Tags: death

23

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Saturday, October 29th, 2016

The Ruins of Dead Social Networks - The Atlantic

Digital seems like it’s forever because it’s infinitely reproducible, but someone has to think to make that canonical copy or it’s gone-gone.

In this five-year old eulogy for a BBS, Alexis Madrigal ponders the deaths of social networks. Friendster, MySpace, Vine …plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Passing Away In Pixels – The Interconnected

Justin has been thinking about how we ensure our digital legacy survives our passing.

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Shane Becker - Dark Matter and the #IndieWeb

Shane gave a talk recently where he outlined his reasons for publishing on the indie web:

Most people reading this will probably have an account at most or all of these sites: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Tumblr, Wordpress. Many also had accounts at Friendster, Tribe, MySpace, Delicious, Magnolia, Gowalla, Geocities. But no one has an account at any of those (on the second list) anymore. And all of the content that we created on those sites is gone.

All of those super emo feeling you posted to MySpace, they’re all gone. Some of the great web designers of our generation got started on Geocities. That stuff is gone forever. And sure, it was sparkling animated GIFs and neon colors. But that’s important history. Yahoo bought it, left it alone for a while, and then decided one day to turn it off.

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Archiving Our Online Communities — Medium

Now this is how you shut down a service:

  • Maintain read-only URLs for at least ten years.
  • Create physical copies etched in metal held by cultural institutions for ten thousand years.
  • Allow users to export their data (of course).

Web projects often lack hard edges. They begin with clarity but end without. We want to close Hi.co with clarity. To properly bookend the website.

And nary a trace of “We are excited to announce…” or “Thank you for joining us on our incredible journey…”

(Such a shame that the actual shut-down notice is only on Ev’s blog, but hopefully Craig will write something on his own site too.)

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

It’s the end of the year as we know it.

It’s the last day of the year. I won’t be going out tonight. I’m going to stay in with Jessica in our cosy home.

The general consensus is that 2014 was a crappy year for human beings on planet Earth. In actuality, and contrary to popular belief, the human race continued its upward trend of improvement in almost all areas. Less violence, less disease, fewer wars, a record-breaking minimum of air crashes, and while the disparity between the richest and the poorest has increased, the baseline level of what constitutes poverty continues to increase throughout the world.

This trend is often met with surprise, or even disbelief. Just ask Matt Ridley and Steven Pinker. We tend to over-inflate the negative and undervalue the positive. And we seem to do it more and more with each passing year (which, in itself, can be seen as part of the overall positive trend: the fact that violence and inequality outrages us now more than ever is, on balance, a good thing). It seems to be part of our modern human nature to allow the bad to overwhelm the good in its importance.

Take my past year, for example. There was so much that was good. It was a good year for Clearleft and I travelled to marvellous places (Tel Aviv, Munich, Seattle, Austin, San Diego, Riga, Freiburg, Bologna, Florida, and more). I ate wonderful food. I read. I wrote. I listened. I spoke. I attended some workshops. I ran some workshops. I learned. I taught. I went to some great events. I organised Responsive Day Out 2 and dConstruct. I even wrote the occasional bit of code.

But despite all of that, 2014 is a year that feels dominated by death.

It started at the beginning of the year with the death of Jessica’s beloved Oma. The only positive spin I can put on it is that she had a long life, and she died surrounded by her family (Jessica included). But it was still a horrible event.

For the first half of the year, the web community was united behind Eric as he went through the unimaginable. Then, in June, Rebecca died. And the web community was united in sorrow. It was such an outrage against all that is good in this world.

I visited Eric that day. I tried to convey how much the people of the web were feeling for him. I couldn’t possibly convey it, but I had to try. I offered what comfort I could, but some situations are so far beyond normalcy that literally nothing can be done.

That death, the death of a child …there’s something so wrong, so obscene about it.

One month later, Chloe killed herself.

I miss her. I miss her so much.

So I understand why, despite the upward trends in human achievement, despite all the positive events of the last twelve months, 2014 feels like a year of dread and grief. I understand why so many people are happy to see the back of 2014. Good riddance, right?

But I still don’t want to let the bad—and boy, was it ever bad—crush the good. I’m seeing out the year as I mean to go on: eating good food, drinking good wine, reading, writing, and being alive.

It’s the last day of the year. I won’t be going out tonight. I’m going to stay in with Jessica in our cosy home.

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

The Avangelist | What happens to my data when I die?

Having experienced the death of a friend, I wonder how many have considered the ghosts in the machine.

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Star Wars: Endor Holocaust

Realistically, what happens when you detonate a large metallic satellite (about the the size of the second Death Star) in orbit around an inhabited world (like, say, the forest moon of Endor).

It isn’t pretty.

Friday, August 16th, 2013

The Killing Machines by Mark Bowden in The Atlantic

How to think about drones—an in-depth and fairly balanced article by Mark Bowden on drone strikes and the politics behind them.

In the long run, careful adherence to the law matters more than eliminating another bad actor. Greater prudence and transparency are not just morally and legally essential, they are in our long-term interest, because the strikes themselves feed the anti-drone narrative, and inspire the kind of random, small-scale terror attacks that are bin Laden’s despicable legacy.

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: A visualization of drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004

This powerful timeline illustrates how drone attacks have increased dramatically under Obama’s administration.

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

YOU CHOSE WRONG

Documenting all the ways you could die in a choose-your-own-adventure book.

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Dronestagram

A new project from James, keeping track of the sites of illegal drone strikes.

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Lasting Statement

I’m in Texas right now.

These are the final statements of men and women who have been executed by the state of Texas.

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Incept Dates – Jack Move Magazine

A superb piece of writing from Erin, smashing taboos with the edge of Bladerunner.

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

The last post - Penmachine - Derek K. Miller

The final post in ten years of blogging. Derek is dead. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to write this.

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

My Father’s Final Gift « Aza on Design

The beautifully-written and moving story of a father’s last gift to his son. The father is Jef Raskin; the son is Aza Raskin.

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Lost Bomber – Techbelly

Using data to help put a single death in the family into a wider perspective.

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Cyberspace When You’re Dead - NYTimes.com

An accurately-downbeat look at digital preservation.

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Digital Death Day

This is my kind of event. Where does your data go when you die?

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Raiding Eternity - Myspace - Gizmodo

This is wonderful: sad, beautiful, and wonderful ...it's what I've been trying so hard to clumsily articulate. Read it. And smile. And weep.

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Impact

dConstruct 2009 took place in the Brighton Dome on Friday, September 4th. By all accounts, it was excellent this year. I saw less than a quarter of it.

I arrived bright and early with my suitcase in tow, ready to make a quick exit. My flight to Vancouver was leaving Heathrow shortly after 5pm and I was going to be making the two hour bus ride from Brighton. I watched Richard open the show, listened to Adam Greenfield melt people’s brains (in a good way), did a quick podcast recording for Boagworld, caught a bit of Mike and Ben’s talk and then I was out of there; dragging my suitcase over to the bus station to catch the 12:30 to Heathrow via Gatwick.

Melanie Wisden works in a Starbucks in Cardiff. But on Friday, September 4th, she took the day off work. She was driving her friend Samantha to Gatwick airport. Samantha was newly married—Melanie’s eleven year old daughter Mia was a bridesmaid at the wedding. Now Samantha was heading off on her honeymoon. Melanie dropped her off at Gatwick’s North terminal and then got back on the road at about 1:30pm.

The bus ride from Brighton to Heathrow takes about two hours. It would be shorter but there are a few stops along the way. Halfway through the journey, the bus pulls into Gatwick’s South terminal, lets passengers off, lets passengers on, and then moves on to Gatwick’s North terminal where it does the same thing. The bus is back on the road at 1:30pm.

I was sitting about halfway back in the bus, listening to a podcast on my iPod as we exited the North terminal roundabout. The bus juddered and smacked into a road sign—we had come off the road. We’ve gone over the kerb! I thought. The bus came to a rest on the median. It was a bumpy ride there for a moment but everyone seemed to be okay. I heard the bus driver say something like Where is she? or Where’d she go? (I can’t quite recall his exact words) and I thought Oh crap! Did we hit a pedestrian? I knew we hadn’t hit a car …I would have felt that, right?

A woman motorist has died in a collision involving a coach and a car at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex.

The bus driver was shaken up but he clearly instructed us to get off the bus immediately. We started to file out. I couldn’t understand why we were taking so long. Then I got to the door and saw that there was quite a gap between the door and the ground. That’s when I knew we were on top of something. It wasn’t until we were off the bus and walking away that I saw what was underneath.

Melanie Wisden, 34, from Cardiff, was killed instantly when her Ford Ka was crushed by a National Express coach just after 1330 BST on Friday.

The emergency services—ambulances, fire engines, and a helicopter—were on the scene in moments but it was clear that whoever was in the car must have died instantly.

We were taken to a staff canteen at Gatwick airport where the police took our statements, National Express tried to sort out our luggage and British Airways organised alternative travel arrangements. I wasn’t going to make my flight; something that normally would have been very annoying but now seemed insignificantly trivial. A day later, I made it to Heathrow—in a taxi, courtesy of National Express—and, after a mercifully uneventful flight, I arrived in Vancouver. From there I travelled on to Whistler, arriving the day before Jessica’s brother’s wedding.

Jeb and Anne were married in a lovely, relaxed ceremony in Canada on Sunday, September 6th.

A memorial service will be held for Melanie Wisden on Friday, September 18th at the Ely Church Of The Resurrection in Cardiff at 1.15pm, followed by cremation at Thornhill Crematorium, Wenallt Chapel.