EXCERPT: Fund Taphognosis Industries by Tobias S. Buckell

Tobias S. Buckell is a Caribbean-born speculative fiction writer who grew up in Grenada, the British Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has written several novels, including the New York Times bestseller Halo: The Cole Protocol, the Xenowealth series, and Arctic Rising. His short fiction has appeared in magazines such as Lightspeed, Analog, Clarkesworld, and Subterranean, and in anthologies such as Armored, All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories, and Under the Moons of Mars. He currently lives in Ohio with a pair of dogs, a pair of cats, twin daughters, and his wife.

Fund Taphognosis Industries

Funded! This project was successfully funded on Dec 18.


pledged of $50,000,000

seconds to go

Help us scan and upload entire minds . . . and change the future of consciousness research.

Project Goals

We now have the science to scan the human brain, down to the level of each neuron. Virtualized recreations of neuron by neuron central nervous systems of higher and higher orders of creatures has progressed. The ability to fully investigate the structure of consciousness itself will change everything. But we at Taphognosis Industries want to take the next step: full neural upload of human consciousness. Can it be done? That’s the central dilemma our panel of researchers has tackled. But since cutbacks in funding, as well as a general negative response to our mission, we find ourselves needing to change how we fund this history-altering project. The core concept is straightforward. We have the technology to scan neurons. Artificial brain segments are also a known technology. Studies on animals have moved forward. So we have the ability to copy a mind, and move into an artificial medium. But then that leaves the age-old question: who is the real you? If all you do is make a copy of yourself, and then move on, the mind that is not the copy just feels like it made a copy, but is stuck with the same issues now that led it to making a copy. Basically, being trapped in a fragile, non-upgradeable body. Oddly enough, the solution for this philosophical dilemma lies in studying how our own bodies work. You are not, in any sense, the original you that you were a year ago. In that time, you’ve had cells die, new cells were made, replaced those cells, and microscopic bit by bit, every single atom in your body has been destroyed and made anew. You don’t feel like a copy, though, because it happened bit by bit over time. Likewise, the solution to creating a consciousness that feels it has been moved over to a new medium is to slowly destroy and replace the neural tissue in a process that replicates the body’s own natural process of death, decay, and reclamation. By slowly replacing your brain with pieces of offboarded artificial tissue in a medium of our choosing (i.e., your existing body with a battery backup, a robotic body, or even in a simulation) you can transition into an entirely new stage of existence. Taphognosis has the unique talent to achieve this goal. Our scientists are experts in the creation of artificial neural tissue, cognitive neuro-sciences, and high-level neural scanning. No other project features such a wide range of consciousness talent dedicated to the protection of continuing consciousness beyond its biological limits. Traditionally life extension and brain continuance research is seen as “science fiction” and proposals remain radically unfunded. The power of crowdfunding allows us to do an end-run around the gate-keepers of traditional academic journals and institutional research structures. We’ve set a goal of one million dollars to fund the first year of research and lab equipment. We’ve seen Hollywood stars reach millions of dollars just to make a movie. We’ve seen scientists offer chances to put satellites in orbit via crowdfunding. What price would you be willing to chip in to fund research toward functional immortality?


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