Sunday, November 09, 2008

Your double

If you had a double, would you hang out with him or her? A double here is defined as an identical copy of yourself. The format could be interesting. Presumably an identical physical copy of yourself would be a bit stranger than a digital copy, advising you or conversing with you from the discretion of a computer screen. With yourself as a friend, some people might not bother to interact with others at all anymore. Others might prefer zero interaction with their double.

Theoretically, there would be no reason to stop at two instances of yourself. What about more, either digital or physical? If the doubles are caught up in their own goals and objectives, they might not be able to be the objective advisors that could be nice when someone knows you so well, but their insights and activities could be quite interesting.

Some good SciFi examples that examine the idea of having one or more doubles are John C. Wright’s Golden Age, David Brin’s Kiln People and Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon.

There would be several aspects to be sorted. Would experience be linked, shared, merged or kept separate? If integrated into a composite, a really good 3D merge and difference finder program would be needed. What about legal agreements with your double and security/privacy concerns and etiquette? The People’s Court of the future could feature cases between multiple instances of the same person!

If experience could not be merged and shared, it could still be interesting to have one or more doubles even if those people would be continually diverging from you due to having their own experiences. It might be like having additional close - really close - family members. The others would be people of their own with the legal rights, economic needs, dreams, goals and activities of any other individuals.

There could be interesting tests to pass to demonstrate the impact of initiating a double in the physical world and its contribution vs. draw down of resources; although, this analysis is generally absent from the deliberation of current-day parents.

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