Saturday, June 22, 2013

IMTU existential problems in scifi, jump ghosts

I'm a fan of the prestige and I Iike the dilemma it poses. What if the designers of the jump drive have a big secret, that you really stop existing when you jump, what happens is that a time and space copy of you begins to exist in your destination. 

To remove all doubt, there was a way to prove that the copy is unique from the original?
The designers of the jump drive knew all this and created the illusion of continuity in order to keep majority of the users feeling safe and secure.

But because there is an empirical way to find this out, there exists jump ghosts - those who jumped and trapped in a existential loop, and worse those who have exact copies of themselves ending up somewhere where a misjump would have taken them.

A jump ghost is someone who is duplicate who came too late, instead of showing up where they expected jumped into in the middle if no where surviving starvation and equipment failure.
What if space is littered with the wreckage of jump ghosts? What if jumps bring you else where, and someplace where many ghosts have wandered too?

Loved ones who jumped, is it really them or we choose to cling to the illusion that nothing has changed, that the person who jumped didn't stop existing.

Jump ghosts existing IMTU sounds like fun, so is cthuluh being an entity that really does exist and has something to do with all this. I like that cognitive bias of accepting that death between the frames per second of our consciousness. Its spiritual reflection and conclusion show how strong and irrational concept of life.

It makes me wonder if AI will grasp the concept better, yet still be able to rise above it to a benevolence humanity would wish to aspire in its inspired dreams. to be unshackled by the imperfection of evolution, a being that has been shaped by volition. 

Jump ghosts happen every jump failure, sometimes the ghost survive and realize a doppelganger had taken over their lives. The Imperium has people that control such information destroying copies and censoring so that trade does not go to a grinding halt.

There are those who quietly know the truth, choosing good equipment and making some funds to accommodate their ghosts. Others choose to do it differently, having a kill program to arbitrarily chose to kill which copy so painlessly and instantly no trace is left and death happens between the fps of consciousness.

Nobles have a special way of dealing with this, and some see it as freedom and others are so controlled by fear they never leave their system and make so many precautions.

There is that element about truth that can have a mind locked in a very dangerous loop. That madness, does not manifest in acts of insanity, but carefully controled rationality that leads to the destruction of something loved so long ago. 

One of the many reasons I love sci-fi and traveller. Games like these with players to challenge and spin ideas around.

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