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What happens to your digital life after you die?
How to deal with death in the digital age and save your loved ones from headache.
BJ Miller: So here's a good example of where modern dying is just unintuitive and exotic, really. We've been dying forever, but there's some new wrinkles to it. And one of the biggest wrinkles you're going to come across is this social media world. And even if you're not on social media, you're going to have some digital life.
Most of us, whether it's bank, online passwords, or whatever it is, it's practically impossible not have some digital footprint in this world. And as it goes, whether it's because of denial or whatever else, so far, death isn't really built into those systems. So it's only recently that some of the social media outlets are figuring out to offer a pathway of how to close down an account for someone who's actually died. And we've still got a ways to go.
It's very common, and can be kind of grotesque or chilling, is very often people will be included in Facebook posts, for example, or there'll be some automatic birthday note that goes out to their LinkedIn group or something, and the person died a year or two ago. And it can be really chilling for a family member to receive an automated message from someone who's died. So, it's a new kind of perverse issue.
So all that to say is you do need to take, besides your ethical will and your legal will, you have to take a minute to think through how you're going to close out your digital life, too. And so that can be as simple as itemizing somewhere all your digital accounts, all those passwords. That can save your family tons of trouble. And increasingly, social media outlets will have a way to build into their framework a way for death to happen online, too. But otherwise, you just need to at least convey ways for your loved ones to get into your accounts.
And other things that can be very helpful-- like a credit card-- if you know you're sick and dying at some point soon, you might want to make that a joint account. Put your spouse or your loved one on that account with you. So, after you're gone, they still have access to it. I have a lot of patients who go on to spend years-- well, I say my patients. I see families, too. So, I'll see people in bereavement-- so spouses who've lost their husband or wife, who was my patient. And then I see the spouse in bereavement. And it's very common that they have a one to two year hangover of dealing with closing accounts-- cell phone bills, cable, whatever it is. So, you've got to get those passwords across. And even better, put that other person on the account so they can do it themselves.
- Death brings new challenges as we must consider the likelihood that our digital presence will outlive us. Whether it's through social media or an online bank account, the majority of people lead a digital life that they'll leave behind.
- BJ Miller, assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, suggests preparing to close out your digital life with steps like itemizing digital accounts and passwords.
- Miller also recommends including a spouse on any credit card accounts. These precautions will save loved ones major time and headache after you're gone.
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Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Building a personal connection with students can counteract some negative side effects of remote learning.
- Not being able to engage with students in-person due to the pandemic has presented several new challenges for educators, both technical and social. Digital tools have changed the way we all think about learning, but George Couros argues that more needs to be done to make up for what has been lost during "emergency remote teaching."
- One interesting way he has seen to bridge that gap and strengthen teacher-student and student-student relationships is through an event called Identity Day. Giving students the opportunity to share something they are passionate about makes them feel more connected and gets them involved in their education.
- "My hope is that we take these skills and these abilities we're developing through this process and we actually become so much better for our kids when we get back to our face-to-face setting," Couros says. He adds that while no one can predict the future, we can all do our part to adapt to it.
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.