191 Essays on Infinite Lifespans   Mike Treder of being able to preserve a backup copy of our personality, as insurance against the remote possibility that something cata- strophic might destroy our robot body. This really would make us effectively immortal, as we could store copies of ourselves in places all over the solar system, the galaxy, or eventually even beyond. SIMULATING IMMORTALITY It is a loathsome and cruel trick that nature takes such an exquisitely wondrous creation as the human brain and impris- ons  it  inside  the  weak,  inefficient,  fragile,  and  short-lived structure that is the human body. Our bodies may be beauti- ful, but they are unacceptably ephemeral. The body you now inhabit, however remarkable it may be, is not the product of intelligent design. It was not created for any purpose other than survival and reproduction. We are conditioned by social and biological forces to favor the appear- ance of the human form and to be attracted by its outlines and contours. It is therefore a natural reaction – although not nec- essarily a rational one – for us to be repelled by any substantial deviation from the standard model. That’s why most of us cringe (at least inwardly) at the sight of a person with a disfig- ured face or missing limbs. It also explains why many people are repelled by the thought of replacing the natural human body with one of artificial design and creation. And yet, why not? The body we were given by nature is the result of millions of years of meandering and directionless change. It is the product of a tortuous, cumbersome, slow and dumb process called evolution. The human body was not designed for our optimum enjoyment and benefit; it became as it is now basically by accident. Nature, given its leeway, would continue to blindly experiment with us. Following the