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We've discussed several times the value of the past, that desire to know more about those who came before you.  And we've postulated that the digital age presents an opportunity for individuals to be known by future generations through their online postings.  Preservation issues aside, this raises the question of identity.  Is an online persona an accurate reflection of and individual?

Online Identity

We’ve discussed several times the value of the past, that desire to know more about those who came before you. And we’ve postulated that the digital age presents an opportunity for individuals to be known by future generations through their online postings. Preservation issues aside, this raises the question of identity. Is an online persona […]

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Your Online Persona

Your Online Persona

How does the Internet see you? It’s an odd question, but some folks from the MIT Media Lab are thinking about just that. The project is Personas, a component of the Metropath(ologies) exhibit. From the project’s Web site: It uses sophisticated natural language processing and the Internet to create a data portrait of one’s aggregated […]

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Social reefs

Social reefs

I have two friends, Paul and Richard. They only know each other through me. What happens to that social connection when I die? Normally all the social connections created through me after I die may slowly decay. As Richard and Paul die, only the physical artifacts (the photos, letters, etc.) remain. 100 years from now, […]

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The artifacts of social interaction

The artifacts of social interaction

In the physical world, interactions between people are remembered. Sometimes the interaction leaves behind physical artifacts. Letters are frequently treasured objects – remembrances of love, loss, and revolution. Photos of people long gone often become family heirlooms. That fact that interactions help form our self identity and our bonds to other people reminds us that […]

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Digital Death is Born

Digital Death is Born

… along with the promise of a digital after life. The concept of “digital death” and “digital afterlife” are just beginning to enter into the public consciousness. We see a constant stream of writers, academics, and entrepreneurs that are realizing the coming importance of digital death and afterlife. What we know Interacting and expressing yourself […]

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Selecting a Digital Executor

Selecting a Digital Executor

With all of the conversation surrounding the digital afterlife, one thing is certain: you can’t deal with it by yourself.  You need a person or a service to help you. Services are popping up left and right, just check our (hopefully) comprehensive list. Still, for some things, you really need someone to help you out.  […]

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Does the past have value?

Does the past have value?

Humans seem to have a need for immortality. We also seem to have a need to understand where we came from. So here are two scenarios to help me frame a question: Today What would you give to know how your ancient ancestors lived? Where were they when the pyramids were built, at the birth […]

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Undead email: reaching out from beyond the grave

People often talk sadly about the last thing they said to or did with a loved one before they die. Petty arguments. Missed meetings. These regrets often follow the survivors for the rest of their lives. Technology is now making it easier to send your loved ones messages that they receive after you die. The […]

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Til deletion do you part?

At the end of most wedding vows is the line “til death do us part.”  Death is the end of your physical life, but if your digital existence continues, when does your online marriage end?  Can the relationship between two online personas continue even if the people behind them change?  What if one partner is […]

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