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<   No. 1508   2007-03-14   >

Comic #1508

1 Paris: So, if you had a DNA sample of me, could you force grow a clone body suitable for uploading my personality record file into?
2 fforbes-Davïs: Sure. Take a couple of months, but it'd be like you never died. You have a DNA sample?
2 Paris: Actually... no.
3 fforbes-Davïs: Oh. Well, we could load your personality into a bioroid body. Have you got a personality file on memory cube?
3 Paris: Um... no...
4 fforbes-Davïs: Hmmm... tricky...
4 Paris: Can you build me a pair of mind-controlled hands that I can strangle with?

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2017-01-04 Rerun commentary: This is the only use of the word "bioroid" in the comic. It's a term I learnt from the Transhuman Space roleplaying game, based on the GURPS rules by Steve Jackson Games. It's a term coined by contraction from "biological android", and refers to artificial beings or bodies made of biological material. An early example is the replicants from Blade Runner - basically robots made of flesh rather than metal.

Here, fforbes-Davïs is suggesting using a bioroid body without an animating intelligence, or mind, as a receptacle to upload Paris's brain patterns into. This separation of mind/personality and physical body has become a common theme of transhumanist fiction. The basic idea is that bodies are merely physical places where a mind resides for a time, before moving on to a new body. If you buy into this premise, then people can effectively become virtually immortal, as they move from body to body as the old bodies age and wear out. For some people this sounds cool, for others, horrific.

Which is pretty much the essence of good science fiction.

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