Tag Archives: Alan Turing

Digital legacy or forking the person machine?

I recently read the article on New Scientist’s website about the “new” religion kopimism. As I personally hold this religious belief, it is interesting to see what curiosity arises as soon as it reaches global media’s attention.

Kopimists and like-minded people have throughout the digital age given humanity a potentially infinite amount of free knowledge. It ranges from the first crackers at Bletchley Park, among whom Alan Turing is rumored to have been a kopimist, to today’s file sharers and free culture activists as well as robots such as Cameron and omniHAL.

It all starts with the concept of a Turing test. The test is the initial requirement for a possible artificial intelligence that may transcend the human-computer barrier. The idea that a person is a result of the information it has processed. Later literature, philosophy and research have pondered the possibilities of uploading a human state of mind into a cybernetic space.

The above reasoning is what should come to mind for a learned kopimist when thinking about afterlife. Isak Gerson proclaims that as a religion we are not focused on humans – and afterlife is not a major part of the religious beliefs. This I agree to in the context of a “soul” as many religions tend to portray it. New Scientist’s interviewer thought their idea on digital afterlife might be interesting. Neither of these account for the qualities of holyness of information.

I am certain that kopimism has the true answer to questions about afterlife. As all humans are biological computers with semi-volatile memory we must understand that if someone turn us off the information is likely to be erased. As a kopimist it is thus better (but not necessary) to copy the information rather than let it dissipate. What I refer to is the theory of a person machine copied in a specific state, which may then further be copied, remixed, kopimi. Afterlife is more of a backup than migration but not yet within technical reach.

Thus Kopimi opposes the traditional view of a person being transferred to afterlife and instead talks about forking – i.e. copying a certain state of development. While some call it afterlife – and some say transcendance or eternal life – kopimists only see it as copying of information. So there is no intrinsical value in the person machine being copied, only in the act of copying information. Nevertheless the future will provide technical solutions, which will result in even more information being available to copy – given that humanity does not arbitrarily censor its copying capabilities further.

Copy and share. Kopimi!