Holochain Forum

Death Cycle

Interested in discussing apps that address death within a lifecycle management system. Wills and last testaments as a start, but how do we factor our deaths into the larger community.

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ooh! That’s a big topic. Not sure if it’s necessarily related to REA though, can you say any more about the crossover you’re seeing there?

Curious whether this goes down a similar path as some of the blockchain crowd’s work with dead man’s switches? Are you talking about automatic / enforceable transfer of assets, or other things?

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My father died 6 years ago, but he’s still in my contacts. Although my grieving is complete, it still doesn’t feel right to simply delete him. Perhaps our concept of Identity should integrate life stages, including an “afterlife.” Is there a respectful way to “archive” a human being’s digital presence?

A person’s ID profile could include metadata on their life stage, and their profile could include something like a “data will” expressing preferences for how their distributed data is handled after death.

This opens the possibility of what might be called the democratization of immortality. Currently, only people with extraordinary achievements in art, politics, sports, science, crime, service, etc., become a part of history and remain “alive” in collective memory, while the vast majority are eventually forgotten. But what if they could bequeath their data (e.g., posts, emails, docs, videos, metadata) to some kind of distributed ancestral data archives. The data could be used by their family and future generations to remember and honor their ancestors, and to better understand themselves in terms of their origins.

Another possibility: access to anonymized data could be granted to future sociological researchers who could use it to improve our understanding of multigenerational phenomena, e.g., in human development, social change, etc.

Although there are plenty of ways that data immortality could be misused or abused, with the right design it could incentivize and bring out the best in people who want to be remembered for making the world a better place for future generations.

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@scott_pdx beautiful.

Please pardon me for editing your quotes below, my intent is to give pattern to your words.


@scott_pdx - @kerrgreg and myself are in conversations with @polyannie01 around this topic to see if we could help her “bring ideas to life” via HoloChain Business Pipeline initiative, that we are working on developing.


The basic idea is over a month or two we want to be your coach for your initial Sprint run, which will be like:

  • On your Marks
  • Get Set
  • Go
  • Finish Line

During the building phase we plan on leveraging Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools our community members such as HoloREA @pospi Chimera / CRISPR @philipbeadle are developing, because we believe in:

Serving our Community with all our Heart, for Community is where our Heart thrives - to put in words of another Community member @sidsthalekar we are Moved by Love

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Lol @Aryabhatta I can’t believe you found this

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DAAAANG what a great conversation!

From a direct Human Resources perspective death is an event that could be captured and factored in REA, however I this topic got me to thinking about measuring and bouncing back from a loss in a network. Making organizations and projects resilient is the goal as stability is turning out to be a fantasy word like “peace.”

Maybe a zome that accounts for unique connections and capabilities within a network–this way if your status in a network grows because of unique value–the natural vulnerabilities associated with your unique status is responsibly captured.

Activities can then be created to lessen the impact of “death/loss of a node.”

It will be interesting to see the networks where we all play critical roles and those where you’re a mere bystander, but se la vi!

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@scott_pdx whoa! Really great stuff. Ty

Considering the afterlife of a persons digital body, as well as the end of life cycle for products, should be integrated into to systems design. Death is a part of all living systems.

I also like what you said about distributed ancestral data archives. :ok_hand: I see that being useful for individuals, families, communities, cultures and the species as a whole.

@Aryabhatta thank you for putting patterns to words! I appreciate your ability to recognize patterns and present things simply. I look forward to conversations with you and @kerrgreg

This is great:

@pospi Pretty sure it fits into REA, value flows. I don’t have any clear vision about any of this but wanted to start a conversation on the topic.

@scott_pdx it’s really interesting reading through some of your needs in the context of what you have been processing, gratitude for sharing. A lot of what you’re describing sits on top of low-level technological constraints; but we are lucky in that there is a platform which gives us all the necessary pieces to operate in this way.

I encourage you to check out Scuttlebutt, but specifically the Patchbay app to interface with the network. Within it you will find a working implementation of the Dark Crystal protocol, which uses sharding crypto to backup secrets among M-of-N friend groups.

Which is a roundabout way of saying you can share your keys with a dozen odd friends and have 6 of them come together after your death to retrieve access to your digital ghost. I’m sure we will need to have such facilities in Holochain someday as well.

Anyway @polyannie01 thanks for thinking of REA in all this… I suppose the recordings of value flows around an agent’s part in the network is essentially a map of their socioeconomic interactions over time. For sure this paints a pretty detailed picture of a person’s movement through the world and their impact on it. But I do think it’s a broader issue than just economic data— in my sovereignty plan there are things like media collections, unpublished writings, notes, diagrams, photos, health data. Where does that information go? How do I want it to be allowed to be used?

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