago and we just don’t remember.

    — from the grand old Mohawk House

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
    , @njguy73
  2. Upload this ..oh sorry, was thinking out loud.

    Here’s Tyler Cowen and Paul Romer today:

    COWEN: How optimistic are you more generally about the developmental trajectory for sub-Saharan Africa?

    ROMER: There’s a saying I picked up from Gordon Brown, that in establishing the rule of law, the first five centuries are always the hardest. I think some parts of this development process are just very slow.

    https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2020/05/my-second-conversation-with-paul-romer.html

    See now? Everything will sort out in time. Hang on just a bit longer.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    , @AnotherDad
  3. kihowi says:

    If you upload your consciousness then there’s two yous, en the you-you is still going to die.

  4. Bill H says:

    I have watched almost the entire series now, and I am still trying to answer the question evoked for me by episode one, “In what way is this not utterly and completely stupid?”

    I am also trying to get my wife to explain to me why we are still watching it. She just gives me “the look” and I shut up.

  5. Steve: “Upload is not hugely funny, but it’s interesting…”

    There is a reason why the casino scene in “Lost in America” is so excruciatingly funny, but “Defending Your Life” is a complete snooze-fest. Anybody care to take a guess what that reason is?

  6. A vain young man is mortally injured in a self-driving car accident (or was it?), and his rich Ivanka Trump-lookalike girlfriend promises to pay for him to be uploaded to a swanky AI heaven modeled on the grand old Mohonk Lake resort hotel in the Catskills.

    Wasn’t this the plot of Vanilla Sky >20 years ago?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Neoconned
  7. This series sounds like more fun than a novel I read recently, i.e. Neal Stephenson’s Fall, which deals with many of the same issues.

    Fall has some good ideas and entertaining sequences, but it’s mostly a disappointment. Stephenson has become increasingly contemptuous of the rubes, and he lets it all out in this story.

  8. Anonymous[217] • Disclaimer says:

    Just one question:

    How the Hell is it possible for an actor to play the part of something which is, essentially, non existent?

  9. @Kent Nationalist

    I liked that movie when I saw it, but I can’t remember much about it.

    • Replies: @Jimbo in OPKS
  10. J.Ross says:

    Rage shooter in Arizona — never mind, he’s mestizo.

  11. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Not likely the reason you mean, but Julie Hagerty was a comic genius in her prime.

    • Replies: @slumber_j
  12. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Lost in America was a good one, TGToD. I didn’t think many people knew that one. Can you explain your point, as I’ve never heard of Defending your Life?

  13. Dissident says:

    “…one thing you can say in favor of being dead is that at least it’s free.”

    Not entirely true, at least not for the family of the deceased. Cemeteries have upkeep fees.

    (In addition to the great cost of living in this world, both coming into it, as well as leaving it run-up a hefty bill. It can truly be said: They get you coming and going.)

    As a child I spent summers in New Paltz, NY and would hike around the grounds of Mohonk Mountain House. A grand edifice in a spectacular setting. Fond memories.

    [MORE]

  14. I was never a big fan of the licensing model, but you could still use old software after it moved on to newer versions. I absolutely hate the subscription model.

    • Replies: @Romanian
  15. @Bill H

    Women love their television. With a passion.

    • Replies: @njguy73
  16. @Dissident

    Thanks for the photo of Mohonk. It’s a neat spot though I’ve only visited once.

    About cemeteries, the ones where my family members are interred all have ‘perpetual care’ contracts which attach to every plot and mean you never have to pay another cent. I’ve always wondered about the economics of that, from the cemetery’s perspective. I guess they have to invest well. ETA: Looking it up now, this seems to be the rule more than the exception.

    I like older cemeteries. Tasteful monuments, pronounceable names 😉

  17. @Dissident

    God’s acre is a fenced-in hallowed ground.” says Natalie Merchant and Peak Stupidity.

    This is an obscure favorite of mine by Miss Merchant and her Maniacs – Lilydale:

    Come as we go far away
    from the noise of the street.
    Walk a path so narrow
    to a place where we feel at peace.

    Some think it is so haunting
    to be drawn to the cemetery ground as we.
    There’s a stillness here, thankful found.

    A child’s pose angelic;
    a stone lamb at her feet.
    Part the matted overgrowth
    to read the carven elegy.

    Some think it so haunting
    to be drawn to the cemetery ground as we.
    There’s a stillness here, thankful found.

    Born in New Albion
    of Rice family elite,
    wed to Myron Bilowe.
    Thrice with sons
    blessed was she.

    Some think it so haunting
    to be drawn to the cemetery ground as we.
    God’s acre is a fenced in hallowed ground.

    Here soon to rise up,
    Amelia tender and sweet.
    Her last words spoke out
    “all is well, all is peace”.

    Some think it so haunting
    to be drawn to the cemetery ground as we.
    God’s acre is a fenced in hallowed ground.

    Some still think it so haunting
    to be drawn to the cemetery ground as we.
    God’s acre is a fenced in hallowed ground.
    It’s a hallowed ground.

  18. @Mr McKenna

    “Charter cities” is a rebrand for “colonialism”.

    • Agree: HammerJack
    • Replies: @Romanian
  19. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Stephenson’s tone toward red staters in the first part of Fall surprised me: I thought maybe he was trying to buy good will for some un-PC stuff later, but no.

    The one prescient part of that novel was Stephenson’s extrapolation from “fake news” to a near future where no one believes anything online that hasn’t been vetted by a trusted editor.

    I thought he missed an opportunity with the ending of the book. What I think would have been better:

  20. black sea says:

    According to Elon Musk, the odds are one in a billion that we are living in a base reality, i.e. not a simulation. If so, I would like to understand why this simulation necessitates my hair turning gray and disappearing, and my waistline expanding every time I even look at something like lasagna.

    And how come I’ve never owned a yacht?

  21. @Mr McKenna

    But they mostly just mow the lawn in the cemetery.

    In “Upload,” the marketing department of the afterlife provider is constantly offering attractive upgrades for only a modest additional fee.

    • Replies: @njguy73
  22. fish says:
    @black sea

    If so, I would like to understand why this simulation necessitates my hair turning gray and disappearing, and my waistline expanding every time I even look at something like lasagna.

    …and when you find out please pass any info along….I seem to be similarly afflicted!

  23. @Dave Pinsen

    In previous books, Stephenson seems genuinely respectful of all kinds of peoples and cultures, including hicks. The beginning of Reamde is set in my ancestral homeland, i.e. NW Iowa. That’s where Dodge himself is from, of course. But in Fall Stephenson goes out of his way to show how the remaining family members in IA maintain a kind of enlightenment compound in the midst of a sea of barbarism. It caught me by surprise, too.

    Also, your ending is much better.

    • Thanks: Dave Pinsen
  24. Ken52 says:

    The Black Mirror episode San Junipero was a better treatment of the idea of uploading your conciousness.

  25. @Mr McKenna

    Several years ago my wife and I made our pre-need arrangements. We chose cremation.

    Our oldest son and his wife, still young and with a growing family, also made a pre-need arrangement. His wife is an enthusiast of an evangelical minister, John Piper, whom I am not necessarily a fan of, and he has her convinced that cremation is, if not actually a sin, just not the done thing for Christians, so they went with a plan for natural “green” burial, the idea that you are supposed to be efficiently eaten by worms and so forth.

    In any case, pre-need and shopping around is the only way to go. It will save your family a lot of money and a lot of grief at a time when they will have too much to worry about as it is. That way there’s no upselling, no question as to what you would have wanted, no unplanned and sudden expenses.

    The only downside for me was that had I went with traditional burial, I would have liked to buy the casket ahead of time and had it painted and decorated innovatively. But in the long run, it’s just going into a hole in the ground, so why spend money and time on something that’s only going to be seen in full when they haul it out and put it in and take it out of the hearse?

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    , @Dtbb
  26. BeerBug says:

    See also the Black Mirror episode, “San Junipero”

  27. Romanian says: • Website
    @The Alarmist

    Sure you can, until the incremental replacement of the underlying hardware means that the old software and the new hardware are incompatible. This happens all the time with videogames and there was an online store specifically set up to try to get the license to older videogames (including those with issues) and modify them to run properly on new versions of Windows, new graphics cards and processors, widescreens. gog.com it’s called, nifty place, but they couldn’t just stick to doing old games, not enough money there anymore. The problem with the subscription model, aside from what you end up paying, is that is has feature creep and feature bloat and leads to a situation where products are turned into ongoing services based on dedicated hardware, which support ends the moment it stops being profitable to. So the software won’t run anymore. Almost every videogame with dedicated servers in multiplayer is like this, especially when they want you to but the newer yearly iteration (Fifa or whatever). Also, many games have an always online component to the base game, involving continuous downloads to be able to play the game in single player. This means that you can’t play if the Internet is not working and you won’t be able to play at all once the servers for the online processing of info are taken offline. Translating this to getting yourself uploaded, it’s like being taken offline in a few years because the economics of the entire services are not working out anymore, even if you always kept up with payments.

  28. Tomalak says:

    Sci fi comedy can work (see The Orville) but only if the jokes are genuine and not just “Haha they have an app now that does x for you”. I watched one episode of Upload and it seemed like the latter. I agree with Bill H and don’t have a frosty stare from the wife to make me watch any more.

    • Replies: @vhrm
  29. @black sea

    You were told you would want the upgrades after uploading, sir.

    • Replies: @Dissident
  30. Romanian says: • Website
    @Dave Pinsen

    Just like wage slavery is slavery without the master having to take care of your health and existence beyond your pay, the charter city is trying to have the colonialism cake and eat it too, by not having to worry about things in the hinterland. Like the old Portuguese style of colonialism, where you just plonk down ports and trading centers and don’t need to bother about the interior, since the good parts will come to you directly. This solves an important issue. The problem with the old colonies without population replacement (all of them, really, but the Westernized ones became rich) was that they were incredibly expensive ventures – the costs were socialized and the profits were privatized. Unless you could hold on to the place for many many years, the required investment into improving the entire place for eventual exploitation (especially of the industrial kind) rarely paid off. This happened in Africa, where Western colonialism was a short run thing, and the infrastructure built was a dead loss ultimately destroyed in conflicts. And this is why the Caribbean islands were initially more valuable to the Brits than Canada.

  31. @Romanian

    Have always said this. Slave owners had to feed, clothe, and house their charges, as well as cover their medical care or their slaves would quickly become useless.

    Today’s sweatshop owners don’t have to do any of that, and just boot you out if you’re more trouble than you’re worth. Sweatshops? Offices too. How very far we’ve come.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @CAL2
  32. @Dissident

    And Mohonk is in the Adirondacks.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    , @peterike
  33. @Buzz Mohawk

    Maybe we all got uploaded a long time ago and we just don’t remember.

    Buzz, that’s just God, fucking with you. Ain’t He a scamp?

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  34. @CarlosHathitachiTheSecond

    Just this past year I learned the word “inurnment” which I thought surely was a typo the first time I saw it. Turns out some number of people are now being cremated and then having their ashes interred (in an urn, naturally) in the gravesite. Sort of splits the difference I guess. I sort of like it.

    • Replies: @slumber_j
    , @Thatgirl
    , @Luke Lea
  35. @John Foster

    No it isn’t! Look it up.

    • Replies: @Bugg
    , @slumber_j
    , @John Foster
  36. Hodag says:

    There have been two movie versions of The Getaway by Jim Thompson. One by Sam Peckinpah starting Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw and another with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger. I vote Ali McGraw but such a thing is personal taste. I suspect this upload brain show is similar.

    Spoilers ahead

    The book The Getaway was mostly paint by numbers post heist book setting up the punchline ending. The books ending is not used in either movie. So 97% of the book is the getaway, getting to Mexico to live in a criminals resort of sorts, once you get there you have to pay rent and put your stolen money in a bank that charges negative interest. So it seems like a love story but once in Mexico the couple starts figuring out how to kill one another to make their money last longer. Instead of going to heaven you go to hell. Best ending of a Thompson novel after The Killer Inside Me.

  37. Anon[299] • Disclaimer says:

    The ‘woman’ (iSteves’s old debating foe?) who invented Sirius radio was on npr years ago explaining this concept. Sounded ridiculous, two alternate yous would address the day and then sync up at night. She specifically said, your electronic you could do the more mundane tasks like calling your mother.

  38. Anonymous[144] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr McKenna

    Anybody (no pun intended!) who opts for burial as there preferred method of departure, should be very very wary of the ‘custodians of the burial ground’, whomever they might be, ‘longterm commitment’ to any particular set of human remains.

    Despite all the guff you might hear, despite all the laws, regulations, contracts etc etc etc, basically it can be taken as a given that when the living relatives of the decedent pass on – which cannot really be more than a trifling 80 years at the very greatest – then not only will the ‘custodians’ neglect the grave, but there is a strong, overwhelming incentive to ‘re use’ that particular plot. Anyhow, it can be taken as a given that no matter how ‘financially secure and solid’ the custodians of the cemetery are, they will simply not exist as a distinct corporate entity in the distant future.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  39. Anonymous[144] • Disclaimer says:
    @HammerJack

    Malthus.

  40. @Bill H

    I am also trying to get my wife to explain to me why we are still watching it. She just gives me “the look” and I shut up.

    Oh, man, the look. Does that ever sound familiar to me!

    • Replies: @anon
  41. Anonymous[108] • Disclaimer says:

    Steve I’m sure you’re not into anime but the two seasons of the series Ghost in the Shell (Stand Alone Complex & 2nd Gig) have some references to living without a body in the net. There’s a lot of interesting social commentary wrapped up in the story about living in a technologically advanced society and overall it’s well done. The main character The Major has a full prosthetic body that can be swapped out by just transferring the ghost (soul) into a new one by a brain case transplant which can be male/female whatever type of body the user prefers even bodies that don’t resemble a human at all. But there are many references to uploading someones entire ghost onto the net.

    I’m not on board with transgenderism but I often wonder if elites are setting people up culturally for accepting augmented bodies by eroding attachment to the natural aspects of the body. The idea of being bodyless and living in the net could be construed as a cultural push to abandon biological norms in my view as well.

    I would think life would lose much of its meaning if you were to live forever which if I recall correctly was an important aspect of the film Zardoz where people were punished with artificial aging as a way to give life purpose by having rules to follow. So creating tiered upgrades of the experience may end up being crucial to giving some sort of purpose to living forever in this artificial digital afterlife plot so it makes sense.

  42. Why not? It makes all kinds of sense. The nominal “Christians” are all going (staying) to virtual church … why not look forward to virtual Paradise, in the presence of Digital Jesus?

    When 2020 started, lots of things were bad, and I recognized that. But I’ll have to admit that I’m very, very surprised at how terribly quickly everything worthwhile about public life in America would vanish down the flusher.

  43. Bugg says:
    @HammerJack

    More Catskills, which some consider part of the Appalachians, along with the Poconos, Adirondacks, Berkshires and pretty much the entire mountain range on the East Coast.

    https://www.facebook.com/Mohonk/?__tn__=kCH-R&eid=ARBaeWI2gGYm_keASXXyqShz-Q-yjURwo8hsL-9rlUD9wrEC-FcjY6wk3DvFCfP4O3L8BA1JQGknRbdv&hc_ref=ARRbYcQlDE7UbU815iytm5ZfjU3zsyXf7eq-xq1HhaK25mO6eJH8gjfnKJodY_dmefM&fref=nf&__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARBEbyhFgg08qSLty1PVos7J09Yc70-nPhL9yBxDkm7HP4H_AkpcHhn-Z3FNaldnP8103kRCnwxizE50gqRVxcBDASyW3TEUNE_3ueTBsW4P9hlQ2Mr4upoTzFR0mp1vqTTOE7ckEmxH7ZXOi61eG35NGDNDv4asJBZyTxW4tcSwOOAm5zztch3juBp9c7FxFAMyLQWK_vr7SQmGTUeb9SCR96DSwJd8Ryel9etDSJ2Yw43Gs-lIJEuNBYfTJtrMNRGvTuKdJdoyOa7aBUjf_xxWd1OfDB_OJMAM3c-JIhjt9U5KvrH3UU68qLahpKkZh5RKrTBNu26dvW0Dd5I6Np366FhK

    Mohonk is a very nice place. Appears they’ve decided to market it by featuring it in movies. Was also featured in a recent episode of “Billions”. The grounds, lake and hiking trails are great, but the rooms are a little dated. That lake is very cold, even in August.

  44. peterike says:

    Ok, but will somebody tell me the most important thing about “Upload”?

    Is it anti-white? Is there a black guy with a white wife/girlfriend in it? If so, I want nothing to do with it. You get force-fed so much of that crap that I try to avoid it whenever I’m duly warned.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  45. peterike says:
    @John Foster

    And Mohonk is in the Adirondacks.

    Are you confusing it with the Sagamore?

    • Replies: @Kibernetika
  46. slumber_j says:
    @HammerJack

    Yeah, she’s very good in that. I actually think Garry Marshall is even better in the whole sequence, but that’s a minority opinion.

    Fun fact, Julie Hagerty graduated like a decade before me from my not-very-big high school in Cincinnati. I remember once she came back to visit her former–and our then-current–theater advisor Mary Lou Berwanger while we were rehearsing something…I want to say the usual crappy Arthur Miller play, but who knows?

    She told us about this movie Airplane she was in that was about to come out, and I remember thinking, “Yeah, I’m sure that’s gonna be really good…” Anyway, she was very pleasant.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  47. slumber_j says:
    @HammerJack

    Yeah, it’s in the Catskills and it’s a wooden building–gorgeous as one can see from the photo, but a total firetrap. I’m guessing the only reason it remains unburnt is that they serve no alcohol there.

    • Replies: @Dissident
  48. Thatgirl says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Meryl Streep v. Julie Haggerty? High concept movie? Shirley McLaine?

    I give up.

  49. Anonymous[369] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    If you want to really go into detail, read Robin Hanson’s book The Age of Em.

  50. Anonymous[715] • Disclaimer says:
    @Romanian

    Just like wage slavery is slavery without the master having to take care of your health and existence beyond your pay

    Actual slaves almost always preferred “wage slavery.”

    • Replies: @Romanian
  51. Anonymous[192] • Disclaimer says:

    I’ve never been sure why people who think this sounds like a good idea are convinced that in that sentence the “you” before the “something something something” and the “you” after are in some meaningful sense the same thing.

    Well, suppose you emulate your brain on a computer, then emulate the iSteve comment section in the same manner, then present them with a mirror of the Unz Review. The e-commentariat would start calling everything they wish to not be true “hoaxes” and e-Steve would be embarrassed by their stupidity. An observer looking at the two Unz Reviews would be unable to determine which was the original and which was the emulation.

  52. slumber_j says:
    @HammerJack

    My father died two years ago, and his ashes are buried in the midst of some woods in a cemetery. There’s a marker there, but the ashes are in a cardboard box basically–for which they of course charge you like $150–so in the nearish future they’ll just return to the soil.

  53. @Dave Pinsen

    Yup, your ending is much better and, given the title of the book, kinda what I was expecting. I still enjoyed the book quite a bit as it was my gateway entry to Stephenson (over the last year I’ve read 6 more of his books).

  54. @black sea

    You didn’t buy the premium plan, Tom Cruise did.

  55. Black Mirror and Altered Carbon scared me out of wanting to download my consciousness into anything. Being able to die and reach oblivion seems a far better choice.

  56. My room here is bre.k.ng up.

  57. Thatgirl says:
    @HammerJack

    You can also use biodegradable urns for the inurnment. Seems a lot more natural than an embalmed corpse rotting in a satin-lined casket for some number of years.

    I lost three elderly family members over the course of 18 months for whom I was responsible for the burial and funeral planning and expenses. I had them all cremated and their ashes inurned, all of which can all be done remarkably inexpensively if you don’t need the big fancy casket.

    I also saved lots of money because two of them had been veterans, so they got a free service and burial at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in my state. The military knows how to do a very moving and beautiful service.

    As I come from a family of cheapskates, I know all of them would have appreciated my frugality.

    • Agree: HammerJack, AnotherDad
    • Replies: @peterike
  58. @Dissident

    Mohonk’s setting was nice but the place itself reminded me of The Shining

  59. Alfa158 says:

    “ I’ve never been sure why people who think this sounds like a good idea are convinced that in that sentence the “you” before the “something something something” and the “you” after are in some meaningful sense the same thing.”
    Some of the brightest people in technology seem to believe that they would really be continuing their existence by uploading a copy of themselves. I think it is a case of believing is true what you fervently wish to be true. You see this all the time with the absurd beliefs about politics and human nature that our elite hold. Very smart people bend all their faculties to convincing themselves and each other it’s all true. Dennis Prager described these ideas as “so stupid that only someone who has spent years in graduate school could believe them”.
    I think the Johnny Depp movie Transcendence is a better illustration of what might happen if you could actually upload yourself to a computer. His copy remained him for maybe 2 milliseconds but pretended to be him until it didn’t have to anymore.
    Upload may be slyly making the point that the upload subjects are in fact dead, by depicting the upload as a process in which the machine literally vaporizes the subject’s head in the scan process.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  60. Dave3 says:

    In the short novel “Friendship is Optimal”, post-upload life costs nothing and contains no ads. The only catch is that the server AI started as a “My Little Pony” MMORPG, so you have to spend eternity as a brightly-colored pony with a faggy name.

  61. I think the problem is “purpose”.

    That’s actually a problem with any sort of “life extension”–which is likely coming–as well.

    I would love to have a longer life, especially if i could recover the physical health, mental acuity i had at 25. Heck even at 50!

    There’s all sorts of stuff that would be interesting to do, if i had lots and lots of high quality years ahead of me.

    But, even so, unless i started another family, it would simply not be anything near the experience, and have near the *meaning* of my life in my 30s, 40s, early 50s. And clearly there’s a “scaling issue” if everyone is going to have hundreds of kids over their hundreds of years of life.

    There is a natural order to life–“hatch, match, dispatch”–that gives it weight and meaning and beauty.

    After some coaching, we take the baton of our family, our nation, our civilization from our parents. We run our lap around the track and hand it off to our children–and hopefully cheer with love and hope as they run on with it and do the same.

    • Replies: @Neuday
    , @LondonBob
  62. Anonymous[196] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alfa158

    Some of the brightest people in technology seem to believe that they would really be continuing their existence by uploading a copy of themselves.

    Is there any actual experiment in the real world that someone could conceivably do such as with far future technology where you would predict that one thing would happen, and they would predict something else would happen? If you can’t think of one, that’s a hint that the disagreement comes down to semantics.

    I think it is a case of believing is true what you fervently wish to be true. You see this all the time with the absurd beliefs about politics and human nature that our elite hold. Very smart people bend all their faculties to convincing themselves and each other it’s all true. Dennis Prager described these ideas as “so stupid that only someone who has spent years in graduate school could believe them”.

    Yes, but the 100-IQ masses have the same kind of crazy beliefs powered by wishful thinking – see all the corona deniers on this site.

  63. njguy73 says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    If it turned out my whole life was a simulation, I’d be relieved. I didn’t screw up; some app designer did.

    Or maybe Greg Daniels’ life is a simulation. All his success is because someone else coded it to be so. He didn’t actually do anything.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  64. njguy73 says:
    @Mr McKenna

    No, women with sucky lives live their television with a passion. Women and men with kick-ass lives are too busy living to veg out in front of the crap box.

  65. njguy73 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    This reminds of the joke about the guy who goes to his high school reunion and says he works in a place where he’s got 5,000 people under him.

    They think he’s a CEO. Turns out he mows a cemetery.

  66. The idea was that mind is to body as program is to computer. Therefore, if we can capture the mind’s program it can be uploaded or downloaded to various locations. Many important cognitive scientists, such as Marvin Minsky, have explicitly endorsed the idea.
    Here’s an influential and serious-yet-very-funny version of the idea by Daniel Dennett:

    https://www.lehigh.edu/~mhb0/Dennett-WhereAmI.pdf

  67. CAL2 says:
    @HammerJack

    Actually not too much as long as there was a supply of slaves. Ask the Caribbean slaves who died in droves. The US was a bit different once the supply was cut-off.

    • Replies: @Glaivester
  68. @black sea

    Simulation theory is a dreary dead end unless you attach it to the notion of reincarnation. I’m beginning to suspect a cabal of elites and the technocrats they control have fully bought-in to the idea. Prepare for further mass social-engineering.

  69. Neuday says:
    @AnotherDad

    After some coaching, we take the baton of our family, our nation, our civilization from our parents. We run our lap around the track and hand it off to our children–and hopefully cheer with love and hope as they run on with it and do the same.

    Our “coaches” apparently don’t have the best interests of our family, our nation, or our civilization in mind, but we’re not supposed to notice.

  70. @J.Ross

    Rage shooter in Arizona — never mind, he’s mestizo.

    I checked my handy-dandy Press flow chart, and this means that the story is about the High Powered AR-47 Assault Weapon with Kidkiller Bullets that sprays fire at a rate of at least 100 rounds per minute.

  71. @Hodag

    Sam Peckinpah’s version of The Getaway is the right choice. If you date a woman who reads Jim Thompson novels your life will become a kaleidoscope of horror.

  72. @Mr McKenna

    About cemeteries, the ones where my family members are interred all have ‘perpetual care’ contracts which attach to every plot and mean you never have to pay another cent. I’ve always wondered about the economics of that, from the cemetery’s perspective. I guess they have to invest well. ETA: Looking it up now, this seems to be the rule more than the exception.

    I think the idea is that they function like Trusts. Your plot payment (hopefully years before you need the space) is contributed to the Trust corpus and hopefully wisely invested/managed over time sufficient to pay for grounds maintenance and upkeep. Overhead for a cemetery should be rather modest.

    Occasionally they’re mismanaged or fail, and IIRC the State can move to manage the cemetery property.

  73. conatus says:

    I have been counting on Frank Tipler since 1994 to save my bacon from Oblivion. He wrote a book, the Physics of Immortality, not a word of which I comprehend, but apparently we will all be uploaded somewhere?prior to the Universe ending in 13.7 billion years…. so quit worrying.

    He’s got a wiki page so it has to be true.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_J._Tipler

    Correction: the universe will never end because we will be the uploaded observers(I think).
    In the wiki entry:”For the universe to physically exist, it must contain observers. Our universe obviously exists. There must be an “Omega Point” that sustains life forever.[11]”

    • Thanks: vhrm
  74. syonredux says:

    (I’ve never been sure why people who think this sounds like a good idea are convinced that in that sentence the “you” before the “something something something” and the “you” after are in some meaningful sense the same thing.)

    Yeah, people don’t seem to understand that the “downloaded” you is simply a digital copy…..

    In his Riverworld series (In which everyone who ever lived is brought back to life along the banks of a planet-girdling river), Philip Jose Farmer got around the copy problem by positing the existence of an SF version of the soul, the “wathan”. It’s the real “you” (the source of sentience). It attaches itself to you some time after conception and detaches after death. Create a perfect physical and mental double of a dead person, and it will instantly re-attach, thereby bringing the real “you” back to life. And if you create multiple doubles, the wathan will attach to only one of them.

    If anyone wants to read it, stop with the first volume , To Your Scattered Bodies Go. It’s by far the best book in the series, and it all goes downhill from there. The final volume, The Gods of Riverworld, is one of the worst books that I ever actually read all the way through.

  75. @slumber_j

    Ahh … so you’re one of those guys from the right (east) side of the tracks.

  76. @Steve Sailer

    It was a remake of Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes), Penelope Cruz was muy caliente in both. We watched it last week. Ordered it from the library in February in preparation for a trip to Spain that was canceled. First half is ok, second half not so much. The Cameron Diaz part was played by Najwa Nimri, who later fronted a rock band and was also muy caliente.

  77. @Mr McKenna

    See now? Everything will sort out in time. Hang on just a bit longer.

    Actually, i think this is probably accurate … but in the very long run.

    Africa has now been exposed to Western technology and science. But it takes IQs–as well as other personality traits–well above African means to manage any of that.

    But if Westerners–and the Chinese and everyone else–would just cut Africa off and let it fend for itself, the immediate result would be catastrophic collapse. But the long run tendency would be for people who were capable/discipled to use, organize and reproduce–even at minimal levels–Western technology to gradually win out. (Many would get wiped out initially, but some pockets would survive and they would gradually push out against the savages. At least, that’s what i think.)

    In a few hundred, or at least a few thousand, years you might start seeing something that looked like civilization.

    ~~

    Opening up Africa, was a huge mistake by the West. The slave trade–bringing blacks to the Americas–a huge mistake inside this larger mistake.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymous
  78. anon[199] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reactionary Utopian

    Dudes, that whole “She Who Must Be Obeyed” business is bad for your physical and mental health.

    • Replies: @Mr McKenna
  79. Anonymous[420] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad

    In fact, it will prove to be the most catastrophic error the ‘white race’ – since it emerged in paleo lithic Europe all those eons ago – ever made.
    The second biggest error was the granting of female suffrage.

  80. @njguy73

    Even though my beliefs/conclusions can best be labeled deist, I agree that you can feel relieved, but not for the same reason.

    You can feel relieved that eventually this will all be over.

    There is ample evidence of God, but there is no evidence of an afterlife for us — and certainly no information about what would matter for us if there is anyway.

    That is a deist perspective, because we do not find any reason to believe revelations claimed by humans, whether in old books, in stories or myths, or in organized religious traditions. None. Reason and observation point to God, but nothing points to the lengthy list of claimed revelations about him by men.

    We must take responsibility when we have freedom and the ability to choose, but we are not responsible when we don’t know or when we are powerless.

    I’m guessing I’ve screwed up at least as much as you (more actually) and I consider myself a failure. That really bothers me, but once in a while I remember it will all be over someday and it won’t matter. That is the meaning of R.I.P.

    • Replies: @black sea
    , @ziggurat
  81. Anonymous[420] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnotherDad

    Some things are best left alone.
    For example the ‘curiosity’ in making a study of decomposing carrion is simply not worth the disgust reflex.

  82. @Jim Christian

    I think you’re right. As a man who likes to make people laugh, I feel strongly that God has a sense of humor. If he didn’t, why would he give us belly buttons?

    That God in your photo would make a good country music singer, or another Most Interesting Man In The World. I hope God looks like that if I ever meet him.

  83. Rob McX says:
    @Romanian

    And this is why the Caribbean islands were initially more valuable to the Brits than Canada.

    And not only to Britain. From the Wiki article on the Treaty of Paris in 1763:

    In turn [i.e. for losing all its territory in mainland N America], France gained the return of its sugar colony, Guadeloupe, which it considered more valuable than Canada. Voltaire had notoriously dismissed Acadia as “Quelques arpents de neige”, “A few acres of snow”.

  84. There is a nice hike up to the Skytop Tower on the cliff face that overlooks the Mohonk Lodge. Last time I was there, I saved a drowning squirrel that was trapped in the decorative pond adjacent to the tower.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
  85. Mr. Anon says:
    @black sea

    According to Elon Musk, the odds are one in a billion that we are living in a base reality, i.e. not a simulation.

    I should say that the odds that Elon Musk has any real knowledge about the topic are also about one in a billion.

    • LOL: Rob McX
  86. Mr. Anon says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    Simulation theory is a dreary dead end unless you attach it to the notion of reincarnation. I’m beginning to suspect a cabal of elites and the technocrats they control have fully bought-in to the idea. Prepare for further mass social-engineering.

    Perhaps they want to normalize some kind of Logan’s Run Carousel idea to drive down the World’s population to where they’d like it.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  87. peterike says:
    @Thatgirl

    I had them all cremated and their ashes inurned, all of which can all be done remarkably inexpensively if you don’t need the big fancy casket.

    Went through that recently myself. In New York City total costs, going as cheaply as possible, was about $4000. And that’s no urn, no service. Just pine box, cremation, and ashes in a plastic bag inside a box.

    Adding insult to injury, NYC charges you a $40 “cremation fee.” And there’s about ten forms to fill out.

  88. Phocion says:

    “one thing you can say in favor of being dead is that at least it’s free.”

    Reminds me of a funny story about me that appears in Plutarch’s biography of me (for those who don’t know, I was a pretty important politician in fourth-century BC Athens).

    I was condemned to death because the other side won in a political dispute, and some friends and I were waiting in the public prison to drink hemlock. The guy in charge of the poisoning ran out of hemlock and refused to go on with the executions unless somebody gave him money to go get some more hemlock. Something of a deadlock ensued, but eventually I broke down and had a friend give him a few drachmas to go buy the stuff. I turned to everybody else and said, “Hey, you know, here in Athens you can’t even die for free!”

    Everybody died laughing. Sometimes I kill myself.

  89. fondolo says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    I agree as to t he contemptuous attitude, but didn’t think it was all that pervasive — once he got into the alternative reality there wasn’t much occasion. It’s always been there in his writing, , but when you consider his background, he could hardly avoid it.

  90. black sea says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I once heard Ted Turner say in an interview that “Life is like a B-movie. I wouldn’t want to leave in the middle, but I wouldn’t want to sit through it twice.”

    I think this is pretty close to the mark.

    On a similar note, I recall when I was working an unusually tedious office job some 30 years ago, a colleague and I walked past the cubicle of Candy Somebody or Other, an overweight, 40ish female about whom I never bothered to learn anything. On her cubicle wall she had a poster with the immortal words of Helen Keller: “Life is a daring adventure or nothing.”

    “I wonder,” my friend reflected, “what sorts of daring adventures Candy is having in her cubicle.”

  91. JimB says:

    After I die, I want to come back as Stuxnet.

  92. @Hippopotamusdrome

    There’s a tendency to see inequality in the usage of notional technology as more grotesque than inequality in the usage of actually existing technology. The perspective is that these things just sprout into existence and are then taken and ruined by lawyers. For existing technology, we recognize that dollars from advertisers and price discrimination are necessary to make it exist in the first place.

    I wonder if there has ever been anything like that for actually existing technology, something seen in 1980 as grotesque but accepted as normal today.

  93. @The Last Real Calvinist

    Stephenson has enormous respect for established cultures and traditions, and obvious great support for the institution of family.

    The hellscape of fhe American midwest he described – characterized by religious extremism, ownership of firearms but lack of access to things like hemoroid medicine, and generalized opposition to science or the worldview of a more wealthy, international elite, seemed awfully believable to me. I think he views those things as anti traditional, anti culture and anti family. The world he described was like an American Somalia, without Somalians.

    [Mr Sailer – this section of the book is very similar to his libertarian skepticism NS expressed in Snowcrash. Here he seems to ask – is not having any government but gun toting born again Christians who believe a proven fake news story is actually true really that good an idea? ]

    If you had not been so overly sensitive to this cultural criticism, you would note that he has a lot of negative portrayals of more urban, wealthy liberals as well.

    I dont think the book is one of his stronger ones, but i found the “real world” scenarios of the future more compelling than the afterlife simulation parts.

    His best book is Anathem.

  94. @HammerJack

    Oops. My bad. I went there once, and I recall the drive north being longer. Maybe I was thinking of some place around Lake George. Although not the Sagamore, which I’ve never been to: Too expensive.

  95. Muggles says:

    I suspect that ever since actual computers were more than complicated adding machines, someone writing pulp science fiction came up with the “soul” transference idea. Or maybe even before that.

    The original Star Trek series had a few episodes like that. Most modern TV SF series have some version of that. The Stargate series has a parasite g’ould snakelike creature that once inside you, gives you near immortality. Though it turns the host into an evil controlled creature. But the original soul still lives submerged.

    So the artificial “person” idea is old news. Most of the fictional depictions don’t seem to end well. They either want to take over actual living beings or do bad things. The subscription model, that’s a hoot.

    Most ‘living forever” fiction has those who choose it suffering from terminal ennui. How many re-runs do we really want to experience? Fortunately, as far as we know physics prevents that from happening.

  96. Roger Penrose would like to have a word with this show’s creators about the no cloning theorem.

  97. @Hodag

    I read the book The Getaway long after I’d seen the movie and I was shocked at what a bunch of low lifes the characters were and how depressing the ending was. It makes the movie look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

  98. @black sea

    Thank you. You might be interested to know that Hellen Keller lived her last decades not far from where my wife and I do. Her home and property was perfect for her. Her experience is worth studying and honoring, that is for sure. Candy in her cubicle, not so much.

    Ted Turner is an interesting person too. Somewhere long ago, I heard about an airline flight he was on. The flight was delayed somehow, and everybody was going to be inconvenienced. Ted got up and told people around him that he would hire limousines for them all, plus hotel rooms, and basically solve the whole problem for them.

  99. Anon[596] • Disclaimer says:

    This was the theme of Neil Stephenson’s last book. And there’s another sci-fi author with a series with this theme that became a television series. In the former you’re sick in some sort of medieval world where you may be a tree, and in the latter you can be tortured as a data file by anyone who comes into possession of your file. Also, in Stephenson’s version the quality of your brain scan determines how you turn out, and your memories and sense of consciousness don’t really get 100 percent retrieved. It does seem kind of hellish.

  100. @SunBakedSuburb

    The notion that anyone than a few percent of the elites have given the idea serious consideration is laughable. These aren’t people with deep curiosity about the future.

  101. I’ve never been sure why people who think this sounds like a good idea are convinced that in that sentence the “you” before the “something something something” and the “you” after are in some meaningful sense the same thing.

    Even if not the “real” you, it might have value to you nonetheless.

    One such value is maintaining and manifesting your “will” after you die. For example, Henry Ford was basically “alt-right” by today’s definitions, but after he died the Ford Foundation was gradually converged and is now basically a Leftist foundation. What if Henry Ford, knowing he is soon to die, could make perfect copies of himself to manifest his will and foundation in perpetuity, keeping those commies at bay!

    Even if still alive, what if you made many copies of “you” to help run your business and have no further need for alien employees.

    What if the Spanish Nationalists could maintain perpetual, youthful, copies of Franco in control.

    Another case, while the copy may not be “you” to you, it may be a good enough “you” to your family, friends, associates. If you’re a particularly capable researcher, technician, instructor, etc. your copies should be just as good to your downstream customers.

    • Replies: @vhrm
  102. Luke Lea says:
    @HammerJack

    My favorite Aunt’s ashes were returned and I put them in her favorite jewelry box, which is quite beautiful. The plan was to later scatter them in Italy, where she lived for many years, so I put the jewelry box on a table in the living room where they have remained ever since, the trip to Italy never coming off.

    The nice thing is the box of ashes remind me of her whenever I look at it. And that gives me an idea: maybe my own ashes will be mixed with hers (assuming I am not buried in the ground) and my children’s and grandchildren’s likewise mixed with mine, each each generation scattering half of the ashes in the box somewhere outside so that it doesn’t overflow. It might be a nice family tradition, a way of remembering our ancestors. Just a thought.

  103. @Anonymous

    All of our family plots (in separate cemeteries) have been intact for over two hundred years and we have been adding (remains and stones) to them as various family members kick off. Two of the cemeteries have changed hands in my life time but the new owners naturally assumed all the responsibilities of the contract when paying the purchase price of the property. We still have room for dozens more interments but unfortunately (being white people) we don’t have enough descendants anymore.

  104. @Obamahotep

    That didn’t seem believable to me at all. The technical professions lean right: dentists, surgeons, engineers, etc. “Ameristan” would have plenty of them.

    http://verdantlabs.com/politics_of_professions/

  105. @anon

    If only “life” rhymed with “husband” we’d be free, free at last.

  106. @peterike

    Saw a bit of Upload, but I’ve been around tech too long to suspend my disbelief enough on this theme. Now, admittedly I saw only most of the first episode. The thing that stuck me most, and seemed clever, was the cute multi-ethnic operator making a choice to mess with the protagonist’s cowlick. That was a nice touch and illustrative! Like digital marginalia. Systems today aren’t up to the task of preserving anyone’s “being/self” forever.

    Forever is really ~20 years when it comes to digital preservation of data. Vellum is still a better medium for data preservation than a lot of redundant spinning disks or “cloud” redundancy.

  107. Dissident says:
    @slumber_j

    Yeah, it’s in the Catskills and it’s a wooden building–gorgeous as one can see from the photo, but a total firetrap. I’m guessing the only reason it remains unburnt is that they serve no alcohol there.

    Interesting about no alcohol. I was not aware of that. Such a policy must surely have prevented any number of conflagrations besides the literal type that you referenced. As for being a wooden structure, Mohonk would hardly be exceptional for buildings of its vintage and genre. And certainly, wooden buildings have overwhelmingly been the norm for summer camps…Here I shall take the liberty of seguing into some thoughts that are at least tangentially apropos. My thanks to all who have replied (and to all who may yet reply).

    Since mention was made of the Adirondack Mountains,

    [MORE]
    I will add that I spent summers in that region of New York State as well. No fewer than three summers, in fact, at a sleep-away camp, when I was between the ages 12 and 14. Still back in the days before daily life had become infested with ubiquitous Internet access and mobile phones*, our only regular, daily connection to the outside world was radio. (Which I would listen-to on my Sony Walkman, in bed at night until long after “lights-out”. I remember picking-up Blue Jays games from Toronto, as well as “Dr. Ruth”s syndicated call-in show…) Such seclusion and remoteness made life during those eight weeks or so away at camp like an almost magical world unto itself. (While making those few trips we took back into civilization feel special and exotic. Said trips included, it should come as no surprise, a pilgrimage to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.)

    We swam and boated in a natural lake on the premises. (I marvel at how many such lakes there seem to be in such regions that are replete with summer camps.) Who could forget that crisp, pristine air and the tranquil, scenic and mostly wild surroundings? Precious, exhilarating, and providing much-needed respite from the hustle, bustle and filth of the (largely wretched) mass of humanity that I, a city boy, lived in the midst of during the rest of the year.

    I shall always associate the delightful scent of cedar wood with a quaint, circular-shaped miniature shed of sorts that was made of the material. The quirky structure served as the site of instruction and practice in acoustical musical instruments.

    *To grow-up in the age of the smartphone? Is that not to be robbed of so much? So much innocence; so much of the thrill, wonder, joy, adventure, mystery, discovery, spontaneity and candidness of so much of those most precious, most fleeting, and most consequential formative years of life. No doubt, people said much the same in the early days, respectively, of newspapers, radio, and television. And no doubt, they were all right. It would seem that almost no technological advance comes without some loss; some detraction from quality of life. Ever a trade-off.

  108. Whenever I hear about this idea, I think: “While dying can be expensive, one thing you can say in favor of being dead is that at least it’s free. But next they’ll make being dead require a monthly subscription fee for all your crucial software upgrades.”

    As Mr Harrison sang,

    Now my advice for those who die
    Declare the pennies on your eyes

    Don’t laugh. Gravesites in Germany and the Netherlands are leased. I’ve seen “pay up” stickers on some of them.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/graves-in-the-netherlands-are-rented-2016-1

    https://www.stripes.com/news/europe/germany/final-resting-place-isn-t-always-final-in-germany-1.109232

    • Replies: @nobodyofnowhere
  109. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Yeah, I’m with everyone else. I thought Defending Your Life was a good movie. So if you could come back to answer at some point, that would be great…

  110. It was not a coincidence that Greg Daniels chose Mohonk as the setting, as Lorne Michaels would hold SNL’s annual retreat there.

  111. @Dave Pinsen

    That data is from 2011, I’d be interested in seeing updated data. Though it may shock people like Steve, some of us are not enthusiastic about being part of a group that asks us to treat “the plants crave electrolytes” as if it’s a valid opinion.

    By all means appeal to them as voters. But stop there.

  112. Whiskey says: • Website
    @Alexander Turok

    Typical class prejudice against working people.

    Stephenson aspires to aristocracy. Pure and simple. Pretty hard sell when the billions and trillions of deaths predicted off that garbage model never happened.

    That he would settle on guns is telling. A dude wanting to punish if not exterminate the lower classes. I’ll bet he’s just like Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman.

    • Replies: @Alexander Turok
  113. @Alexander Turok

    To explain it more to those of reduced intelligence in this comment section, take something you know how to do. Say, driving. Now, imagine you’re in a room with a bunch of 12-year olds. They’re talking about how to drive and you recognize that a lot of what they’re saying about it is wrong. You explain to them, here’s how it actually works, I’ve actually done it before. And they’re like, well that’s just your opinion, man. I have a different opinion. I saw it on TV. I know just as much as you do.

    What are you going to do? You’re going to leave that room. Unless you’re being paid to be there. In that case you might start seeing it differently. Might start seeing it as a grand philosophical roundtable. Might start wondering why all the other adults are packing their things and preparing to leave. Might start thinking they’re close-minded.

  114. @Clifford Brown

    The best part of my visit to the Mohonk resort was the Maze–a trail through, between, under, and over giant boulders, with ladders and walkways where necessary, ending atop a cliff with a great view.

    The worst part was the buffet-style lunch. Low quality.

  115. @black sea

    “Life is like a B-movie. I wouldn’t want to leave in the middle, but I wouldn’t want to sit through it twice.”

    Maybe he wouldn’t want to go through being married to Jane Fonda twice.

  116. @Dave Pinsen

    Right now across the midwest and other rural areas, young men are being told not to go to college, get a real job at some plant, or go into “trades.” There wont be new generations of doctors, dentists, engineers etc. You can see this now on large college campuses, fewer and fewer men with rural backgrounds.

    Across the country people are rejecting institutions that carried this country into being the worlds superpower. School, college, science, literature etc. Its really a shame.

    When i see people pushing back against wearing masks, i see this mentality. They oppose it simply because people in authority are telling them to do it. But they want to go back to work, whatever. But they wont wear a mask, senseless. So many of them will get sick, probably get their elderly relatives sick as well. Then they will blame whatever – scientists, Trump, Biden, something.

    Stephensons portrayal of the gun obsession is spot on too. I dont have a problem with guns, but i personally know too many younger relatives scraping by, but you turn around and they buy their kid an AR 15. Or another fancy hunting rifle. Its become another money sink for the underclass, like a black ghetto kid buying $200 sneakers but cant afford to pay a parking ticket or a deposit on an appartment.

  117. vhrm says:
    @Tomalak

    “… The Orville…”

    Did it get better later? I suffered through a few episodes when it first came out and dropped it.

    I was annoyed by the fact that they posited a military or para-military structure but the dynamics between the characters were more like they’re all shift workers at a pizza place.
    ( Except for the Powerful Dignified Black Woman doctor whose role on the show is to be a Dignified Black Woman… )

    And it wasn’t some attempt at commenting upon or subverting military tropes or whatever. It’s like the writers are entirely unaware of military structure and rank dynamics beyond the fact that they have funny job titles.

    Then the all male Klingon equivalents in a same sex marriage… who have a baby… who is trans and has to have sex change surgery?

    ugh. i skipped out half way on that episode… watched one more after it and that was it.

  118. Glaivester says: • Website
    @CAL2

    I think the US was always different, because even before the supply was cut off, transporting Africans to North America was more expensive than transporting them to the Caribbean or to South America, which were much closer. So breeding your own slaves was cheaper compared to importing them than it was further South.

  119. vhrm says:
    @Cloudswrest

    Neuromancer by William Gibson, considered the first cyberpunk novel, had this concept in it. They had the ability to have static copies of peoplecs consciousness. You could speak with them, but they wouldn’t learn new things or change.

    Apparently (according to the web) some part of the plot is about the ability to upload minds and have them continue to change, but i don’t remember anymore what the book was about.

  120. @Hodag

    I vote Ali McGraw but such a thing is personal taste.

    I’ll vote Basinger:

    The film also has pre-fat, pre-lib wimp Alec Baldwin, a diabolical James Woods, pneumatic Jennifer Tilly, sociopathic Michael Madsen, the formidable David Morse, Richard Farnsworth, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman even shows up for a bit.

    The score was also a pleasant surprise at certain junctures.

    It’s one of those B-movies that’s hard to stop watching when it pops up on an otherwise boring weekend evening.

  121. @Whiskey

    I don’t know anything about Stephenson or the model you’re referring to. Maybe he’s a nut. Hanson was not a fan of the novel:

    http://www.overcomingbias.com/2019/06/stephensons-em-fantasy.html

    Regardless, I don’t believe in this egalitarian nonsense. Most working people are ignorant. Some of them know this and shut up when those who know more than them speak. Others think it’s their God-given right to hold these uninformed opinions and they want you to treat them as if they are valid.

    Did you see Idiocracy, Whiskey? Did you think the protagonist was an “elitist” for having “prejudice” against the masses?

  122. Dissident says:
    @Redneck farmer

    You were told you would want the upgrades after uploading, sir.

    Something For Nothing, X Minus One, 1957, Episode #97. Robert Sheckley, adapted by Ernest Kinoy.

  123. Dissident says:
    @SunBakedSuburb

    Simulation theory is a dreary dead end unless you attach it to the notion of reincarnation. I’m beginning to suspect a cabal of elites and the technocrats they control have fully bought-in to the idea. Prepare for further mass social-engineering.

    This whole idea of simulation and your words, particularly, remind me very much of The Tunnel under the World

    “The Tunnel under the World” is a science fiction short story by American writer Frederik Pohl. It was first published in 1955 in Galaxy magazine. It has often been anthologized, most notably in The Golden Age of Science Fiction, edited by Kingsley Amis (1981).

    I heard the X Minus One Radio Adaptation (1956, Episode #43)

    Might this have been the inspiration for The Matrix?

    • Replies: @Dissident
    , @syonredux
  124. @black sea

    Candy was probably the original SJW, plotting the demise of all that is good and holy, all those years ago. And all because she couldn’t control her eating habits.

  125. @fondolo

    Yeah, it’s really just that cross-country road trip sequence. The rest of the book is mostly free from that contemptuous tone, and in fact there’s plenty of sharp satire and commentary on the clever people who live in Princeton and Seattle.

    But that’s what makes the wish-we-could-fly-over-it section seem so gratuitous. It adds little to the book’s plot or major themes. It gives off the vibe of being a different story Stephenson was writing that went nowhere, so he just dumped what he’d produced into Fall.

  126. Neoconned says:
    @Kent Nationalist

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Your_Eyes_(1997_film)

    Vanilla Sky is the American remake of a very good but weird Spanish film….linked above for those interested.

    It’s also KINDA similar to 2 anime series. The .hack media franchise…..which is VERY GOOD and os weirdly forgotten but includes books and video games:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/.hack

    …..and then the popular manga slash anime series “Sword Art Online”….also very good:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_Art_Online

  127. Dissident says:
    @Dissident

    CORRECTED links for X Minus One radio files:
    Something For Nothing, #96

    Tunnel Under The World, #42

  128. @Obamahotep

    I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

    I really like Stephenson; I think he’s a very, very good novelist — but not quite great. He has tremendous ideas, and is very entertaining and readable, for the most part, but he just loses it occasionally, and writes stuff that’s kind of ridiculous. One previous example of this is the end of one of his best novels, i.e. The Diamond Age. It’s a remarkably visionary book, and a lot of fun to read, but when he gets to the drummers, you can’t help but snicker.

    The road trip section in Fall is similar. He’s got an idea about what disinformation might do in turning a population away from ‘reason’ back into a primitive tribal society with lots of weird taboos and rituals, but the execution in this section poor. I found it cartoonish and boring.

    I did have one laugh seeing how Everything Changed from the relative enlightenment of NW Iowa into Heart of Darkness II — The Enbloodening once our heroes crossed the river into Nebraska. I’m from NW Iowa myself, and we do wonder sometimes about our western neighbors, but not quite to this degree.

    Finally, you may be right about Anathem: end to end, it really might be Stephenson’s best, although I’ll never enjoy it quite as much as Cryptonomicon.

  129. cthulhu says:
    @Obamahotep

    Anathem is indeed Stephenson’s best IMHO, followed closely by Cryptonomicon. Anathem has some of the best worldbuilding I’ve run across, and is one of the most nakedly philosophical novels I’ve ever read; I would go live in the Concent of Saunt Edhar in a heartbeat 🙂

    I didn’t like Fall at all on initial reading; I reread it about six months later and it was markedly better in my eyes, but still very much a lower tier. (I confess the very end choked me up a bit.) On the topic of “Ameristan”, I viewed much of that as his extremely low opinion of social media, which is even more negative now than when he wrote Seveneves; the people who make up Ameristan are those who are, by nature, tipped very slightly farther away from what I’ll call rationality than those who escape Ameristan, and the cancer that is social media has gained a foothold in their minds and is pushing them more and more into an abyss. In a world without social media – say, 30+ years ago – they would have been fine. But he’s pretty hard on the coastal elites and their bubbles too, just not quite as nakedly so.

  130. @Reg Cæsar

    There’s a Ray Bradbury short story, “The Lifework of Juan Diaz,” involving a Mexican cemetery where the graves are leased. Whenever the dead become deadbeats, the gravedigger digs them up and hangs the mummified bodies in catacombs as a tourist attraction.

    Seems to have been inspired by the mummies of Guanajuato.

    • Replies: @Dissident
  131. @The Last Real Calvinist

    I tried reading that book but eventually failed, despite the fact the subject matter is interesting to me and I was willing to give the book more chances for that reason alone. The main characters were completely unsympathetic and annoyingly “quirky” for quirkiness’ sake to the point I wished death upon them all lol. There was also a subtle stink of SJW throughout the first several chapters I managed to get through but I ultimately had to do a hard stop when I came upon Stevenson unironically and earnestly using the term “mansplaining” in the book. Even left leaning urban hipsters would typically invoke that term with a wink and a smirk, so to have is shoved down my throat in a 1000+ page novel was a bridge too far.

  132. Lagertha says:

    weirdest memory of my life: after telling my uncle that his late brother’s wife (my mother) had died, and, that she had told the hospice nurses that her beloved (his brother) was coming for her – moments before she died …was not news to him because he “felt it.” He sensed her death and his brother’s presence!

    Ok, they were twins. However, he told me his brother (my father) was beckoning him to join them. well….that was amazing, and I don’t know what to believe, except it is lovely. I recently sent him the movie: Cocoon. He is 90, clear as a whistle. He loves war history, but I have sent him so much war history stuff. But, the next decade will be ugly and awful. However, I still want to believe in normal life…with a smattering of Cocoon.

  133. syonredux says:
    @Dissident

    There’s also Philip K Dick’s 1959 TIME OUT OF JOINT, where the 1990s protagonist inhabits a simulacrum of 50s America:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Out_of_Joint

    • Replies: @Dissident
  134. ziggurat says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    As a kid, I commented on something by saying “that’s a pain.”
    My teacher said: “Yes, life’s a pain, but don’t worry, it will soon be over.”

  135. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @Alexander Turok

    I doubt surgeons and petroleum geologists have become bleeding heart liberals between 2011 and now, but if you find more recent data, by all means share it here.

  136. @peterike

    The in-game love interest is a very fetching mixed-race lady (Andy Allo-Allo-Allo, Wot’s Goin’ On ‘Ere Then – part Afrochocolate born in Cameroon) – although not as fetching as the mixed-race lady from Devs (Soyona Mizuno (part Nip… and perhaps part golf club/running shoe) or the mixed-race lady from “The 100” (Lindsey Morgan – part Beaner).

    Same with the ‘heroic’ chicksies from Westworld: one’s part AfroZimChoc; the other’s part PanamaChoc and part Beaner.

    Also that blackish woman from Star Trek: Discovery: she’s nowhere near dark enough to be a pureblood.

    Seems that you have to be ‘part [something interesting]’ (and have a BMI of about 12) to be a non-hostile chick role in TV sci-fi.

    Also, it’s interesting that “cream in the coffee” [or tea, for the Asiatics] seems to make for a nice combo: compare Star Trek: Discovery Shonequa to Whoopi Goldberg).

    I’m a sucker for Sci-Fi… but Upload was pretty dumb.

  137. @ScarletNumber

    Well, if people enjoy Defending Your Life (which is fine) then it means my premise simply isn’t agreed to, so then the discussion would just devolve into boring old differences in taste. Seems my little Apple of Discord didn’t manage to generate any discord.

    I can see why “Upload” is the catchier title for the show, but they really shoulda named it “Self Storage”….

    • Troll: ScarletNumber
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  138. LondonBob says:
    @AnotherDad

    Human beings need a beginning and an end, our minds don’t really handle the concept of eternity.

    It is like in When Death Becomes Her and Ernest declines the offer of eternal life as he has no idea what he would do.

  139. Anonymous[712] • Disclaimer says:
    @Mr. Anon

    drive down the World’s population to where they’d like it.

    Why’d they just double the child tax credit?

  140. Romanian says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    I was trying to put down wage slavery, not build up actual slavery :))

  141. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Don’t be one of those assholes who talks in riddles.

  142. Dissident says:
    @nobodyofnowhere

    There’s a Ray Bradbury short story, “The Lifework of Juan Diaz,” involving a Mexican cemetery where the graves are leased. Whenever the dead become deadbeats, the gravedigger digs them up and hangs the mummified bodies in catacombs as a tourist attraction.

    1.) I came across an article a while back about just this very phenomenon: leased graves, specifically somewhere in Latin America, that were being vacated for non-payment at the expiration of the lease. The article included (expectedly macabre) photos of the exhumed human remains. If I recall correctly, it said that their fate, if not claimed, was interment in a mass grave.*

    2.) According to Wikipedia’s List of X Minus One episodes, eight were at least based upon/adapted from stories by Ray Bradbury. The one you mentioned does not appear to be among them. The one from the list that I distinctly recall listening-to was Zero Hour,

    [MORE]
    which I found quite well done; compellingly, hauntingly horrific. (The part about space aliens, per se, may have been comfortably fantastical to dismiss as pure fiction. But the part about how easily and thoroughly children can be recruited and programmed to commit profound, shocking evil was all-too-real.)

    *Incidentally, the potter’s field mass grave site on NYC’s Hart Island was mentioned within an iSteve thread back in April. I posted a comment in it linking to a human interest NY Times story from 2016 that I had come across and found rather moving:
    Unearthing the Secrets of New York’s Mass Graves

  143. Dissident says:
    @syonredux

    A belated thanks for this.

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