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The easiest answer to why do we exist is because we humans have decided to and why we exist right now hinges upon what this we is? who is this we?... That becomes key because humans have decided that we are the we, if you will in all of this and that the reason we exist is because we have decided that we do and that once another new definition of what constitutes the human comes about I think the current form we are in right now will no longer exist we will become something else. Dr John Troyer: Professor of Death and Dying Practices: University of Bath

This is the internet equivalent, ok, this is the digital equivalent of like you hold the mirror up to somebodys mouth and if you see there is fog on it you know they are breathing and they are still alive and so you send an email to somebody, you send a message on facebook your kind of holding that mirror up and seeing if you get the fog back and if you dont get the fog back. So its so funny because that absence, that tele-absence is not acceptable. Dr Elaine Kasket: Senior Lecturor at London Metropolitan University Counselling Psychology and a psychotherapist in private practice.

There a co-development of our societies and the way we exist within the world and our technics so the way we develop technologies and the way we are developing within those systems, so to think about something like the human condition perhaps there is no way of separating out what is intrinsically natural and what is perhaps something we that have created and thus becomes technological. Stacey Pitsillides: PhD Candidate in Design: Goldsmiths, University of London

We get this question a lot what happens if your site goes out of business, we get questions about whether were going to be around when someone needs to have access to the data. What we have come up with is we have put in place a portion of our investors money into a separate account and because our site is so cheap to actually run we have a two year runway to have all the servers and keep all the data secure so that if we do go out of business we will have access to be able to give all the data back to the people who had put it in and would delete it after the two year period. Within that two year period we would have taken all that data out and put it in another secure place if we were not going to be around anymore. Nathan Lustig cofounder of

Theres become such an overload of information and so many people have become dependent on continually using whatever device they use for information for email or looking at the news that they are going through everything and reading everything but they are not remembering any of it, I have a hunch I dont know but I have a hunch this is spilling over into peoples everyday lives, its not like they are forgetting say appointments where they have to meet someone, but I think they are forgetting events things that have occurred. Dr John Troyer: Professor of Death and Dying Practices: University of Bath

The issue is then of course, how you manage all this content and I think one of the ways in which our relationship to a lot of this content that is left behind when we pass away will change is that we cant experience it all, in the way we were able to with analogue content. Richard Banks: Senior Interaction Designer: Microsoft Research Labs

Jung spoke about two types of memory. The present memory and the memory of our ancestors and thats the archetypes its kind of like we carry within our genes images and dreams that maybe they dont really belong to us but they belong to our ancestors and thats what we call social consciousness and it is with this information that we have that is being recorded in some way and all of it is recorded, it will be much more difficult to escape from the subconscious level of having this information coming up again and again. So, its like an automatic reminder of our past that maybe we would like to forget but we are not able to. Antonis Tryphonas: Psychologist and Health Administration: The Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends

if we are as human being in the human condition making the internet than how does that actually effect our lives in a really kind of pragmatic way and how do we begin to evaluate that, when we are so intrinsically built into these systems. And if these systems are actually having an effect on how our brains work and how our minds work, than perhaps there really is no way of really stepping back from that and beginning to ethically kind of evaluate it Stacey Pitsillides: PhD Candidate in Design: Goldsmiths, University of London

So if someone has had a facebook account for many years that could be many many thousands of contributions. Many thousands of little slithers of consciousness, if you like, and yes if that account is not deleted in death than all of those little moments will continue to exist. Peregrine Andrews is a radio producer and sound designer. He was recently involved in the production of i-shrine (BBC Radio 4)

Memory is a big ongoing issue and humans have been tinkering with this for at least well before the 19th century but certainly we came up with early forms of photography and the geriotypes and the idea of representing what we are seeing in visual form that could be reproducible and made more quickly into a painting, this has altered the very idea of what human memory is capable of and in fact there are a lot of people who would argue that in fact human memory began its great descent, when finally things were put in visual form as opposed to having to understand it and think it through it terms of its narrative form. Dr John Troyer: Professor of Death and Dying Practices: University of Bath


Part of it is like a negative, so and so hasnt shown up on whatever they havent shown up on - you know, Skype, msn, twitter, facebook or whatever - there is a removal of something, something stops, somebody doesnt show their digital face. Dr Elaine Kasket: Senior Lecturor at London Metropolitan University Counselling Psychology and a psychotherapist in private practice.


The physical things, for example, are constrained in the amount of space we have in our homes, so a lot of us have boxes in our basements and boxes in our lofts that contain physical things that we cant bring ourselves to throw away, they are very precious to us but eventually we fill up these spaces and we have to make these kind of hard decisions about what we keep and what we get rid of and we are not forced to do that with digital things, When we take shots with a digital camera we are not forced to pay for every single shot as we used to have to with analogue cameras so we can take thousands of shots and just record as much as we like. Richard Banks: Senior Interaction Designer: Microsoft Research Labs


An individual becomes dependant on that device to feel like he or she can actually remember what it was about, as opposed to feeling comfortable with their memory even though everyone knows memories are of course fallible and things change and things happen over time and it becomes something else and you may actually believe something to be actually true but if you go back and look its not this at all. So I think there is a growing insecurity on the authenticity of the memory that is growing dependant on the actual recording of it through whatever device is being used. Dr John Troyer: Professor of Death and Dying Practices: University of Bath


Personal stuff I would probably, if I ever get my act together would see to it in fact, that it doesnt survive me. I just want the work that I feel like has been, the stuff that I feel like has been really thought through, vetted and well while it may be less personal, its more important to me that that stuff survive. Rob Walker: journalist writer of recent article Cyberspace, When Your Dead from the New York Times Magazine:


I would imagine that some people perhaps imagine themselves living on, in the digital age. Yolanda: Palliative Home Care Nurse at The Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends


There is a fusion of the different personalities that you have left behind (famously we do generate personalities for each type of application: it requires us to generate a personality) and depending on what that application is for, you will be a different person on facebook (famously) then you are on Linkedin for instance, (I mean - thats like a clich..) but thats how it is.. so if you collate the lot, you see how this person sees themselves in terms of one and not the other. There is a personality fusion that happens between all those different portals. So from the stuff that you leave behind there will be bits that apply to different parts of your life, that are quite different. Michela Magas: MA in Communication Art & Design: Currently a design consultant and PhD researcher.


I think people create attachments in a way this is how the world is created, we are related to each other, we are connected to each other, so when a person dies, either digitally or really, or just hangs up the phone and moves somewhere else or whatever, its absence as well. Dr. Niki Lambropoulos is a researcher, consultant, e-learning expert, HCI designer, and online communities manager.


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