Dear Commons Community,
Yesterday, the NY Times Magazine had a full-length article entitled, What to do in Cyberspace When You are Dead, by Rob Walker. I must confess I have never thought of this as an issue but the article made several important points that has me thinking about what happens to all of the content that I have published on the Internet such as this blog as well as such practical things as who has access to my email accounts after I am gone. The more I read this article, the queasier I got. For instance, it makes the point that you do not want your digital content to simply languish. Not to worry though, there is a website, The Digital Beyond, that offers advice on the subject as well as a book entitled, Your Digital Afterlife, that covers issues such as to whom you leave your content and what is to be done with it after you have departed. The article goes on to comment that a new “digital mortality” business has evolved (see for example, DeathSwitch.com), that allows you to send final words to love ones or others as well as maintain your Internet life on social networking websites such as twitter with periodic entries after you are gone. The article concludes with reference to the writings of futurists such as Margaret Wertheim who speculate as to whether we can construct a “technological substitute for the Christian space of heaven” and whether a human may not necessarily be defined by the atoms in her/his body but by an information code.
I am thinking that maybe I should redo my last will and testament.