Explore a life without consequences in 'My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday'

There’s a lot of possibility.

If we figure out how to cognitively enhance people with implants before we figure out strong AI, I think we’d have a good chance of surviving any resulting signularity. We’d have people who have experience and good equipment already.

If the singularity happens without human integration into it, we’ll either be playing catchup or be left in the dust, and the singularity being what it is, there’s no telling what would happen. IMNSHO, best case scenario we’d be uplifted along with whatever we make, neutrally we’d be pets or ignored, worst case… the basilisk.

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I kinda thought it would go down that route too, until the Alpha Go neural network kicked ass, since then, I’m not so sure. Maybe the cognitive enhancement step is enabled by specialist neural networks finding unique (novel?) solutions for technological interfaces with advanced genetic and epigenetic engineering.

Maybe cognitive and consciousness modelling is driven much more quickly by weak AI and then integrated with biology for a back door into strong AI… the whole field just seemed to get much more interesting, many more potential bootstraps than I had previously considered… uh… yesterday. :wink:

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The way it’s theorized in GitS (which by now you should realize I have a very strong favoritism for) is simple nanobots that are just about as good, or slightly better than a human neuron, but about the size of a bacteria.

They get injected into your arm, make their way into the brain, and find an organic buddy to copy. You end up with your brain enmeshed with a network of much smaller robotic neurons, that copy the meat guys for awhile, then eventually you offload more and more to the silicon until eventually, you’re so old all that’s left is the silicon.

And in the process you get some awesome powers like synthetic telepathy, and device drivers for prosthetic bodyparts, and REAL GODDAMN MEMORY that doesn’t fade or corrupt from the same things human memories do. You also get all the benefits of just doing what computers do.

But GitS is a lot like I, Robot. It looks for the problems. Like people of sufficient skill finding vulnerability in your cyberbrain, rewriting all your memories and turning a bunch of upstanding citizens who’ve read a very specific account of a certain rebellion into mindcontrolled assassins.

Or cyberbrain sclerosis where a part of the population reacts badly to it, and end up with neurodegenerative diseases.

Or “closed shell syndrome” which is basically cyberpunk autism. People who take to it so well and so rapidly that they shut themselves off from the world to keep themselves from hurting other people with their godlike powers.


The title of this book reminds me of probably the most mind-blowing implication of Einstein’s relativity - given sufficiently differing velocities, my tomorrow could be your yesterday, which pretty much clinches that free will isn’t actually a thing, because that means the future is no less fixed than the past, since those terms are subjective.

Like Bill Hicks said, it’s just a ride.

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Dunno how to break it to everyone, but TH White covered this rather a long time ago (1958). And he’s a bit more scientifically (so to speak) accurate: if you’re living backwards, then you must remember everything in the future. It makes no sense to have no memory in both directions.

Unfortunately, that may be where out consensus commitment to the future runs out of steam. The paperless office seemed inevitable to me, until hackable Deibold machines became the norm. Qwerty never looks like it’s going to go away. Videophones will likely never take off. And we’re still stuck with the legal framework from centuries ago. Change may be inevitable, but progress certainly isn’t.


It’s odd that this turns out to be a time travel novel; By the catch phrase, I assumed it would be a story about the 1%. I kinda wish I were joking here.

In many interactions by mobile phone, face to face communication is just noise, so I’ll happily use a mobile phone rather than Skype. Most of the time even voice is unnecessary and time consuming, so text is better. I can still talk by video if I want to though, so I have as much progress as I want and I can decide what progress means at each point.

It would be interesting to see computer optimised legislation in action, although I’m not sure how it could be achieved without increasing the potential for abuse, or even agreeing on the definition of ‘optimised’ with the entrenched and polarised opinions that people have.

That there is no absolute simultaneity is probably one of the most disturbing and difficult facts to try and live with.

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Our views on prosthetic neurones and anime seem to converge closely sir!

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Both at once.

Now that is the voice of experience.


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