So you want to “upload your consciousness to the cloud”. Let’s discuss the situation with Fred, our Site Reliability Engineer, shall we?
You: So, Fred, I want to upload my consciousness to the cloud. What do I do?
Fred: First of all, which cloud are we talking about? Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle?
You: Well, maybe we should mix it up a bit, just to be on the safe side?
Fred: Good thinking, you’ll want a distributed system anyway, just in case one data center goes down. They do that, you know. Data centers “go down”. If you have your consciousness in just one zone of just one region of just one cloud, well then you’re as good as fucked. They do call them that, by the way, zones and regions. You’re supposed to get the idea that there can be multiple zones in a region and multiple regions in a cloud. I’m not sure exactly how you’re supposed to deduce that hierarchy, but there you go. When in Rome, as they say.
You: Ok, I hear you. Zones, regions, clouds, whatever. Where am I going to put my consciousness anyway, and how?
Fred: Depends. Chances are you want to stick it in a container, shall we say a Docker container, and maybe deploy it using Kubernetes ..
You: Wait a minute, hold on there pal. What’s a docker? What’s a kubernetes?
Fred: Oh I was just assuming you were going to want people to be able to communicate with your consciousness, so you’d need to use some sort of back-end service, some protocol as well, shall we say protobuf over RPC? You’ll need to get some international consortium to put that together so that everyone knows what’s what. That’ll take a decade or so and they’ll end up with competing standards anyway so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Now, if you just want to store the thing, then any old file service will do. Shall we say S3 perhaps? Or maybe just cold storage using GCS, or maybe some combination of things like those?
You: Well duh I want people to be able to communicate with it. It won’t do any good just sitting there in some cloud. How do things sit in clouds anyway? Aren’t they all just water vapor?
Fred: You’re a funny guy, you. Clouds aren’t really clouds. They’re just a boatload of rack-mount computers, mostly hard drives with some boot kernel software and low level processes running to support your VM.
You: I’ve got a VM? I don’t even know what that is.
Fred: Don’t worry about it. We’re going to replicate the shit out of your consciousness. We’re going to use a quorum system, so that the various VMs hosting you can synchronize with each other continuously and make sure enough of them are in agreement at all times so the whole thing doesn’t go kablooey, which it can (and will) do, especially since I’m assuming you want your consciousness stored for some period of time.
You: Sure, like forever.
Fred: Ha ha, forever, ok. For sure. You do know it’s only been a generation since we didn’t even have personal computers, right? You might want to consider storing your consciousness on microfilm or microfiche. Or maybe you want to etch the thing onto a gold record and send it hurtling into outer space. Any of those options will give you a better chance at preserving your data for longer than a decade or two.
You: Hmm, maybe you’re right.
Fred: Yeah, in any case, your consciousness ain’t gonna be worth jack in a decade or two anyway. What are you going to know about the world that’s coming? Nothing, that’s what. You won’t know a damn thing. Your consciousness will be up there talking about the meaning of Kanye’s lyrics when everybody else has moved on way past Kanye, if you get my drift. Like does anybody even say “get my drift” anymore even now? You might as well be analyzing the lyrics of Perry Como.
You: Perry who?
Fred: Exactly. Your consciousness will be speaking 2018 English to a world that doesn’t talk it any longer, but that’s okay. Previous generations have persisted their consciousness successfully through the medium of writing on paper. Maybe you should just do that.
You: You mean paper like toilet paper?
Fred: Yes I have seen “Idiocracy” and I highly recommend it. Also very good is “Sorry to Bother You”. Go see that one now.
You: That sounds like a good idea. I have a feeling that nobody really wants my consciousness anyway and really, how the fuck could I even monetize that shit if I’m already dead and gone? You must think I have the world’s biggest ego.
Fred: Nah, you’re probably just another rich white dude in Silicon Valley. They all like that.