Paul From Minneapolis

Thursday, December 23, 2004

They Say Everything Can Be Replaced

Did you see this article today?


SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- The first cloned-to-order pet sold in the United States is named Little Nicky, a 9-week-old kitten delivered to a Texas woman saddened by the loss of a cat she had owned for 17 years.

The kitten cost its owner $50,000 and was created from DNA from her beloved cat, named Nicky, who died last year.

"He is identical. His personality is the same," the owner, Julie, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. Although she agreed to be photographed with her cat, she asked that her last name and hometown not be disclosed because she said she fears being targeted by groups opposed to cloning.

A well-founded fear. I won't attack her. I'll just say off the top of my head, it seems what this poor woman is doing is attempting to murder her beloved deceased Nicky, making him dead again, even more dead, by declaring that he was not in fact unique at all. I think she's attempting to steal Nicky's soul.

And of course really, she's trying (along with others) to do that to all of us, to steal our souls. So I'm rooting against her. I want to be completely unique. Sorry.

At first glance she seems doomed to failure because it should be clear that telling yourself you've got your cat back is stupid, so before long eveybody will just get embarrassed and stop trying, but one odd aspect of the whole immortality shtick is that to some extent it's subjective. If I want to clone my cat and declare that my cat is now immortal, if we all just agree that he is, won't that be real? Sort of? Hm? And then my dear old ma, and then me? And life will continue on without us, leaving us more forgotten than ever because we never died, so we don't exist in our non-existence? We're simply a bummer that everyone wants to avoid? (Yes, yes, mimicking life pehaps, but that's a whole other question.)

And all the while, in sad fact, we have died. We are gone. And we're wiped out of reality in a way that was not possible before. We're achieved a new kind of deadness. We're even more dead.

Probably it won't get that far.