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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Welcome to the Faux Future!! How to Clone Yourself

We are All Just Virtual Clones of Ourselves 

 (originally published at by Diane Keys /artwork by Louis Santarin)

The internet is an amazing invention. It has promoted freedom of expression in large part because of the anonymity it affords. The computer screen is much like the “fourth wall” in theater. The fourth wall is the imaginary one at the front of the stage that creates a boundary between the performers and the audience.

We have all heard of performers who are terrifically shy people, yet they come to life on stage. This is because when they look out into the darkened theater, the audience is not visible. Anonymity makes people bold.

Mostly developed for use in news groups that discuss volatile topics, anonymous posting services didn’t start until around 1988. We live in a largely conservative society and much of what we think is held back due to social constraints. This is even more true now that the world has become hyper-sensitively-absurdly, politically correct.

Anonymity has allowed for much more honest communication. To me, it is similar to the question, “What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t get caught?” Instead it is, “What would you say if you knew the person couldn’t respond back?” We know our internet activities are never completely untraceable, but we can maintain that illusion.

But with this freedom of expression, also comes greater ability for deception. We can be anyone we want online. We can feed people the information we want them to have. We can re-invent ourselves, maintain multiple identities, or pose as celebrities, all in an effort to create better or worse versions, or clones, of ourselves.

All of these personas are still parts of us, but like photocopies, quality degrades when copied from an original. Stolen identity is a big problem motivated by greed, but it seems to me that people are all too eager to SURRENDER their identities in lieu of more appealing or empowering ones. Sounds good to me.


So how DO you clone yourself? Welcome to the faux future. Here are some cloning tools to help you create the artificial life of your dreams without leaving your computer:
1. Grab an identity at one of many identity generating sites. I went to one and this is what it gave me. Within a matter of minutes it generated an entire identity for me, complete with name, address, email, occupation, even blood type!


1. Get a job writing fake reviews. They are all over Craigslist.
2. Get a fake transcript, ID, diploma, credentials
3. Create fake profiles
4. If your loneliness becomes all too real, cure it with a fake pet!


5. If that doesn’t work, get a fake girlfriend at According to their website, for just 250 REAL dollars, you can sign up for their basic girlfriend package (you can upgrade for a Gamer Girlfriend, but that costs more).

This service will create a profile for your fake girlfriend to publicly communicate with you via social media. They say she will make two public phone calls a month, in which messages will be left with a REAL person in your life or on voice mail. You will also receive 10 friendly texts a month at any given date and time you specify. Think of it as a fake escort service without the sex.


Jinsoo An of Kokiri Lab, has invented a virtual reality headset that uses low calorie jelly-like foods, and aroma diffusion to mimic foods. The smell of the food convinces the brain that you are eating the real thing such as steak, lasagna, pie, sushi, etc.


Fake is the way to go in a world that would rather people pursue fantasies than deal with reality. The reality is, people don't need all the millions of products they try to sell us. The reality is that the endless pursuit of fame, wealth, youth, and beauty is not the path to happiness. If this was the case, all the rich and famous would be case studies in how to achieve nirvana.  Reality can be harsh. Fantasy allows people to create a world that is less rough around the edges, more palatable, and certainly more fun. Fun until you realize that it is all fake.

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