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Internet Immortality January 25, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in web & computers, writing.
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Kristine Kathryn Rusch passed this along about the website outlasting the owner. The article brings out some interesting points about digital legacy and how some online services act as safety deposit boxes with passwords and the like for the benefit of estate executors (or representatives, depending on what state you call home–in NM it’s representative) but the part that gets me thinking is the virtual immortality the Web offers.

Don Ivan Punchatz was one of the premier graphics artists who unfortunately died a few months ago. I still get nudges on Facebook about “reconnecting with him.” His FB page is up and continues, probably because his son never thought about it with the press of other things dealing with Don’s death. How long will the FB page be around? I have never heard of one being purged for non-activity.

Is it the same on MySpace? As long as those social networks exist, they’ll pump out “we recommend … as your friend” missives. Even if … is long deceased.

How about a social network for ghosts or kami spirits or other animistic beings? I suppose you could make a case for everyone on FB being nothing more than a ghost in the machine since we’re not really *there* there. Or what if somebody hijacks your avatar in Second Life? Who would know? Especially if you’re dead. After all, Everquest and WoW have people working characters up the ranks only to sell them so others with more money and less time can pick up at the exciting levels.

Internet presence might be omnipresent but what about the born loser who has no footprint at all in virtual space? Or the hermit who wants none?

Then there are the publicity seeking clowns like me who strive ever harder to expand notice of my work and me.

Noteworthy achievement of the day: the spring is resprung on my garage door. It broke Saturday and my car has been held prisoner for about 48 hrs since I couldn’t lift the 200+ lb door without the techno-boost of that powerful spring. The guy fixing it took about an hr and then I was freeeeee! Or at least inexpensive.

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