Tag: death

A tribute to Chris Allan (@infernaldepart)

This morning I woke to the tragic news that Chris Allan had been found dead. I wasn’t sure whether to write anything here. I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate. But given that news of his death reduced me to tears, I thought I’d better.

Despite only living 40 miles or so away from one another, I only met Chris in person a few times – interacting with him more regularly via Twitter and email. He was a great guy: enthusiastic, brimming with ideas and, as an ICT teacher, keen to try out new technologies with his students. In fact, he’d been working on integrating Open Badges within the curriculum at his school.

Chris came along with his son to a #MozParty Newcastle event I organised last year. I like this photo of them together as I believe that’s how he should be remembered – as someone who went out of his way for the young people in his life. In fact, I can still remember a couple of years before that when he came round to my house to buy a computer from me for his son. My heart goes out to the family Chris leaves behind. What a loss.

[I’ve redacted the last section to keep this focused on Chris]

Digital Permanence: Death & Data

I’m worried about dying. No, not in terms of my mortal flesh and immortal soul; I’m worried about what will happen to my data when I die. :-p

That may sound a little, shall we say, geeky, so let me explain. There’s two ways you can ‘live for ever’ in this world. The first is to become so famous that people talk about you until the end of time. As that’s difficult for most of us, the second way is more likely. All you’ve got to do with the second way is to pass on your genes (and your surname) to your offspring. I’m doing well with the latter: my son Benjamin Belshaw was born 20 months ago and will, I hope, continue the illustrious Belshaw line. With the first method, however, I’m still struggling.

My problem is this:

  1. Most of my ideas are in the form of writing in the digital landscape (i.e. on this blog or others on the Internet)
  2. Books and other printed matter in the physical realm are a lot more ‘permanent’ at present that writing in the digital realm.
  3. When I die dougbelshaw.com will cease to exist.
  4. Ergo, unless my ideas are so amazing that they become ubiquitous during my lifetime, they will have little impact after my death.

So I’m left with a problem. Should I start writing a book? Is all I’m writing here ultimately futile? Should I be creating static HTML pages so archive.org can index them?

Does this even matter?

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