|—||McGonigal, Kelly; Maximum Willpower. Macmillan|
|—||Glenn Greenwald, “Correspondence and collusion between the New York Times and the CIA”|
The act of planning is what matters, more than the plan itself.
Even if the plans change entirely, even if you throw away the plan as soon as it is finished - the fact that you have planned enables you to make better choices.
|—||Richard Wiseman, summarising “The Luck Factor”|
I’m concerned about the potential for anthropogenic climate change to irrevocably damage ecosystems and biodiversity, and cause a lot of human suffering. I’m also excited about the potential of new technology to mitigate the damage by reducing carbon emissions.
I found myself thinking about the technologies I’ve read about that could help, and below I’ve collected some of my favourites that, in my amateur opinion, have the potential to greatly reduce carbon emission in residences, commerce and wheeled-transport.
“Uploading the Mind’s Eye”
Nervous about the procedure but knowing that his organic-casing has been feeling kinda rundown lately (he tripped and scuffed an elbow the other day, plus his nose has been running for at least a week now), Franklin MacMurray settles down into the chair as the Robo-Assistants start threading the wires through his pupil and under his eye and he can hear the familiar crunch of the connections clicking into place.
The downloading of his Virtual Soul (a compilation of his memories, thoughts, feelings, personality— all that makes him, him) and subsequent uploading into a new organic casing has become remarkably easy, but still… as they hook up everything and he feels the memories be duplicated and pulled out, Franklin always feels regretfully uneasy. He can’t shake it.
Plus, he doesn’t need a new body (the current one works fine, just a bit slow is all), but with the deals they got now it’s sooooo cheap to upgrade, and they have all these amazing features… yeah, he probably won’t use 99% of them, but he thought the same about the Clearview Retin-A after all, and he doesn’t know what he’d do without it.
Besides, it’s almost his birthday. He’s allowed to give himself a nice gift.
The dreamy glow that the absence of self brings is tingling through his body, acting as a natural sedative, and Franklin knows it won’t be long now before the transfer is complete. While he can’t “see” his thoughts and memories in his head, he can still feel them being sorted and compiled in the new frame…
But something… something feels off. He can sense the gaps in his memory that everyone has (you can’t remember everything, of course), but instead of them remaining empty and void, he can feel something… new being installed. Something foreign.
He tries to hone in on the blank gaps in his consciousness being artifically filled, but as his sense of self drains away he finds it harder to focus… the outrage he feels over this invasion becomes more and more difficult to muster and maintain…
All he knows, is that that is not him. Something must be going wrong, they’re not meant to put anything besides me in the new me…
It must just be some mistake, he tells himself. It has to be.
As the last bits of his Virtual Soul are downloaded and everything fades to black, he swears that he will remember it… when he wakes up, he will get to the bottom of this. He will fix it. They can’t do this.
Unbeknownst to Franklin, however, this is the 5th time he has made this promise to himself.
And just like before, the memory of it all is left in the dead husk of his former body, which is soon to be melted down and reappropriated into various breakfast cereals, off-brand kitty litters, and glue.
Franklin wakes up, confident in who he is, but subtly unrecognizable from who he was.
|—||William James, ‘Principle of Psychology’ (1890)|