Wednesday, January 5, 2011

NY Times Magazine Article

Over the past several months many of us who knew Mac Tonnies and shared the goal of keeping his online legacy alive and intact were approached by journalist, Rob Walker, regarding an article he was writing for The New York Times Magazine. The article in question explored the little-discussed issue of online legacies and what becomes of ones internet "property" in the event of ones untimely death.

The article, "Cyberspace When You're Dead" is a no-holds-barred expose of the topic, which sites Mac and his followers (including yours truly) within that context - happily, as a, more or less, positive example of what may occur.

I don't suppose any of us intended or foresaw ourselves becoming "news" but news we are! The article will be published January 9th in the Sunday New York Times, but is available online today and can be found here.


Note: Just to set the record straight, the quote attributed to myself in the NY Times article was abbreviated just enough to take it slightly out of context. I was never so presumptuous as to declare that this blog was "a road-map to Mac Tonnies". I believe my full statement was in reference to the links provided by Post-Mac Blues as "a road-map to Mac's online presence".

Ah well, that's journalism for you!


  1. Read the article, it was a thought provoking piece. I like your memorial, kindness is heartwarming.

  2. Thank you very much, Cara!
    But I don't think it ever occurred to me that I was being kind... I was just being a friend...
    Mac deserved an online memorial... and we (his online friends & followers) all needed a place to go at the time of his unexpected death.

  3. I had no idea this blog existed until I ran across that article, thank you so much for doing this!

  4. "What happens when someone dies? It's possible that informational death is impossible and that the person who "dies" in the "explicate order" is expediently recycled [...] or shuffled into a future in which they "miraculously" survive their own crashes (or cancer treatments or heart transplants). There's nothing concrete or absolute about our so-called universe. It is an alluring, insidiously clever simulation. The Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics implies that the universe is constant "branching" into parallel, exclusive states. A better term, in light of the scenario described above, might be 'flowing'."

    I just read the New York Times article; a lucidly written exposition. Perhaps reality is closer than we know to the expression that Mac's bitstream lives on: an ephemeral, shimmering information flow, a sentient pattern, surfing the wavefunction of the multiverse through other branches, through parallel futures, and through other potential selves. What we see now is only a reflection of a far more complex self, a self that spans and interacts across multiple heres and nows.

  5. Wonderfully and beautifully said, Ichiro... and I quite agree! Thank you!