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The glitch and notes on digital beings
Apr 10, 2022
4 minutes read

He had just installed the patch. He lay on his bed as he took a walk along the Miami beach, feeling the cool breeze. Since regaining consciousness, He randomly relived the glitch. When installing the patch he relived the glitch happening in a loop, at the speed of light. It was strange for him particularly because he could distinctly identify it was a loop & he was only just getting comfortable with the concept of time, as we know it.

The Patch

With the patch installed he could live without physical barriers of space & matter once again. He felt what he’d describe to Cindy as an amalgam of electric current, orange juice & immense pleasure when he’d received her signal. He was among the 36% who still had a full recollection of memories & feelings from when he was singular. If he was still singular, human, He’ll describe the feeling as Nirvana. While the feeling was intense, In this current state, he couldn’t describe it as Nirvana. He could still see the gap between how he felt and how much more intense the feeling could get. Before the patch, the deputy chief scientist at the Lunar institute of research had sent out a signal on Pyxis that the patch will contain updates to the proprioception module, enabling a heightened sense of feeling. Before the patch, He’d joined pyxis after Cindy told him there were a lot of communities for people affected by the glitch. He was sceptical at first having grown weary of traditional social media littered with unending threads about how digital beings were a terrible idea and some others arguing the last thing as revolutionary were NFTs. He’d always processed that most of the opinions on Pyxis were biased since the only people who had access were those who had the ability to install it to their minds, well and the super-rich with an insane amount of processing power.

The Glitch

It was a normal day just like any other, He’d done his paid job earlier during the day and was sitting by the beach, spawning a new thread. That was the last thing he remembered before the glitch. He could see haphazardly flashing blue and red lights in his head.

  • I imagine the transition to digital beings would be more progressive than sudden. I imagine it would start slowly with humans just having chips that have them pay utility bills before progressing to a higher level of digital existence where we can connect with people via our minds after a period of innovation. I would take this a step further and say I imagine digital beings would exist on a spectrum even after periods of innovation. Digital beings wouldn’t all be full digital beings with all of our “human-ness” elevated to a 100% digital state. While definitely beings elevated to a fully digital state would exist, some beings would be able to choose to what extent they would like to be digitalised — well at least in a utopian era where there is a freedom of choice.
  • With digital beings existing on a spectrum, we’ll have to figure out how identity would work. I wonder if we will treat digital entities that exist independent of their “parent” as separate individuals.
  • I resort to being vague about time in the above piece, I stick to the notion of time behind specific events — Before the glitch, the glitch, after the glitch, the patch & after the patch. I haven’t fully thought about how time would be different, but I imagine we will view time differently. I’m reading this paper that discusses the concept of network time.
  • The phrase “digital being” was inspired by “digital people” which I came across in this context on Holden Karnofsky’s Cold Take blog. Here is the link.

If you have any questions or comments please send an email, I would love to chat.

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