Isaac Asimov: The Last Question

by toonalfrink1 min read11th Nov 20214 comments

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In the spirit of this post

This is the only story I know of that is both transhumanist and spiritual. We read it at the rationalist solstice in the Netherlands. One of my all-time favorites. Hope you enjoy it

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This is indeed a wonderful story!

This version has nicer line breaks, in my opinion.

Here's an audio version read by Leonard Nimoy.

It was Isaac Asimov's favorite story of the hundreds of stories he has written.

I found the ending impossible to forget.

 

Spoiler:

Very utopian. This is what could happen if everything goes right with AGI. The story doesn't cover all the things that could go wrong.

And we ourselves might become “God.” Rich people will boost their minds with cyber, don’t say we won’t!

And at a certain point, might leave the biological component behind. And more than that, realize that distributed computing is the way to eternal life. Some of my mind in a mechanical bird, some in a mechanical bear.

When I’m visiting a planet with less advanced beings and perhaps sincerely trying to help, I might answer—

“My child, I am all places [kind of true] and in all things [not really true] . . .”

And hopefully, I’ll be more good-natured and even-tempered that the God of the Old Testament!

Thanks very much for sharing.   Great story.