A Dividual is a copy of a personality surviving in more than one body.

Obviously, the availability of more futuristic tech (like the neural lace) would make it way more belivable.

What I'm thinking now is something like a small number of people that, while living physically separete lives, are almost constantly connected, thanks to the internet, and share almost everything that happens to them (say something sense8 style).

What solutions are available today that could be employed to obtain something as close as possible to a Dividual or a collective? Are there any real-life example I'm not aware of?

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    $\begingroup$ What "surviving in more than one body", or "sharing (sense8 style)" are supposed to mean, exactly? $\endgroup$ – Mołot May 12 '17 at 10:55
  • $\begingroup$ While not technically exactly what you are asking (thus a comment) there is research in brain interfaces or controling prothetics. There is technology that can transmit "thought" to another person's body causing finger movement for example. This might give you an idea of possible technologies. homes.cs.washington.edu/~rao/brain2brain/index.html $\endgroup$ – Morfium May 12 '17 at 11:00
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    $\begingroup$ "A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh" (multiple appearances in a well-known book). $\endgroup$ – AlexP May 12 '17 at 11:14
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP that’s a euphemism for sex. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz May 12 '17 at 11:30
  • $\begingroup$ @JDługosz: I wouldn't have figured that in a thousand years. $\endgroup$ – AlexP May 12 '17 at 11:38

This is close (if not the same) to one of the idea in the Revelation Space series from Alastair Reynolds : some people scanned their brains and could "live" through these simulations. At first the process killed the host and lead their simulation dwell into madness after a few decades, but it got better after a century or two and rich people usually saved themselves every few months or so. These are called Alpha simulations, since they're as close as a human mind as possible (as directly scanned from the brain).

But another idea is that a Gamma or even Beta simulation (easily passing the Turing test but not quite attaining "true" consciousness, if it can make sense) is reachable via "simple" 24h/24, 7d/7 recording of the individual's life, successfully understanding its behaviour pattern and mimicking it close enough to simulate what you call a Dividual.

This could be closer to our current state of technology, coupling a permanent video & audio recording of one's actions during a few years, to a more advanced type of deep learning as for today, but with the same technological basis. It wouldn't really be considered as living per se, but it's the closest we can come with today (or a bit later) technology.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding Keelhaul! Interesting answer. If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site Have fun! $\endgroup$ – Sec SE - clear Monica's name May 12 '17 at 11:32
  • $\begingroup$ I don't believe the simulations in Revelation Space were of the type the OP is asking about, they weren't a community of entities sharing the same experiences as they occurred. When an artificial personality was implanted into someone, they were generally unaware of its presence, and what it was doing (Sun Stealer is a good example of this). For making duplicates, the answer is solid, but for shared experiences I don't think it qualifies. $\endgroup$ – Callum Bradbury May 12 '17 at 12:27
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed, shared personnality would be more of a Conjoiner in this case. My answer applied primarily to the premice of the question : "A Dividual is a copy of a personality surviving in more than one body." That is the most "doable" thing as for today. $\endgroup$ – Keelhaul May 12 '17 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ I think "a personality in more than one body" doesn't mean multiple separate copies, but a single instance of the mind controlling discontiguous body parts. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz May 12 '17 at 15:19

Douglas R. Hofstadter apparently felt this way about his first wife and reflects upon her early death in his 2007 book.

I can’t find the specific remark now — perhaps it was a different memoir and not in this book? But this part gives the right idea:

(page 299 from ch 16) I realized then that although Carol had died, that core piece of her had not died at all, but that it lived on very determinedly in my brain. …

What seems crucial here is the depth of interpenetration of souls — the sense of shared goals, which leads to shared identity. …

Since she died in 1993, that was without any “always networked” personal technology. They were simply close through understanding each other well and spending quality time together.

I suggest you get that book for a real life example.


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