Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Immortality Ltd

My new business venture.

"Good morning, sir.

"Once you have signed up we take your DNA sample - saliva or a cheek swab will do the trick. We'll hold off on the full genome sequencing as long as possible - you know, costs are coming down and accuracy's getting better all the time.

"Now let me explain the basic service.

"Our trained interviewers will help put together a detailed biography of your life. Any of your photos and videos plus supporting documentation will be invaluable here. Going forwards, it would be helpful if, from now on, you could keep a detailed diary - even better would be a blog. My own would be an example - oh yes, we do eat our own dog food here.

"Now when the time comes, we will need to see a death certificate, for legal reasons. Then we can take your stored cells and started the cloning process. We choose the foster parents to replicate the kind of idealised childhood you would wish to have had. We can reassure you that given basic standards of care, the correlation between parental environment and life outcome is essentially zero. So it's not too critical.

"As you grow and develop, our company will use the biographical material I mentioned to systematically brief you on your previous life."


"Yes, sir, that's the life you're living at this moment. As your future self grows up, he will absorb your biography as part of his education. You have heard about so-called false-memory syndrome? Well, consider this a benign case. Your future self will gradually remember being you in this life.

"And in the much more remote future? Well, we can do it all over again. And again."


"You ask about the special services? As you know, we all have a couple of recessive lethal mutations. These can be snipped out. We can remove genetic disease traits if sequencing shows you to have them. And we can tweak the quantitative traits. Sir might wish to be a little more intelligent, a little taller or stronger, perhaps a shade more attractive? And if you find certain aspects of your personality slightly irksome, well, something can be done about that."


"You ask, will you still be you? As you know, we all change a bit over our lifetimes, and provided we keep your genome edits within the normal range we're talking about a better you, not a different person. As I said, these are optional services and we do charge a fee, but nevertheless we find them popular. Our customers seem to want that extra edge for their future selves.

"And now sir, if I could draw your attention to the contract we have here, ready for your signature?"


What do you think? Angel investors or crowdfunding? Should I offer a discount for a husband-and-wife family plan?


Steve Hsu had a not-dissimilar post for Christmas.

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