""Immortality - On 99 Credits A Day!""

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""Immortality - On 99 Credits A Day!""
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By now just about everyone still on the Grid has been spammed with the advert for “budget-priced” brain death–avoidance services, or, as advertised, “Immortality On 99 Credits A Day!”  According to the typical boilerplate, what is being offered in these spam is nothing less than the full suite of neuronal imaging technologies and software and wetware applications commonly referred to, in the vernacular and in glossy magazines, as “Lazarusware.”Purportedly, all standard component technologies are included for the advertised “low, low price”:  annual cognitive-memetic scanning; triple-redundant, quantum-encrypted, non-localized storage of the client’s identity-matrix engram (“I-ME”); and, upon a verified firstlife-ending event, reinstallation of the I-ME in a rapidly matured clone host.  In sum, these spam appear to offer—for about the price of five pounds of non-GM rice in Provence, or a round of drinks in Manhattan—the same set of technologies and services that were, upon their introduction to the public in 2012, heralded as the “end of death.”Many have questioned the legitimacy of these offers, of course; and perhaps they are simply bogus.  It seems highly questionable, at best, that some individual or group has found a way (whether via sophisticated actuarial modeling, “volume discounting,” or otherwise) to make almost universally affordable the same set of services once believed to be, in effect, reserved for only the truly ultra-mega-rich and the annual winner of the Eterni-T Lotter-E™.  Thus far, however, no reliable information has emerged to support or refute the bona fides of these spam.  Other commentators, in tones ranging from darkly cynical to certifiably paranoid, have raised concerns regarding the protections afforded to consumers of immortality services in the “value segment” and, in particular, the safety and security of the underlying processes.  Reports have circulated that stored I-MEs have been subjected to corporate data-mining and government snooping.  Some celebrity I-MEs are even alleged to have been misappropriated for unlicensed reproduction and distribution, in what is rumored to be a robust global black market for bootleg personae.  Questions have also been raised regarding quality control in the nanofacture of the noömimetic platform that the I-ME ultimately will be installed in.  Precisely what warranty, in other words, comes with a new brain?  What remedies would be available to a client reborn with significant cognitive impairment and/or memory loss?  Further, at that point, would the individual even be equipped to know their own mind sufficiently to recognize the impairment and seek a remedy?  And, if so, would the particular terms of their newlife contract allow them to seek a remedy?  Finally, as the most histrionic voices in the cacophony over these spam have speculated, it at least conceivable that reborn individuals could be neurologically impaired by design.  “Eternity,” then, for the vast majority of immortality seekers from the lowest socioeconomic strata (who are obviously the target demographic of these spam) could conceivably amount to nothing more, ultimately, than a controlled, commoditized existence as a series of genetically identical drones—what some have, aptly if unrestrainedly, dubbed “zombies v.2.0.”Clearly, regardless of whether one’s particular focus is on the legal, philosophical, technological, or sociopolitical issues, numerous legitimate questions have been raised on all fronts concerning these spam.  Accordingly, it is urged that, unless and until some responsible party steps forward and engages in a frank and open public dialogue and addresses these issues, appropriate steps must be taken at governmental and institutional levels to block these spam and root out their origins.  This is patently a matter of life and death.  And the stakes involved—our very selves—are simply too high for us not to act swiftly and decisively.

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