“Committed to the goal of archiving your mind”
March 14, 2018 9:14 AM Subscribe
So yeah. Nectome is a preserve-your-brain-and-upload-it company. Its chemical solution can keep a body intact for hundreds of years, maybe thousands, as a statue of frozen glass. The idea is that someday in the future scientists will scan your bricked brain and turn it into a computer simulation. That way, someone a lot like you, though not exactly you, will smell the flowers again in a data server somewhere.A startup is pitching a mind-uploading service that is “100 percent fatal.” Nectome will preserve your brain, but you have to be euthanized first.
Nectome's technique combines embalming with cryonics. It proved effective at preserving an entire pig brain to the nanometer level, including the connectome—the web of synapses that connect neurons. The idea is to retrieve information that’s present in the brain’s anatomical layout and molecular details, not bring someone back to life. Twenty five people are on the waiting list. Nectome’s storage service is not yet for sale and may not be for several years. Also still lacking is evidence that memories can be found in dead tissue.
Some scientists say brain storage and reanimation is an essentially fraudulent proposition. Writing in our pages in 2015, the McGill University neuroscientist Michael Hendricks decried the “abjectly false hope” peddled by transhumanists promising resurrection in ways that technology can probably never deliver.
“Burdening future generations with our brain banks is just comically arrogant. Aren’t we leaving them with enough problems?” Hendricks told me this week after reviewing Nectome’s website. “I hope future people are appalled that in the 21st century, the richest and most comfortable people in history spent their money and resources trying to live forever on the backs of their descendants. I mean, it’s a joke, right? They are cartoon bad guys.”
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