Can you be your own horcrux?

I ran across a new article in Wired about Ray Kurzweil’s ideas about immortality — using technology to transform ourselves into everlasting containers of our essential being — and it occurred to me that the concept behaves much like the horcrux from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Maybe Arthur C Clarke was right about technology and magic?

Author: Andrew Hinton

I use information to architect better places for humans. More at

3 thoughts on “Can you be your own horcrux?”

  1. Kurzweil is insane. Utterly, batshit insane. He comes off sounding like a learned professor who is unafraid of using himself as a test subject, who speaks from a body of experience gained through necessity (his combat of diabetes through diet), but then he comes out with jewels like “In my view, we are not another animal, subject to nature’s whim”.

    How can that be defensible? We know next to nothing about what goes on just beneath the surface of the waves. We’re burning species into extinction in the Amazon before we discover them. We don’t know for sure what causes migranes or epilepsy (we’re pretty sure they’re related, and have a drug that seems to work, but we don’t *know*). Claiming that we are not subject to nature’s whim at this point in our development is like an infant, standing up and proudly proclaiming that he is not subject to his mother’s whim, then puking, messing himself, and realizing that he is hungry, just seconds before dissolving into a screaming ball of futility.

    Even the application of Clarke’s Third Law doesn’t help, because we don’t have the magic, and we don’t have the technology. We will be slaves to nature’s whim for ages to come. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The day we rise above nature’s grasp, the day we break free from the constraints of death and mortality, is the day that we destroy ourselves. Death is the ultimate payment for hubris. How much hubris does it take to declare yourself immortal? I’d like to think we learned that lesson from The Titanic…


  2. It is correct that the idea of dumping our mental state onto a microprocessor will soon be possible. And that will be exactly like a horcrux, as you’ve mentioned.

    But it will be really sad if anybody decides to do so, because they’ll be stuck in their own feelings of sadness, horror, uncertainty and other weaknesses. Like a sick patient, they will be waiting for the medicine to be delivered at a far far point in the future, when somebody/something ultimately decodes the answer to life, universe and everything.

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