Uniqueness

I think that if you have an intention of living for more than 20 years beyond now you have to psychologically prepare yourself for the possibility that you may meet a 100% perfect genetic clone of yourself, implanted with all your memories.

The question is, if you met a perfect copy of yourself, would it shatter your self-perception that you are the only person in the world exactly like you, like Mister Rogers told you what made you special when you were little.

Just for the record, as corny as it may sound, I completely believe in Mister Rogers, and think the world could use about a hundred clones of him right now, because there is nobody talking to kids like he did. These days, even PBS and their corporate sponsors treat kids as nothing more than consumers, or future consumers, or consumer influencers (i.e. brats who yell at their parents in the grocery store to buy stuff).

But the question at hand: is your uniqueness depending on your genetic code and your experiences, or, is it, in the parlance of Mister Rogers, just by your being you?

I’m preparing myself— I listen to “I’m a cliché” by the X-Ray Spex over and over, just as a spiritual practice— but it will certainly be a shock when I meet the Ezra Ball clone. It’s gonna be hard to tell him I just built him for spare parts.

In the meantime, I still figure I’m the only guy in Eastern Massachusetts born in the 15018 who went to Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN, who knows the difference between ruby lambdas and blocks, who’s currently washing dishes in his kitchen drinking a PBR and listening to Miss Kitten at full blast. And sometimes the uniqueness is comforting, but, mostly, not.

4 thoughts on “Uniqueness”

  1. 100% perfect genetic clone of yourself, implanted with all your memories.

    Clone, maybe; with all my memories, I don’t believe it, not in any 20 years. And anyway, we’d start diverging almost instantly.

    is your uniqueness depending on your genetic code and your experiences, or, is it, in the parlance of Mister Rogers, just by your being you?

    I think those are two ways of saying the same thing.

    It’s gonna be hard to tell him I just built him for spare parts.

    Of course that’s completely unethical: your clone is no more you than your twin is.

  2. I’d have to travel awfully close to light speed for a hella long ways to meet a clone who actually resembled me, unless they figure a way to build ‘em as adults. And I can’t see memory transplantation coming along in the next 200 years, let alone 20. But I DO like the spare-parts plan. We can take the edge off the ethical issue by giving the little bastards an great childhood and adolescence in an awesome private school in the English countryside.

  3. No two people, as twins prove, can ever be exactly the same. Your friend John basically said it, and it’s so. A person’s a person no matter how small–or how similar in terms of genetic code. As soon as you press go and a person’s brain switches on, that person is an individual being.

  4. And you are unique. And I like you. I could say not to worry about it too much, but maybe you like that part of your uniqueness, so if it makes you happy then go for it. If it doesn’t make you happy, may I suggest that you not worry about it?

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