Consciousness is a potential technology; we are exquisite machines, nothing less than sentient patterns.
As such, there’s no convincing technical reason we can’t eventually
upload ourselves into matrices of our design and choosing. It’s likely
the phenomenon we casually call “intelligence” will cease to be
strictly biological as we begin to merge with our machines more
meaningfully and intimately. (Philip K. Dick once wrote that “living
and nonliving things are exchanging properties.” I suspect that in a
few hundred years, barring disaster, separating the animate from the
inanimate will probably be an exercise in futility.) Ultimately, we
have two options: self-mutate by venturing off-planet in minds and
bodies of our own design, or succumb to extinction.
Mac Tonnies died last month. We’ve lost one uniquely weird and compelling fringe researcher.