Dead People and the Information
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Dead People and the Information
Concerning loosed souls and the Social Media nets that capture them.
Curated by Chris Malmberg
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Above the Cloud - Archaeology of social networks and millions of dead on @Facebook

Above the Cloud - Archaeology of social networks and millions of dead on @Facebook | Dead People and the Information | Scoop.it

The book chooses your coffee table. That is, understandably, where memorials will one day be considered customarily stored. 

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Deadbook, the long-term Facebook - Jacques Mattheij

We are continuously stunned to be confronted with the presence of the dead in our lives. I began this topic in lieu of a new topic exploring the question, is anything really changing? New media is populated, like any other social space, with testimonials to the dead. Facebook will one day have to designate its own cemeteries, if it hasn't already.

 

Mattheij is fascinated by the information process following the death of a Facebook subscriber, but his fascination is not particularly intersting. What about, I ask, the easy capitlization of memory that the internet provides us? A headstone covered in flowers is immobile. However, a facebook profile of a dead person, mired in posts either laudatory or derogatory, is ubiquitous. I am posting this to my narrative tech topic as well, for that very reason.

 

I worry we will one day run out of memory for pertinent information. Already, the trope of the bearded handyman teaching yuppie generation-Xers what really matters is something of a fetish. Mattheij wonders when dead people will outnumber the living on FB--this point has already come and gone in the real world, and we are not sorry. But those dead disappeared and were (rightly) forgotten. Our dead do not face that fate. As frustrated as his ramblings make me, James Bridle has a point when he theorizes that the internet is actually a fifth dimension connected to our four of space and time, a dimension of memory that grows ever more stable and complete as our means for archiving information grow. Certainly, our memory is ever more burdened. We are hoarders of memory, and, worse, fact-fundamentalists. The "truth" is ever more important than our own comfort, and is even more important than our obligation to practicality.

 

I wonder, as our social memory grows and grows, what will happen to us, both before and after we die. It is good to forget, as it is good to eventually be forgotten. 

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Chris Lott's comment, August 27, 2012 9:41 AM
Is it really true that our "memory is ever more burdened?" Personally, I doubt it. Our dead face the same fate as every other has before; the old saw that nothing goes away on the web notwithstanding.

Bridle's point seems as pointless as pointing out to a drowning person that there is even more water in the pool than the last time he drowned.

Facebook is, in even the mid-range scheme of things, a passing phenomenon. And, if anything, the rate of disappearance is greater when the information is managed by private hands.

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! Still true.