I caught myself trying to call someone that passed away and wish them a happy holiday. I took a scroll through my phone contacts to realize in the last 18 months there are way too many names in my phone that don’t ring true any more. Perhaps desperate for anything else to think about my mind ended up wandered to a UI designer trying to address the problem by showing a permanent offline status or some comical tombstone badge.
As our ability to record information and simulate interaction grows it is inevitable that we have the debate over whether we should be able to dial or interact with our simulated deceased. I mean who wouldn’t want to have another phone conversation with Aunt Martha, Abraham Lincoln, or Einstein? Ultimately, a infinite global persistent memory may radically shift one of our most human of traits, to bury our dead and move on. Will a future generation carry all of us forward unto the stars in a file marked humanity.dat? Asking any individual in the course of human history for advice? Strangely remembering all of us the same way we remember those who have passed before us?
Perhaps or perhaps not, but for today to all those we’ve lost this last year, your ultimate status may be unknown but you are never forgotten.