Immortality and Other Musings

If you could live forever, would you do it? The obvious answer is “yes, duh” but that’s only because the face of the question doesn’t go deep enough. Pretty soon, we’re going to have to start doing some heavy thinking about this topic. What if you could live forever, but you had to stay locked in a room and hooked up to machines for all eternity? Or what if only the brain could be kept alive, so you could only experience immortality as a floating consciousness? Like maybe a consciousness hooked up to a virtual reality that can only simulate the real universe? But if the virtual reality was indistinguishable from physical reality, would you even care?

 

morpheus_pill

“You take the blue pill and-” Let me just stop you right there, Morpheus. I’m with Cypher on this one. Gimme the blue pill.

 

Maybe. But what if the body could be somehow cured of aging? After all, it’s just a gene that can be turned off (theoretically). Granted, true immortality at the cellular level would require much more work than that, but suppose that work gets done. What then? Sounds fantastic for the individual, but potentially disastrous for the human race. If no one dies, the population would increase so dramatically and so quickly that we would be unable to feed ourselves, employ ourselves and (eventually) house ourselves. All societies across the globe would have to adopt austerity measures heretofore unimaginable. What kind of life would that mean for our immortal race?

The only answer to that seems to be interstellar spread of our species. But man, we’d have to spread like wildfire to keep ahead of our population growth. But what kind of species would we even be at that point? Would we even be human anymore? We’ve been dying every instant we’ve been alive. We hold these truths to be self-evident: Everybody is born, everybody dies and everybody poops. Everybody poops, right? That’s not just me? I’d look it up, but that’s a Google search I’d rather avoid.

And how unfair to everyone who has lived and died up to this point! Nyah, nyah. You all had to die, but we don’t have to. Ugh. The guilt.

But, of course, we wouldn’t be truly immortal. I mean, turning off aging doesn’t make you immune to a car accident or a disease or a case of sudden, high-impact lead poisoning. With no fear of aging, we’d have a much larger fear of anything that involved any sort of risk. We would never want to gamble our precious immortality on anything as chancy as a night out on the town. We’d become a race of shut-ins.

But let’s go a step further. What if you no longer had to worry about your body at all? I mean, you’d still have a body, but it could be replaced. After all, consciousness is simply a collection of data being processed by a powerful organic computer that is the brain. What if you could just download that information into another brain in another body? Die in a car crash? That’s okay. You remembered to back up your brain last night, right? They can just download your latest save point into a new body. You wake up and get set to go to work and then see the day is Saturday and not Friday. Whoops! Must have bought it on Friday. Oh well. I hope the office knows I had to call out dead that day.

 

boss_late

“You were dead on Friday? That sounds pretty convenient. I want a coroner’s report on my desk Monday morning or you owe me 8 hours.”

 

Which brings up another question. When you wake up in your new body, are you really you? Sure, your memories are all there and you look like you, but did the REAL you actually die and now this new person is just some sort of clone? See what I’m saying? If you died, would you actually wake up in a new body, or would your consciousness disappear at the instant of death the way it does now and the next day a clone wakes up convinced he is you?

How would you know? How would anyone know? And what about that cloned body? Even if it was grown in a tank and has been preserved at some ideal age of twenty-something, doesn’t it already have some nascent consciousness of its own? Even if it never experienced anything, if it’s a brain in a physically matured body, hasn’t it already begun to form its own personality? Would your personality just overwrite that one when it gets downloaded? Would that be murder?

Sounds like some great ideas for science fiction stories, don’t they? And some great books have already been written about all of that stuff. I’m sure more will be written. I might even try my hand at playing with one or two immortality ideas. I don’t know if I’d be interested in immortality in real life, though I imagine at the moment of my own death I’d most likely think – “Well, maybe just a few more years couldn’t hurt….”

 

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Oh, hey! Did you hear? Spy for a Dead Empire just got reviewed by Andrew Ferrell on his blog. I didn’t even have to pay him or anything! Always nice to wake up in the morning and see that someone has enjoyed my book so much they wrote a review.

 

"Yep... A good day."

“Yep… A good day.”

 

That’s all for this post! Just some random thoughts loosely connected in a larger theme too complex to tackle in any one blog post. Back to writing and revising Grant Scotland!

Be like Andrew and leave a good review! Be like Jim Carrey and leave a big tip!

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Want to see my author profile and my books on Amazon? Check it out!

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I Only Have Everything Left To Do

All done! Finished! Fini! Mission Accomplished! Pencils Down! Le livre c’est morte! No. Wait. That’s not right. About five years worth of French classes and you’d think I would have learned one damned thing. I don’t even think I can remember how to say my own name.

Anyway. Not important. I don’t write in French. I barely write in English.

The point is that I have finished the first draft of the fourth book in the Adventures of Grant Scotland series! Huzzah! I even maybe kind of sort of know what I’ll call it, but I’m not 100% on that, so I’ll keep it to myself for now.

 

"Keep it secret. Keep it safe."

“Keep it secret. Keep it safe.”

 

But what does this mean? When will this book be released so the one or two people who mistakenly download it can immediately return it when they realize there are no pictures of boobies?

Well, I’ll spend the next two to three months revising it and then get the editing and cover art done. It would be nice to think I’ll have everything wrapped up by June 1st, but July 1st is the safer bet. And while I’m doing all this revision, I’ll also be continuing to write the short stories I’ve been working on and setting up promotions for the new book as well as the series as a whole and getting print versions ready for order. Oh, and I’ll be trying to drum up real world enthusiasm by getting space at a fantasy/sci-fi convention and raffling off some books and t-shirts. Hopefully, I can purchase a booth without having to ransom someone’s child. Again.

NOTE TO SELF: Look for less awesome kid this time. Last one was too much fun and was a killer Catan player. Couldn’t resist setting up play dates, which have been a little awkward. Maybe kidnap a brat. Wait… parents might not want him back. Hmmm…

Oh, and the map! I keep forgetting about the map. There’s a map to Grant Scotland’s world – two, actually. They are in very rough form, but more or less ready to hand over to an artist and have them make something pretty. This is more a question of having spare cash. I don’t believe maps are critical to the series, but I’d like to add them to the blog and Grant Scotland Facebook community page as just a fun add-on for fans.

When I get some fans, that is. I ordered a bunch from Amazon, but they still haven’t showed up. I did get a large shipment of desk-top, oscillating… You know what? I’m not going to do that. You deserve better.

 

"Don't make me come over there. That joke was almost a hate crime."

“Don’t make me come over there. That joke was almost a hate crime.”

 

So, let’s see. I’ve got a ton of revisions to do (seriously, the amount of trouble Grant is getting into almost requires its own encyclopedic appendix to adequately catalog) plus more writing in and out of the Grant Scotland universe plus a lot of new promotion work. I recently did a no-frills promotion of the first three books during their latest Kindle Countdown phases in March using just the Kindle Advertising Campaigns and the results were not encouraging. That cost-per-click is just too high and there’s still not much difference I can see between interest-targeting and product-targeting (although product-based yields significantly more impressions but fewer sales). At any rate, I’m going to do one more round and tweak the expenditure way down to see if I can still rack up enough impressions/sales to make it worth it. I’ll probably bring my bid down to a dime a click. If the expenditure still gets out of hand, I’ll give up on it until I see some kind of limited guarantee of performance from Amazon. Kindle borrows are increasing in frequency, and that seems related to the campaigns – so there’s that, at least.

I’ve only found less than a handful of outside promoters (E-Reader News Today, Fussy Librarian, Booktastic and perhaps Booksends – although Booksends never pays for itself, its subscriber base seems decently big from what I’ve read elsewhere) who seem to be worth the money, but I’m building up some cash (and giving their subscribers a reset phase) before using them again. Additionally, I’ve heard from everyone who has used it that Bookbub is a veritable goldmine, but I have yet to be accepted onto their newsletter.

So, no Notes From the Self-Pubbed for now or the next few months. Also, the T-shirt giveaway has been put on hold for now. Contain your disappointment! I plan on re-launching the giveaway once Book Four releases. At that point in time I plan on including a free e-copy of Dead Empire along with an entry into the T-shirt giveaway at that time. The hope there is that tying such an enticing invitation to join my mailing list into a blog tour will yield the best results in terms of picking up dedicated readers. But we’ll see.

 

"Such plan! Much idea! Very excite! Wow."

“Such plan! Much idea! Very excite! Wow.”

 

That’s all. Just a quick update. Now I must away. I’ve words to beat into complete sentences and plans to set in motion and pizzas to deliver! YIKES! Is it April already?

Don’t put things off like I do. Get those reviews out and those tips ready. 😉

 

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Want to see my author profile and my books on Amazon? Check it out!

Want to see more posts and tour the blog? Go to the Home Page!