Image courtesy of Cruise Dude

During SXSW this week, Ben Johnson of Marketplace Tech had a chance to interview Astrophysicist, author and host of the recently reboot, Cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson about the show and (duh) aliens.

The interview itself is short & sweet (so give it a read/listen) and Mr. Tyson had some interesting comments about how he thinks aliens would perceive the human race. But what really stood out to me about the interview was this statement in response to a question about preserving human psyche on a computer chip:

“If in this instant, I upload my mind to a silicon-based chip, and then tomorrow I go to the Bahamas, the chip didn’t go to the Bahamas…it’s not going to have a new idea that, for me, is stimulated by an experience that happened after the upload date stamp. So I’m ok in my own body having my own life experience. And the computer is not going to the Bahamas. And if it wanted to go, I wouldn’t take it.”

I love this statement because there is a TON to be said about the human experience. As technology advances, and as humanity increases its reliance on technology, are we doing so at the expense of sacrificing the human experience? Isn’t that the basis for content preservation? Isn’t the purpose of saving our memories so that we can look back on them fondly whenever or wherever we want?

I’m a huge fan of technology and all the benefits from it. But there is something to be said about being “out there” and living life versus just watching it from the sidelines through a 13-inch screen.

Mr. Tyson may not take a computer to the Bahamas, but I’m pretty sure most people would. Not just for the sake of keeping “connected” or as a means of filling time while at an airport, but also with the intent of being able to immediately share experiences through photos and videos to friends and family – to celebrate the human experience.

So would you still take a computer with you to the Bahamas? Better yet, should you?


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