Make a Will. Are Friends Electric?
I have blogged several times about the wisdom of making a Will. Everyone who is an adult with at least a bank account to pass on, should do so..
I suspect that everyone reading this does already understand and agree, but there is often a marked reluctance about actually taking the step.
I will probably blog again and set out once again all of the compelling reasons for making Wills.
But perhaps if I do list all of the good reasons, I still won’t identify the new trend recently identified in China as one of them.
According to a report in the Chinese Global Times, Lily Tong has prepared her new Will and presented it the local Notary so that her son will be cared for after her death.
Lily is only 25 so there is every reason to hope that she will be around for a long time yet, but she believes you can’t be too careful and I would agree.
Except that in this case her “son” is virtual. And, by the way, a Frog.
So her concern is that should she die then her digital frog – which only exists in a video game – would itself “die” without someone to log in and recharge its virtual life support.
At first glance, and perhaps at second and third, there is plenty to laugh at. There was the craze of Tamagotchi in the 1990s, digital creatures hatched from eggs on your keychain fob which also needed regular attention or they would “die”. I don’t remember anyone wanting to make provision in their Will for the long term care of a Tamagotchi.
But at a fourth glance, perhaps there is something about the immersive nature of the video game, of the virtual reality, which speaks to the human brain particularly of teens and young adults.
And if what really matters to you in your life should not be the subject of your Will, then what should?
And then again, there have been science fiction stories from the 1960s or earlier suggesting that one day a human’s mind, its experience, memory and personality could be downloaded and stored into a computer. So then, the person will die, but will live on forever in the computer, continuing to think, make decisions – be “alive”. Even more alive in a way than Lily’s frog, but still only virtual.
And those virtual persons will need maintenance and care. Someone to keep the computers on and backed up.
Or then again, again, when robotics goes further, perhaps it will be the robots and the computers, and the virtual personalities which used to be humans, who become the carers for the humans?
So that before the time that Lily does die after several decades, perhaps it might be her virtual frog who has actually taken over her care?
Is there anyone else who feels that the pace of life is accelerating beyond the ability of the law to keep up?
Here’s the song – link here-
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