When we’re gone, what will we leave behind? For all but a tiny proportion of us, our memory will fade quickly, gone in a generation or two. So, what then can we leave behind? Our genes? Our ideas? Our ethics?
What will have the most impact on the future? Technology? Society? Literature? Will our possessions be a gift to future generations, or a burden? Will our concepts help them live and thrive, or will they be a millstone they have to fight to free themselves from?
Do we even control our own inheritance? Will a political leader’s legacy be carried in the groups that gathered to oppose them? Will those things we neglect have more influence on posterity than those we work on? Many geniuses come from broken homes – and many children of the successful are screw-ups. Will our shadow legacy mean more than the one we worked for?
Even the baseline of genetic inheritance is more complicated then we thought, as the discipline of epigenetics explores. The environment our grandparents lived in has a direct bearing on our lives. How far do we even understand what have inherited from previous generations?
We may not be remembered, but we will pass things on. Genes, ideas, ecosystems. And maybe, we can do that in a more mindful way than we are now. Can we balance the now, with the then, and the yet to come? That’s what TEDxBrighton will explore this year."
— This year’s TedXBrighton is all about Digital Death. I think they’re still looking for speakers. If you’re free on 25 October and are operating in this space, have a gander.
By contrast, something like Tumblr encourages unbounded use. It allows you to experiment and play. It’s the big city, and each new tumblelog you create is like a new bar or neighborhood where you can try on a new self and see how it fits. In one instant you can be a pug lover, reblogging the best animated GIFs of the flat-faced dogs. In the next, you can dive deep into the Go Pro snowboarding community and post snaps from your latest run.
Hence Wang’s notion of the elastic self. Like rubber bands, when we step into Tumblr we can stretch and reshape ourselves into different configurations. Each new hat we try on stretches the rubber band just a little bit further, and over time it might evolve into a new configuration. This allows for remarkable opportunities to explore different potentials of self and self-expression."
oh i love it i love it i love it. i love it. yes. thank you tricia. thank you.
I’m really big into talking about identity creation and the internet. This will be rumbling around my head for a while.
I love Tricia. My friends are so smart. This is spot on.
Good stuff from my friend T (who keeps a couple dozen Tumblrs as I do).
The Social Brain Hypothesis (Dunbar, 1998) tested on Facebook, using generic behavioural closeness metrics (number of friends who people a) post on their wall, status updates or photos; or b) message/chat with), by the social network’s in-house sociologist Cameron Marlow.