Thursday, 21 March 2013
The idea for this blog was sparked by a posting on the besslerwheel forum. The author posted a thread listing some ideas he had, which he wanted to preserve digitally, rather than trusting to 'mortal flesh fast decaying'. I wondered if there was anything available which might suit more accurately the author's needs.
There are many people all devoted to solving the puzzle of Bessler's wheel and it seems to me that if, perhaps, one of us was approaching success, but for the usual reasons had kept quiet about it until he or she had produced a Proof of Principle wheel - or perhaps, like Øystein Rustad, had deciphered a number of coded drawings by Johann Bessler and wished to complete their studies and first confirm them with a working device - then their sudden early demise might rob us of their work - and set progress back a while. Johann Bessler's option was to hide his solution within his published and unpublished documents. But for us less gifted in the field of steganography, one solution would be to write up the research in detail and place it somewhere on the internet, where it would remain private and remain so until after the sad passing of its author.
Perhaps the document could be stored on one of the many clouds offering a combination of services and only upon the author's death would it be shared among a few chosen people or simply released for public consumption. I could see that the problem of letting the server know that the writer of the document had died could be difficult to solve. However, I'm sure that someone could write an App that confirmed to the server that the writer was still alive by verifying it each time the ipad/smart phone etc, connected to the internet. If no connection was made for, say seven days, (or a preset period) then the server would ask for confirmation that the author was still alive and if none was received it would then share/release the document.
However further research revealed a possible alternative solution. For example there is a website at http://mashable.com/2010/10/11/social-media-after-death/ which reviews 'Seven Resources for Handling Digital Life After Death'. These services are designed to allow people to leave messages after their death and these can take the form of emails, documents, wills etc, which can be sent to one or more recipients indicated in the signing up process. One such site http://www.assetlock.net/ sums up the situation very well. There are some web sites offering a basic service which is free and although I haven't done a lot of research into what is available worldwide, I'm sure that there are a number of such services.
The ironic thing is that only a small amount of storage would be required and servers like Google, Apple and Dropbox, for instance, offer plenty of storage for free. So using one of these might allow you to preserve your information and make it available to those who follow, should you prematurely decease! Perhaps out there is some entrepreneur who could custom design such a service?
I had thought of calling it PM Archives meaning Perpetual Motion Archive but it could as well stand for Post Mortem Archive.
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