Brain death


She was having a party. A suicide party.


Speech time.


“Thank you for coming friends and family. I am very relieved to be getting out of this place. I know that some of you will miss me, but I’m just so, so bored. I’ve achieved everything I want to and now its time to go.”


Everyone cheered. “Good on you Loren. Hope you find peace,” a voice shouted out.


“Thank you,” Loren replied in a cheerful voice, “Now everyone have a good time. I’ve set the time for death to 10.05pm. You can hang around for it or leave beforehand. Also, I don’t mind if you keep partying after I’m gone, but don’t forget to clean up. My landlord will have a fit otherwise.”


Everyone in the room began dancing to the music. Those who were not yet robots ate party food.


Loren had thought this over for many centuries. She had vigorously debated the idea of suicide with herself and her friends. Why would I give this life up? I could live forever. There are many experiences that I’ve only had a few times. I could keep going. The world will change and I can witness the changes.


Life wasn’t all enjoyment though. To live, one had to keep working. Even as a robot, she had to keep herself well maintained. Parts were expensive. It was a never ending amount of peddling just to keep moving forward.


Why would she live forever? Ever since they had invented the technology to download the entire contents of the human brain on to a removable medium, anyone could live forever. The brain would simply be transferred from the frail human body into something more solid that could withstand the ravages of time.


There were no more involuntary deaths. Everybody kept an up-to-date copy of their brain stored safely in case there was ever an accident. Those who backed up their brains regularly could almost be exactly the same person if their brain had to be reinstalled. Also, those with corrupted software could always select a restore point.


In fact, psychology had become so much easier as well. As long as a person kept regular and up to date backups of their brain, they could have any number of restore points. If, for example, they suffered some kind of acute psychological distress, they would just select a restore point and reload their brain from that point onwards. Then they would be right as rain.


Loren had kep regular and up to date backups but she wanted them destroyed. It was enough. Living for two hundred thousand years was all she could take.


It was time now. She lay down on her bed, alone in her room. She could hear all of the happy voices and music downstairs. She pressed the “secure reformat button” on her chest.


“Are you sure you want to proceed?” a pleasant voice asked.


“Yes,” Loren replied calmly.


“Are you certain? Data cannot be retrieved after this process is complete.”


“Yes I am sure” Loren repeated.


Then she drifted into nothingness. She was finally at peace.


Little did she know that her mother had kept a copy of her just in case….







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