Prepare to be immortal…

Here’s a thought – what happens when you die? I don’t mean in an existential way (although…) but in the sense of what happens to your virtual self? Most people have had some kind of online experience in the last decade or so, whether an email, tweet, blog post or comment. So when we’re gone in the physical sense, how do we live on in a virtual sense?
I looked through the WordPress terms of use and couldn’t find any info, i suspect the same would be true of many other online service providers. Some accounts would be automatically deleted after a certain period of dormancy, but what happens with those which don’t?
Imagine hanging round for an eternity by having your thoughts and observations there for all to see. In some ways it’s no different to the diary of Pepys, the writings of Dickens or the films of any number of stars, writers or directors. Apart from this – the records would cover people from all countries, all walks of life, status etc. There would be information on people’s thoughts, beliefs, emotions, experiences covering any subject you could choose, from any era from the 1990s on. Not just words, but images, movies, interactive experiences. A billion ghosts in a global machine – sort of like being trapped in a never ending story lives beyond the grave, yet at the same time just remembrances of dead people. Fantastic, yet somehow unnerving. Like a William Gibson novel, or maybe a short.
Tie that into the growing ability of true computer interaction and AI and you have a strangely distopian future view. Interaction with long-dead relatives, friends, lovers. Chat with your dead ancestors and see what observations they have to offer. Worse, imagine having your thoughts and ideas hijacked to be put into the mouths of virtual others, misrepresented or passed off as somebody else’s thoughts, ideas, visions. Not that I imagine I have much to fear on that score! 😀
Anyhow, if you’re wondering what MIGHT happen with dead sites or blogs, check this…
http://web.archive.org/collections/web.html
Maybe we’ll all end up on there some day, like ghost writers who never went away…

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under current affairs, life, relationships

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s