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visual artist and writer marisol diaz

i am a self-defined Nuyorican creative (that is a Puerto Rican who is from both the isles of Manhattan, NYC and the Caribbean). I share daily in the joy of education and live in a cute port town in New York, in a 'teensy-weensy' apartment with my two dogs and canary named Valentino. Check out my Etsy shop for purchasable pieces. Please do not reproduce imagery off of this site without explicit credit and no derivatives may be made of my original imagery- Thank You.

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This work by marisol diaz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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Sunday
Oct112009

All Hallow's Eve 21st Century Digital Mysticism- Cyberternity

Warning: This post contains some morbid thoughts on the after-life...if you don't like that don't read it.

Hechicera Illustration on Shrinking Dinks by marisol diaz from the 52 exhibit Hechicera means Witch

So in honor of the eerie things that we should dangle from our virtual hearth this month, I wanted to share some finds with you unlike those typical pumpkin lights. Something more like 21st century digital mysticism inspired by one of my all time fave show's NPR's Radio Lab on the Afterlife in which our hosts explore eleven meditations on the afterlife, on how, when, and even if we die...

NYT article from March 11, 1907For example how did we get the concept of the soul weighing 21 grams??? Would Dr. Duncan MacDougall even be credited in his experiments today?

Dr. Frankenstonian Thought: Can the human brain be replicated and designed to be immortal? If so would it be really be you? What, if any, OBJECTS will survive the human race, listen to some thoughts on future fossils with an interview between producer Lulu Miller and the author and scientist Jan Zalasiewicz who wrote The Earth After Us.

and one of my favorites parts of the radio lab story (and the true inspiration for this post) - CYBERternity - what is it?

Well based on the definitional explorations from the Radio Lab show it is a multitude of electronic ways in which we can create the afterlife on-line.

New sites that REALLY DO allow your words to be read after you pass! One site Future Me is really for while you're alive, but if you listen to the Afterlife Radio Lab show - you'll see how sometimes it can inadvertently communicate from the dead.

So here is the low-down on Future me (which I plan to use soon, just to remind myself that I plan to celebrate my 'way-in-the-decade-future-fiftieth-birthday' for fifty days).

two fellas started this here site so that you could write yourself a letter to be delivered at a later date. we've all had to do them in high school and college. it's sorta cool to receive a letter from yourself about where you thought you'd be a year (two years? more?) later. FutureMe.org is based on the principle that memories are less accurate than emails. we strive for accuracy.
Dead flower - from On Dying series photo by m.diaz Then there is the really spooky, but real cyberternity site; Death Switch. This site claims to bridge the divide between mortality! Big claim - well creator David Eagleman designed the site to allow you to share unspeakable secrets, love notes, passwords, last word in an argument and/ or financial instructions or final wishes after you pass from this life. How you ask?

A deathswitch is an automated system that prompts you for your password on a regular schedule to make sure you are still alive. When you do not enter your password for some period of time, the system prompts you again several times. With no reply, the computer deduces you are dead or critically disabled, and your pre-scripted messages are automatically emailed to those named by you.

So there it is. Some bloggers think its not a good idea especially when considering password security but blogger Sephem Ubulwembu says it is if you use it correctly - and even gives some great tips on how to use Deathswitch correctly and securely. Read his article here. Well it seems this is where we are all heading. So listen to the Afterlife Show on Radio Lab, get creeped out (its only right we are in mid October!) and consider sending your future self or those you love messages from the future or the grave.

Happy Halloween Folks!

Amarettogirl

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Reader Comments (3)

I am writing this comment from my current life, wait, now it is 2 seconds past my former self and now I feel differently about...wait now I feel very strongly about this post. I was thinking of having my comments sent from the future but now it seems more fun to realize that every word I put down is from my recent past self. Now that I am nearing the end of my....comment there are a few last words I have to say,...one...eerie,...two...creepy,...three as always, inspiring! Live long and prosper amarettogirl! if you are still out there!

October 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstainboy

this is a pretty interesting piece because no one really considers how there past self was, or at least to my knowledge, but this is awesome i'm gonna check both sites out. more preferably future me then death switch as i don't plan ton dieing anytime soon lol

October 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterorph

I am currently working on some college nonsense, actually since you will be reading this tomorrow, I am probably not paying attention in class, unless im in gym cuz there a hottie with a body in there. I luv luv luv your shrinky dink witch, shes gorgeous!!! The deadswitch site is kind of scary, the whole concept I just got an eerie feeling. lol but the piece on have souls having weight was really cool and i know this ur favorite time of year so have fun, and I hope u have come up with a costume idea. Hope the puppies are well and cant wait till december in denver!! ( I wonder what i'll think about my past self.) X's and O's

October 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenter<3 always -Luisita

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