Lovey, it’s time to take out the bubbly, Princess Diana is turning the big 5-0! Charles quick, hide Camilla, as the People’s Princess is back and you are terminated…
You think I am kidding? Look at this week’s Newsweek cover, a computer generated image of what Di would look like today. Yet, the real story is that she could still be alive.
Last year Techi, a great blog, published a post about a new movement calleed Terasem that explores immortality through “geoethical nanotechnology and personal cyberconsciousness.” The founders of this movement are an extraordinarily wealthy couple, Bina and Martine Rothblatt that have a medieval obsession with immortality. Last year, the Rothblatts hired Dave Hanson of Hanson Robotics to build a robotic likeness of themselves. If you don’t believe me, see the video tape.
One has to wonder what it would be like to be the Rothblatts’ great grandchildren. Do you give your Bubby a kiss on the bolts? How does Bubby-bot pat her kinderlach on the cheek? In the Talmud it says that one’s acts of kindness gives one immortality. If a Robot is capable of continuing this work, so be it, but if it is just a mere physical representation of a void body then it is as lifeless as the one that is buried in the ground. I recall the words of Shakespeare Sonnet 18 (especially the last two lines):
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate;
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee