Via R U Sirius at the recently-resuscitated H+ Magazine, SyFy*’s Dvice blog lists six reasons that the uploading of human minds in the classic sf-nal civilisational Singularity scenario is extremely unlikely to become a reality.
The sixth is the one most likely to make a good story in its own right, because it’s the one that deals with human nature more than biological or technological restraints:
6. Who Gets Uploaded?
And you thought the lines for iPhone 4 were bad… even if all the above problems were magically solved, there’s still human nature to contend with. War and conflict may not technically be hardwired into our species, but the past 10,000 years of human history are hard to argue with. Unless there’s a way to instantly “teleport” the entirety of humanity into the cloud simultaneously, you can bet your digitized ass that there’ll be fighting over who goes first (or doesn’t, or shouldn’t), how long it takes, what it costs, who pays, how long they get to stay there… you know, all the standard crap that humans have been busting each other’s chops about ever since we could stand upright. I’ll opt out, thanks.
Remember that store worker who was fatally squashed in a Black Friday sales scrum at WalMart back in 2008? Like that, only featuring the whole species. I consider myself something of a transhumanist fellow-traveller, but it’s this end of the problem spectrum (much more so than the technological hurdles) that nudges me ever closer to skepticism.
[ * Every time I read that “revamped” name, it looks more stupid than it did before. ]