Revenge of the Crash Test Dummy – a 100 word story
The crash test dummy looked pissed. “Are you trying to kill me?” he asked indignantly. The tester just looked at him, blinking in disbelief. “You are not real” he kept saying, “you can’t be real.” The dummy shook his head and rolled his eyes. “Maybe I should teach you a little lesson” He said. Soon the tester found himself in a test car running at 100 MPH towards a wall. As he screamed the car crashed into the wall and two airbags opened, saving his life. “Oh – that looks like fun, let’s do this again,” said the crash test dummy.
Hi there and thanks for stopping by. I’m Guy, and you’re listening to my surreal sketchbook of reality.
Episode 7, You Are Not Real
So, I am human and you are probably human too. This episode Is a semi-philosophical look at what makes a human being. I’m not a professional philosopher by any means and my approach can be quite absurd, illogical and not at all that serious, so – you’ve been warned. Do not take this podcast too seriously. If you tend to take things too seriously, this might not be the podcast for you. Seriously. I mean it. Find another podcast to listen to.
You’re still here? Good. Let’s talk about being human. What is a human being? Let’s break this human creature of ours into two distinct components, hardware and software, body and essence to try and understand what this thing we call a human really is, what we are. If we start with the hardware part of the human equation, that is our body, we can distinguish between various physical components such as heart, lung, hand and nose, then if we try to define ourselves using those parts, we run into several problems.
We can say a human have a certain kind of genome that dictates that we would be made up of certain parts that would connect in a certain way that make us human. The question is, how much of our genome would have to be different before we are not considered human? Bonobos and chimpanzees have 99% of their genome identical to that of a human being, but still we don’t think of monkeys as human. Another problem is that body parts can increasingly be replaced. If you for example lose a leg, it can be replaced with an artificial one. More and more body parts can be replaced as technology advances. How much of your body has to be replaced before you stop being human? What if the contents of your brain is uploaded to a silicon chip? Do you stop being human then? That silicon chip sure doesn’t think so. It just thinks it is you. Who are you to say it isn’t? I don’t think being human has anything to do with either our genes or our physical form. Let me take a small break. I need to upload my brain into a new silicon chip since my current one is getting old. I’ll be right back.
The Baby – a 100 word story
The young princess went skinny dipping in the river, when she spotted a small ark floating on it. She fished it and found a crying baby inside. She got home and asked her father, The Pharaoh, if she could keep it. “Sure” her father said, “As long as you take it for walks. I don’t want it shitting all over my palace.” She thanked him and decided to name the baby. At first she thought about calling him Moses since in her language it meant “the one that got fished from the river”, but then she just called him Fiddo.
Welcome back. In the absence of a distinct hardware part that makes us human, let’s take a look at our software side, our essence. We can break it into three parts, our feelings, our thinking and our self awareness to simplify things. None of those are unique to humans though. We can see all of those qualities on the animal kingdom, so how do those make us human? One might argue that those qualities are stronger in humans but then there might be aliens on some other planet that have even stronger intelect, have greater empathy and a better sense of awareness.
When you examine the components of what makes both our hardware and our software, you might think there is nothing that makes a human distinct from a non human living being. When you examine us closer though, you might begin to see a pattern, a unique way those things are put together. I believe what makes us human is our own unique blend of emotion, intellect and self awareness. The unique way we perceive the world around us and interact with it, and with each other. It’s in the software. This concludes episode 7 of this podcast. Close the door on your way out and don’t forget – I’m just a figment of your imagination.