And when we die, they pull our minds through a wormhole in space-time and put us into an awesome brand new body in this ‘heaven’.
Review by Giulio Prisco
The recently published book “Technological Resurrection: A Thought Experiment,” by Jonathan Jones, is a little gem. It only costs $1.26, and provides a short and readable first introduction to ideas on technological resurrection.
If you value hours of informative, thought provoking and entertaining reading more than $1.26, buy the book now. It’s so refreshing being able to pay a small sum to a deserving writer, instead of downloading a pirated version of one of those expensive books.
The idea behind technological resurrection is that we’ll all be resurrected — copied to the future — by future hyper-advanced technology based on quantum weirdness, time scanning, wormholes, and whatnot.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept and want to find out more, perhaps because you are looking for scientifically believable alternatives or complements to traditional religion, then this book has been written for you.
In my favorite passage, Jones mentions “Nothingness” as a possible answer to the question of what comes after death, but quickly dismisses the possibility because it tastes like tofu: “We’re told that it’s the most sensible, best option. And it will be good for us. But what’s the point of life, we keep asking ourselves, if all we ever get to eat is tofu?”
I interpret this as a perfect reply to the “cultural” thought police and the bureaucrats of philosophy who want to eliminate what remains of spiritual imagination and hope. Screw tofu, I want pizza. And ribs. And a beer.
Jones’ much better answer, inspired by Nikolai Fedorov and the Russian Cosmists, is very similar to mine: We will be resurrected by future humans by means of science and technology. Technological resurrection works like this:
- Step 1, looking back through time using some future technology built on quantum weirdness;
- Step 2, using the information retrieved from the past to “print” a copy of your body and mind;
- Step 3, retrieving your consciousness from the past; and finally
- Step 4, inserting your consciousness into your new body.
Simple, isn’t it? Well, perhaps not that simple, but super-intelligent AIs will be there to help.
Most technological resurrection procedures that have been imagined based on this “uploading to the future” concept stop at step 2. If your mind is there in the future, what more can you want? Our grandchildren could even skip printing a physical body/brain and insert your mind into a new robotic body, or a software “body” in a virtual world.
Jones disagrees and makes a difference between “technological re-creation,” which stops at step 2, and real “temporal resurrection,” which includes steps 3 and 4. Eventually, Jones says, “scientists will master re-creation and turn their attention to temporal resurrection.”
“And when we die, they pull our minds through a wormhole in space-time and put us into an awesome brand new body in this ‘heaven’.”
But what’s the difference between re-creation and temporal resurrection?
According to Jones, there are “particles within our nervous system that actually hold the ‘pattern of our consciousness’.”
Step 3, retrieving a consciousness from the past, will require quantum technologies able to retrieve those particles from the past, and “quantum shenanigans and super AI to pull off.” Then, the physical consciousness can be teleported (moved, not copied) to the future.
I am open to the idea that consciousness could live in unique physical systems in the brain, which can’t be reduced to classical bits. A standing wave of quantum bits, or something like that. I have speculated about this possibility in this essay and a follow-up series.
I disagree with a couple of Jones’ points, and I would have said a couple of other things differently, but “Technological Resurrection” is a very good, insightful, refreshing, and entertaining book, that could bring some hope and happiness to millions of people and perhaps, as the author says at the end, give them the energy to make this world a better place here and now.
One point of disagreement is that I just don’t buy the Singularity thing. Instead of a pristine exponential take-off of ultra-superness, I see much slower business-as-usual progress against the inevitable messiness and friction of real-world technology and politics. I admire Ray Kurzweil, but I don’t take his optimistic predictions too seriously.
So I think all that Jones says will eventually be achieved, but not in a couple of hundred years. More like many thousand years or more. But why should you worry about that? From your subjective point of view, no time will elapse between death and resurrection.
When technological resurrection is achieved, I don’t think humans will be living on Earth or be based on biology as-we-know: They’ll be living among the stars in computronium realities (or weirder) that we wouldn’t understand. Of course, they could (and I think they will) build virtual theme parks that look like the good old times for the newly resurrected to have an easier transition, like Jones predicts.
I think the book gives too much space to ghosts (they are really projections from the future, inconspicuous enough to preserve the integrity of space-time), but I realize most readers will like that. The book presents our ideas in a very simplified way without going into details, scientific theories, philosophical depth etc. but I consider this as a feature rather than a bug: what the world needs right now is a short, simple, easy to read and emotionally appealing introduction to the idea of technological resurrection.
Emotional killer app
Some time ago in the Turing Church Facebook group we discussed how to promote our ideas on technological resurrection, and I said that “lack of interest in techno-resuddection is our fault, because we haven’t (yet) found ways to make the idea emotionally compelling…. people tend to make up their minds first (based mostly on emotions) then use rationality to justify it later. We need the emotional killer app for our ideas.”
“Technological Resurrection” is a short, simple, easy to read and emotionally appealing introduction to the idea of technological resurrection, and a good step toward the emotional killer app that could make our ideas popular.
The book includes short science fiction stories to illustrate various steps of the temporal resurrection process, and references related science fiction films and novels, including my favorite “The Light of Other Days” (2000), by Stephen Baxter based on a synopsis by Arthur C. Clarke, and “Immortality, Inc.” (1959), by Robert Sheckley, a fictional treatment quite compatible with Jones’ approach.
Sadly, most books self-published via Amazon Digital Services are only read by a handful of people, but let’s try to promote this book all over the internet. “Technological Resurrection” could be a life-changing book for some people out there.
Perhaps I am too pessimist: Jones’ previous book, science fiction novel “Gods of the Singularity,” also self-published via Amazon Digital Services, has rave reviews on Amazon. This makes me more of an optimist. Is Jones the new Andy Weir?