"all things in existence are physiologically connected"

Death on Facebook

I’ve just witnessed death in real time, after the happening on Facebook – a late 20 something suicide, scientist, and former classmate of mine….He planned it in plenty of detail, he opened his profile to “everyone”, he wrote messages to everyone before he went missing on March 19th and was eventually found in his car on March 22nd off of a highway. While this was/is a tragedy, and a loss to human kind and the scientific body of knowledge that we’ve been building over the past millennia, I can’t help but think of the compelling end-of-life questions that this raises for me…considering I were in the young veterinary and comparative medicine fellow’s shoes.

Having the opportunity to plan, would I make my social network passwords available with instructions for my estate administrators?

But consider my last entry on life extension and the individual that is compelled for whatever reason to terminate her/his life during situational immortality. It appears that the aforementioned scientists was a religious person, further, a spiritual person and (I’m speculating) found some value in the afterlife, based on comments by his sister and friends…but what if in a world where the human experience were copied and uploaded into/onto vessels of sorts and individual weren’t incline to participate? Someone in the course of some scientific breakthrough….Like: A veterinarian working as a fellow in comparative medicine studying something of value to the evolving species and its body of knowledge. Would we mortals and our technological extensions be compelled to prevent death for the “greater good”?….Just as in the past we’ve advocated death for the greater good?

What do you think?


  fatimah! wrote @

a sad and tragic situation indeed. still in shock and awe – my prayers go out to you and whoever may be in pain due to his lost.

to your point, as an applied anthropologist; critical of tech. I take a step back and ask:

how does the infrastructure(e.g code, system design, use case, need/motivation, socio-economic analysis, entire work flow, etc) of these tech. extensions. look? the various layers needed to mimic the human Self, the mind and the complex brain would need to be impressive – and well thought out to have that much influence over the human. if it’s not then this extension falls into the same category of most tech tools being used by humans now – a simple fix, a band aide or irrelevant to a much deeper human issue and problem. Numerous debates exist within the A.I and my HCI community regarding the power of tech for humans and society’s..especially able body individuals.

The same ills(mental unhealthiness) that exist in the human mind will continue to prevail regardless of “just another cool” device/extension. the human will still be tasked with using/training the mind to transform the Self – this challenge still lingers, and in my opinion, solutions to that problem are a prerequisite to any new tech. extensions for humans. especially ones that may prove irrelevant and more self-destructive in the end. peoples failure to look at the means compared to the ends; continues to be the ultimate failure of human intelligence-i challenge us to think holistically at new tech for humans in human societies.

i am not convinced tech. extensions will not be more than a simple, slightly irrelevant fix to the battle between the human and the Self.

(p.s I thought this was getting into a discussion on new applications for experiencing death and grief via social networks – wishful thinking:

  JFKII wrote @

Thanks for the link. I wasn’t aware of the CHI2010 conference, but I’ll be following them from here on out.

I wrote this while thinking of what value a life adds to the collective group of sentient beings (whether organic or synthetic). In the past we’ve use Utilitarianism as a political guide for providing the resources of sorts to the greatest amount of individuals as possible: Greater Good.

When I think about the ultimate technological extension, I’m thinking of a synthetic intelligence, that is directly connected to what we know as human today. –> further, in a world where all value is quantified and transparent it would be interesting to understand if suicide would be an option for someone/thing adding value that the group is in need of.

I referenced my last post because it dealt directly with life extension.

Here are some links that you might enjoy

  Trixie wrote @

Wow! Great tihninkg! JK

  auto-ru wrote @

Thanks, it’s usefully for me.

  Life Plus wrote @

Im not going to bash them for making huge amounts of money (someday Id like to do that) I just hope that they give as much as they possibly can to the rest of us just trying to put food on the table.

  Dany wrote @

I’m out of legaue here. Too much brain power on display!

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