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"...a few centuries of coherent humanist thought, set against a million odd years of evolved killer ape tendency. No-one's going to give you very good odds on humanism, are they?"
- Richard Morgan

Cortical Stack  
  Implanted hardware device that contains a backup copy of your mental self.  

It would be a shame to be killed if you could just copy your mental self and then record it somewhere at regular intervals. That way, if you were killed, your mental self could just be downloaded into a new body, and you would be as good as new.

"You can't kill me just by wiping out my cortical stack."

"You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?"

Bancroft smiled. "Every 48 hours." He tapped the back of his neck. "Direct needlecast from here into a shielded stack over at the PsychaSec installation at Alcatraz."

From Altered Carbon, by Richard Morgan.
Published by Del Rey in 2003
Additional resources -

However, the problem is that you would be missing the interval of time that extends from your last backup to the point where you were killed. You might want to know what happened in that interval; Lauren Bancroft certainly does.

Compare to the virtual immortality that Arthur C. Clarke offers in his 1956 novel The City and the Stars.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Altered Carbon
  More Ideas and Technology by Richard Morgan
  Tech news articles related to Altered Carbon
  Tech news articles related to works by Richard Morgan

Cortical Stack-related news articles:
  - 'Mind Uploading' Issue Now Downloadable
  - Neural Implant To Treat Memory Loss
  - Will You Upload Your Mind Anytime Soon?
  - Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere

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