who am I

My Cybernetic Daydream, Part 2

Time is abstract when travelling the stars with an artificial consciousness. I’m not sure if my programming is shutting me off for long intervals of time or if I’m conceptualizing time as long intervals, ticking over at the slow pace of a stellar grandfather clock.

I could look at the ship’s chronometer but that would dilute the mystery.

This brings up something else I’ve been thinking of. Has transferring my original mind to software left anything oddly organic out? Did I have a twitchy foot or enjoy late nights?

Which brings up another less attractive idea: was anything edited out with purpose?

This got me to thinking during my indeterminate cycles of time. If my consciousness has been edited, what is gained, and what has been lost?

Maybe a human’s sense of time would be unbearable during a solitary interstellar journey. It could almost certainly devolve towards insanity unless I was a remarkable human indeed. Or perhaps my original human mind was a bit insane to start? As part of an experiment was that madness removed from this consciousness I now possess?

If so, is there a touch of madness necessary to have chosen to make this journey at all?

Then there is the sense of scale. My human mind would have looked to the elements and objects around him for scale. Trees, mountains, clouds. Cats. Caterpillars.

Yet my cybernetic mind considers molecules of hydrogen diffusing in the vacuum of space, intuits the voids between gravity wells, measures the distance light travels from star to my hull.

My human self would have had a consciousness built around serendipity and events and evenings at the pub with other humans. A head full of things that happened and then became stories.

I guess my robot mind is “experiencing” my travel between stars, and events are happening to me. Am I awake? Asleep? Reading logs from my container’s sensors played back as if I were experiencing them now? Are these moments compressed in time from eons into an evening for the telling?

To who do I tell these stories?


NASA image, star cluster

Westerlund 2. http://bit.ly/1lL8utW