There are so many things in life that we give next to no thought to, we just use a service and take it for granted that it will work. We only become aware of something when it is no longer there. Of course one day we won’t be there anymore and I suspect I, like most people, would have thought my existence would end once I had shuffled off this mortal. Very few people are remembered beyond the lives of their immediate family and friends. This has been the case for as long as human’s have walked the earth but it would seem that this is no longer the case as so many of us have a duplicate digital life.
What might happen to our doppelgänger once we are no longer around to feed it was the subject of a fascinating documentary I saw last night called Rest in Pixels. It would seem that the more of a digital existence we have the more we will leave behind of ourselves that might in some very strange way lead to our own immortality. This started me to wonder what my digital ghost might say about me based on the near 20 years worth of digital output I have created either in this blog, website, Facebook, Twitter et al and it does start to raise the awful thought …I blog therefore I am. Would this be the equivalent of only those chosen being able to live on for ever in the cloud? If you don’t blog then you are wiped out for good. Forget any religious considerations is this the start of man finally creating his own heaven only to discover it is also hell?
One of the more pressing issues raised by the documentary beyond the esoteric is how using a person digital presence might be able to help when someone’s real personality disappears due to a disease such as alzheimer’s and yet the person is still alive. The legal minefield alone of such a situation is daunting – in future you might sign a power of attorney over to your digital self to help decide what you might have wanted based on what your digital presence says about yourself once it has been worked up by some program.
Watch the documentary and then start to wonder when will you be finally laid to rest.