Walker Art Center


February 19, 2003

Personality subs granted right to vote

23rd of July, 2034

Computer Personality Duplicates, or personality subs as they are often called, are granted a right to vote in government elections instead of the originals they sprang from. That is a direct consequence of the new law on sub representation passed through congress 2 hours ago. Representatives from the Industrial Democratic Party (IDP) were the only ones to vote against the law.

Government officials say they want to make life easier for all. But according to Peter Arker from the IDP, the main reason for proposing the law is the fact that bio humans no longer take the time to vote: "We see this as a move to prevent abolishing government as we have come to accept it in the last centuries. Normally government officials were against any interference of non bio-humans in the past. But now they simply have to: if only 10 percent of the people take the time to vote, the government will do everything in their power to make them look more important than they really are. This is clearly an act of self-preservation. And the syndicate of non bio-humans is eager to accept this law since it puts them in a better position to achieve their goal: becoming independent entities that no longer have to check the development of their makers. Government people have proven to be anti-technocrats in the past - the use of substitute humans is even prohibited for people in office - so I m afraid they do not even know what they are getting themselves into."

One of the reasons the personality substitutes have proven to be so eager to have this right is that it might help them in their battle in the inheritance issue. Person-subs want to inherit all the assets and possessions of the deceased person they sprang from if there is no legal binding will. Right now in such cases, all goes to the nearest relatives, but the subs claim they are more related to the deceased person than the relatives since the relation to family members is at best only genetically. The pope has recently stated that a relationship of the spirit is indeed a closer one and in a recent case, the relatives and the sub have agreed on a settlement. But this was only due to the wishes of the relatives, because officially subs cannot represent themselves in court nor can they be represented. There is only one country in the world where subs can have a bank account and that’s Switzerland

According to history professor Jesse Jackson the bill might help them succeed - in the long run: "The subs are turning the Athens paradigm for democracy around. The Athens democracy took over a century to develop and in the end it was all based on one paradigm: if you had assets, if you owned property - which in those days was mainly land - then you had a right to vote. Giving them a right to vote will give the subs - not now, maybe not even for another century - the right to own property. I hope the government has a grasp of what could be the consequences of this law."

The number of subs on the web that are no longer connected to an original person is right now estimated to be 129 million. The total number of subs is now estimated at over half a billion. Most subs are used by business people as secretaries, by sales people as representatives that can act on their behalf and by families for doing groceries and performing home finance tasks. In only 34 percent of the cases, the sub is destroyed after their originals death. In most cases the closest relatives do not have the heart to do it, but there are also money cases where the existence of the sub is simply forgotten. The number of subs grows at a rate of thousands a day.

According to Bill Ullman, the subs main representative, they only want to live peacefully in the environment that is best suited for them. And the properties they hope one day to poses will help them make that environment an even better place: "Humans will also benefit from this because the result will be a better internet with more possibilities for both humans and us. We are all highly trained and highly qualified individuals that can be trusted to make their own decisions if we have to. The recently passed bill is merely the recognition of that fact. It is a small victory, that is for sure, but we have all the time of the world to fight this political battle until the end. It is not the first time something like this has happened in human society. And the past has proven that the oppressed have a good chance to win a fight like this."

Posted by Jeroen Goulooze at February 19, 2003 05:13 PM

hey jeroen,

so far the best chapter of bruce sterling's new book
" tomorrow now. envisioning the next 50 years " is his take on biotech futures.

he describes a regrettable phase of superbabies, where the first round of "guinea pig babies" grow up and are quikly obsolete... and they are likely to SUE big time .

and it reminds me of a speaker at the ars electronica in 2000 when the theme was life sciences ... and i think her name was lynn andrews... went into a deep analysis of future legal battles in the realm of child vs. parent...
sorry i can't think of any of her incredibly bizarre examples ... but it was an incredibly good scare tactic for
the Raelian types .

i like yur scenario ending in a strange optimism for social justice.


Posted by: teapodz on February 20, 2003 03:29 AM

[quoting from m0dem, the e-mailing list]
annleejpg: en m0dem hay 73 miembros contando los avatares
virtuales, que son mas o menos 7, en total hay 66 miembros
m0dem humanos

"aljpg: in m0dem ther are 73 members including virtual avatars that are approximately 7, so that means there a 66 human m0dem members..."

love... always better with cyborgs! _ osfa

Posted by: osfa on February 20, 2003 06:38 AM

I wanted to do this one for FutereFeedForward (futurefeedforward.com, if I'm correct). Wrote one piece for him about hardware compression techiques used by Boeing and how they made into a commercial real estate product (stores that grow so more people will fit in) and how hitman used the impropability on a quantumlevel used in this techique to be at two places at the same time. this made it impossible to be convicted, even thought the fact that they were at two places could be proven, because of the limits in current law (there always is doubt about the wereabouts).

Anyway, he edited and changed it into something for an automobile, annd I changed some more. Wanted to make another newsflash for him about cheap ripoffs from this technique that crippled a lot of people that are now living in camps. But the existence is denied by everyone.

Posted by: Jeroen Goulooze on February 20, 2003 12:54 PM
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