Mind-body problem

Fast-forward, if you will, to some time in the hypothetical future when our brains have been properly scanned and downloaded, and your mind will find itself physically existing as bits, rather than atoms.

Admittedly this future might never come to pass, but it’s certainly a plausible thing to think about — even with brains made of mere atoms, as they still are in these primitive times.

What I’m wondering is what place the “mind’s body” will have in such a reality. People who meditate, who get proper sleep and exercise, tend (on the average) to have a significantly more calm, alert and rested state than people who put their bodies through hell.

Does this mean that in our cybernetic far-future we will need to maintain virtual bodies? Will our mental health be improved by thirty minutes a day of virtual yoga? And what about sleep? Will there still be such a thing as sleep?

I find myself pondering the mental state of some digital entity thinking back on when he had been human. Would he miss his body? Or would that body have been so perfectly re-created in his mind that he wouldn’t even notice it was gone?

These are weighty questions, puzzling and vexatious. If I were that digital entity, I’d be tempted to pour myself a stiff virtual drink.

3 Responses to “Mind-body problem”

  1. chantaal says:


  2. sharon says:

    I can definitely imagine meditation being beneficial to such a virtual mind since it is about strengthening attention. I guess it would have to find something to focus on other than the breath, though 😉

  3. Kaelan says:

    I wonder what it would be like to be digital-drunk. Perhaps the virtual “human” would be able to become drunk at will. But would that take the fun out of it…?

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