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Not so fast

Not so fast

As science advances and clones become more common, it’s important that you have a practical policy for coping with them. The best approach may not be obvious.

A short time ago, The Wall Street Journal had an article about the difficulty the current Nigerian president is facing because there is a rumor that, while on a recent trip to Europe, he was replaced by a look-alike clone. It seems the voters are anxious about having a substitute. I say, give the clone a chance.


Let me give you an example closer to home. Suppose that you suspect that your spouse, boss, co-worker, or pet has been replaced by a clone. You could panic and scramble to get the original back. But there are three reasons to slow down and give the clone a chance.

First, someone went to a lot of trouble to craft a convincing substitute. It couldn’t have been easy. A fairly high-tech effort, right? So, it is possible that the wizards who worked on this project made enhancements to the original. The only way to discover what the enhancements might be is to spend time with the clone.

Second, remember that the original wasn’t perfect. You have often detected flaws in your loved-ones, supervisors, colleagues, and companions. If you haven’t, you aren’t paying attention. Some of the people we know are so riddled with flaws that it would probably be impractical to duplicate all of them. In those cases, if they were cloned, some of the flaws might be omitted by accident resulting in an enhanced model. Once again, you won’t know until you give the clone a chance.

Finally, what if you do find a way to bring back the original? What are you going to do with the clone? Do you really want two of this model? Isn’t that going to lead to enormous time-management problems? Or worse? Maintaining and differentiating the original and the copy is a classic version-management problem. Coping with multiple copies of anything complex and changing has driven minds much smarter than you or I right into the nut house. Stick with the clone, and you escape that fate.

Yes, it is really me,

Pittsburgh, January 15, 2019

Comments on this post (3)

  • Jun 18, 2019

    How interesting you are. I enjoy what you say and what you draw. I look forward to the cups!

    — Eddi Henry

  • Jan 19, 2019

    Thanks for the heads up!!

    — Susan Torrington

  • Jan 18, 2019

    You’re not fooling anyone, Clone Don. Nice try though.

    — Bruce Nagel

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