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A while back in the blogosphere there was discussion about the ethics of cloning oneself. I’d imagine raising a clone of yourself would be like Groundhog Day, where you can predict your clone-child’s flaws and tailor a parenting style that would minimize their defects. Let’s say a clone-son would be shy. The father could then set about getting the clone-son accustomed to socially mingling with large groups of people at an early age. Or he could introduce the kid to liquor in grammar school. If you are a woman with a clone-daughter and you know she’s going to take after your big nose, you can start saving up money now for the rhinoplasty she’ll have just before the cruel junior high school years.

Maybe a more intriguing question is what other people we would want cloned. Thought experiment: if you had the power to clone an infinite number of times one person from the following list of people, who would you choose?

  1. Isaac Newton
  2. Gandhi
  3. Muhammad Ali
  4. Genghis Khan
  5. Bach
  6. Michelangelo
  7. Sergey Brin
  8. Kurt Cobain
  9. Margaret Thatcher
  10. Melissa Theuriau

An army of Newtons would probably be best for the world in a materialist sense, but there’s no doubt who I would have cloned into a vast standing army of pleasurebots. Is there a better reflection of our values than who we would choose to clone besides ourselves?


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