SMBC: So, how long do we live?

Click through for full sized version, and for the red button caption.

via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

This cartoon reminds me of one of the objections I often hear to mind uploading, that even if the uploaded mind was identical to the original, there would be a break in continuity between them.  I’ve never quite understood why that break in continuity would be any worse than the one that occurs with a nap, or any other period of non-consciousness.

It’s interesting how strongly some young children resist falling asleep, occasionally not allowing themselves to succumb until they’re exhausted.  It’s made me wonder if there isn’t some primal fear of the end of the current consciousness.  Of course, it’s probably just a fear of missing out on whatever’s going on after they go to bed.

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8 Responses to SMBC: So, how long do we live?

  1. ratamacue0 says:

    Spoiler alert… So does the red button caption mean 1000+ years later? Or hours or days later, and the alien was playing a trick on the human?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wyrd Smythe says:

    It does bum me out a little that I have to waste all that time unconscious. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brett says:

    I’ve never quite understood why that break in continuity would be any worse than the one that occurs with a nap, or any other period of non-consciousness.

    Even if you’re not actively aware of it, most of your brain processes continue when you’re asleep. That’s different from an upload, where you’d have complete cessation of brain processes.


    • True (although I’d use the word “many” rather than “most”). Things are far more shut down when under general anesthesia where you’re basically put into a coma. (The times I was under anesthesia, I found it subjectively the same as sleep.)

      But in all cases, consciousness stops, and is restarted later. A break in continuity is still experienced.


  4. I love sleeping! The idea of evolving to no longer need it is so sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. That’s actually sort of refreshing – to get a new consciousness after a night’s rest brings a whole new meaning to various cliches. Sleep on it. It’ll seem brighter in the morning. Tomorrow’s another day. Etc.


    • Absolutely. You’ll feel like a new person in the morning 🙂

      Of course, it’s refreshing because, during sleep, waste products that built up throughout the day are removed, information storage consolidated, and other housekeeping tasks performed. If that could happen without sleep, you might live in a perpetual state of freshness.

      Liked by 1 person

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