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2. Information Processing > 17. Build an Exoself

Build an Exoself

Take a Hipster PDA, combine it with a pocket countdown timer called the MotivAider, and gain better control of your thoughts, emotions, and activities.

Science fiction writer Greg Egan explores the concept of the exoself in some of his novels. In Permutation City, he defines it as “sophisticated, but nonconscious, supervisory software which could reach into...brain and body and fine-tune any part of it as required.”1 In a later novel, Diaspora, he describes the exoself’s outlook component: “software that could run inside your exoself and reinforce the qualities that you valued most, if and when you felt the need for such an anchor.”2

Pretty exciting! I’d give a lot for a mental exoskeleton that I could program one day to make me less lazy the next day, and keep me from getting sucked into a cult or pyramid scheme the day after that. Needless to say, however, we lack the technology necessary to build a true exoself today. Of course, it’s a lot easier to reprogram yourself when you’ve been uploaded into a computer, as in Egan’s fiction.


  

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