I attended the Dead, Dying and Undead Conference last week where I gave a paper on writing death. Other people gave papers on vampires, Nurses who kill: nazi nurses, first world war Australian nurses the Bluebirds, good deaths, imaging death and Jack the Ripper. All the papers I attended were fascinating even though at times somewhat confronting.
From Associate Professor Piatti-Farnell, a leading expert on vampires having published numerous books on vampires the latest The vampire in Contemporary Popular Literature available from Routledge, I learnt the genetic structure of vampires and their relationship with humans. How they form, live and die and how they reflect our own morality and mortality.
Dr Hughes gave an indepth overview of research into the field of immortality. It is perhaps getting closer but the one example of a person who believed he had conquered it saw the man taking 450 pills per day. I think I’d prefer to be dead. Imagine your entire life would be revolving around swigging the next lot down.
The paper given by Professor Donna Lee Brien had me gob smacked. I had no idea such web sites were out there. Her paper was on your online presence when you died and ways of setting up someone who could administer your presence. (It is next to impossible to remove yourself from sites such as Facebook, Twitter and others unless you are well prepared ahead of your demise. This wasn’t what surprised me though.
WHEN YOUR HEART STOPS BEATING: YOU KEEP TWEETING.
This is the logo of LivesOn. A site that will continue to make your tweets for you after you are gone. The problem, however, is that you probably will spend what remains of your life setting it up, and teaching it to respond as you would to current affairs, television programmes, political events and anything else you may be in the habit of tweeting about.
Another site will post (you write them first) to Facebook for you up to a maximum of 999 years after your death. Naturally you pay a fair amount for the service but I want to know do you get a refund if Facebook doesn’t survive that long.
There is another site that will look after your affairs after death. It contacts you by email every week and if you don’t respond for three consecutive notices it automatically sends emails to everyone telling them you are dead, and passwords and all information regarding your affairs to the person you nominate to receive it. I think if I was on this plan my friends would often be informed erroneously that I had met my demise.