Sometime today you are going to sit on the toilet and do your business. That is just one of the many other reasons why you might gladly discard your body if you had the chance. There are quite a few problems created by your body’s biology, and it would be nice to be rid of them.
I mean, let’s face it — peeing and pooping are a major drag. The whole idea of wiping your butt is nasty. These basic biological functions are gross, and you have to take care of them every day. If you had a way to eliminate these activities from your daily routine, chances are that you would gladly do so.
|photo by Marshall Brain|
Body odor falls into the same category. So does snot. So does shaving. So do scabs.
Obesity is another problem that goes with the human body. People like to eat because eating is a pleasurable experience. But when you eat, you get fat. What if you could eliminate your body but retain the experience of eating? You would eat without obesity, and chances are that you would be a happier person.
People have been talking about immortality for thousands of years. Everything from the Egyptian Pyramids to Ponce de Leon’s fountain of youth are a part of that conversation.
Let’s imagine that scientific progress makes our bodies immortal. Science completely eliminates the effects of aging, and medical technology cures all diseases.
Even if that happens, it does not change the fact that your body is a poor vehicle to carry your mind. It does not change the incredible vulnerability of your mind to the accidental death of your body. Immortality is irrelevant if your body is obliterated in a bomb blast or a fiery car crash.
“Immortality” does not change some of the most fundamental problems created by your biological body. For example, immortality does not change the fact that your body needs to use the restroom several times every day. Nor does it solve all the physical problems that go with your body – the difficulty of travel, the inability to fly, etc.
Your biological body has built-in problems even if we do eliminate disease and mortality. That is the reason why you will discard your body as soon as you are able to do so. Everyone will.
Then there is the whole problem with transportation. Your body, being a physical object, must move through a physical universe. This means that it can take hours to travel from one place to another. If you are in one city and a friend is in another, there is no easy way for you to “get together” in person without one of you wasting several hours on travel.
Sure you can resort to something like a telephone to talk to your friend. But a telephone is nothing like an in-person visit. Neither is a video phone. What if your friend is your spouse and you want to have sex? There is no way to have sex today unless you can be physically together, and there is no way to be physically together without physical travel. Think about how long and boring your last 4-hour car ride or plane flight was, and you realize how un-fun travel really is. The only reason we put up with it right now is because we have absolutely no choice.
There are many other physical constraints that go with your physical body. For example, you cannot fly like Superman. You cannot scale buildings like Spiderman. You cannot swim underwater for more than a minute without special equipment. You cannot venture into the vacuum of space. You cannot make something leap into your hand from 10 feet away using “the Force” like the Jedi do in Star Wars. Unless you are one of the rare, highly trained people who can perform Olympic-level gymnastics or acrobatics, you cannot perform acrobatics. If someone shoots you with a physical bullet, your physical body is likely to die. The “physicality” of your biological body constantly imposes limits on your brain.
All of these constraints and many, many others come because you inhabit a physical body that is subject to the realities of the physical universe it lives in. If you could eliminate your physical body, all of these physical limitations would fall away.
Discard Your Body Table of Contents
- Chapter 1 – Is our science fiction right?
- Chapter 2 – Your fragile body
- Chapter 3 – The power of beauty
- Chapter 4 – Other traps that your body creates
- Chapter 5 – Saving Christopher Reeve, and you
- Chapter 6 – The pull of video games
- Chapter 7 – The problem with video games
- Chapter 8 – Understanding Vertebrane
- Chapter 9 – Experiencing the in-game world
- Chapter 10 – A fateful call from Clarissa
- Chapter 11 – The proliferation of game worlds
- Chapter 12 – The lure of porn
- Chapter 13 – Meanwhile, back at the ranch…
- Chapter 14 – The day you discard your body
- Chapter 15 – Who will be first?
- A Revolutionary Mission to Mars
- Imagining Elon Musk’s Million-Person Mars Colony