iPod in a coma, I know; I know—it’s serious.
My old iPod is gone, it will probably end up in a landfill somewhere. Thankfully, my favorite fruit company “DHL-ed” me a brand new replacement under warranty. They are just so shiny and scratch-free in their virginal state. This time, my new baby went straight from its box into its silicone prophylactic.
BTW, calling Apple’s phone support is a pain in the ass (calling any phone support is a pain in the ass). If your iPod dies, just go to http://depot.info.apple.com/ipod/ to fill out a trouble ticket; the phone support person will probably direct you to that site anyway.
To restore its “memories and personality”—everything that made my iPod my iPod—was a simple, painless process that took about half an hour. The ease of this restoration and my recent revisiting of the writings of Shirow Masamune got me to thinking.
Within our lifetimes, the following scenario could become an all-too-real reality…
From the moment that Dad rescued “Fluffy” from the pound, he had made sure that the newest member of the family had his consciousness backed up and regularly synchronized to the household’s central file server. Fluffy’s synthetic-fleece-lined bed had a built-in brainwave scanner.
One otherwise uneventful summer morning, Fluffy’s energetic bounding though the dewy grass was interrupted by the distraction of some unusual movement in the yard on the other side of the street. With single-minded purpose, he ventured across the pavement to investigate. BAM! The fender of a speeding, video-conferencing motorist tossed Fluffy into the air, and he landed as a twitching mass of broken bones, blood, and fur.
After drying her daughter’s tears, Mom walked back inside and voiced a few commands into one of the many net-connected terminals scattered throughout the house. The next day a nondescript package arrived on their doorstep. She carefully opened the box, tore open the stasis wrap, gently removed Fluffy’s pristine body from the molded cushioning, and shuddered as she realized that it wasn’t Fluffy—at least not yet. The lifeless, empty gaze of the unformatted duplicate construct gave her the creeps.
It only took a few minutes in the SynchBed—the restoration process was surprisingly brief—before Fluffy jumped up and began scurrying around like a creature possessed. He circled the living room a few times before running headlong into Mom’s left shin. A bit stunned, he looked up at her with inquisitive eyes and enthusiastically shook his tail.
Mom picked him up, sat down on the sofa, and rested him in her lap, gently stroking his warm fur. She smiled as she thought about how happy her daughter would be when she got home from school. Her smile soon faded and a tear rolled down her cheek as she failed in her attempt to push back memories that flooded her consciousness—memories of how difficult it was to have her daughter’s first body cremated after it died from a congenital heart defect.
So how’s that for wild tangents?