Tag Archives: dead

The Dead to Outnumber the Living in Facebook by 2070

Most of us do not know this, but the death rate throughout the world is increasing. While it is not at the point where humans are dying faster than being born, it eventually will happen sooner than you think. Just take a look at the users of Facebook.

According to data from Oxford University, the number of dead Facebook users could outnumber the living by 2070. This would leave a vast amount of historical archives and importance that needs archivists to be brought in and save the information said the university.

Currently, the global social media site has around 2.27 billion members, but 1.4 billion will die before 2100, according to the new calculations.

 This means that within 50 or so years from now, the number of dead could pass the living. This would be a milestone that has important implications for what should or could happen with the huge archives of digital history.

By the turn of the 22nd century, the number of decreased profiles could reach as high as 4.9 billion and it would be a huge representation of the heritage in the 21st century.

Lead author Carl Ohman, a doctoral candidate from the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) warned there were problems with a single commercial company holding the largest archive of human behavior ever assembled.

“It may be of enormous benefit to future generations, and to historians especially,” said Mr. Ohman. “However, Facebook is a private company and is thus guided by what is commercially, not historically, valuable… Why would Facebook bother to store up to five billion dead profiles on their servers if there were no commercial inventive to do so? The problem is not that Facebook is a commercial company, it is rather the increasing concentration of historical data. Too few control too much.”

As of now, the process after a person dies, there two options for their accounts on Facebook. The first choice is memorializing their account for everyone to remember them by.  The word “remembering” is placed next to the profile name along a contact number for the person which is usually a family member running the page. The second option which is done by the user before their death is the delete option which just deletes their account after death.

It allows friends and family to view public posts made before their death and also post memories.

Now, the OII is calling for Facebook to invite historians, researchers, and archivists to devise and create a way to curate the archives so they are not lost forever and that they can be available to future generations.

The team said all social media networks with a similar global reach should start thinking about how the data of their users should be stored and used after death.

Co-author David Watson, also a doctoral student at the OII, added: “Facebook should invite historians, archivists, archaeologists and ethicists to participate in the process of curating the vast volume of accumulated data that we leave behind as we pass away.

“This is not just about finding solutions that will be sustainable for the next couple of years, but possibly for many decades ahead. Controlling this archive will, in a sense, be to control our history.

“It is therefore important that we ensure that access to these historical data is not limited to a single for-profit firm. It is also important to make sure that future generations can use our digital heritage to understand their history.”

However, the team said social network archives could provide a detailed view of history that has previously been impossible to see.

Mr. Ohman added: “Data from social media differs from traditional historical data, not only in terms of the content, but also in terms of the quantity.

“What we know about people in the past is basically based on men with power, who could preserve information about themselves to future generations.

“But we know way less about the thoughts and daily lives of the millions of women, workers and other marginalized groups in history. With social media as an historical asset, we have a chance not to repeat this mistake.”

These predictions are based off data provided by the United Nations, which provided the expected number of mortalities and total populations for every country in the world distributed by age. They were then mapped against Facebook data.

This research that was found by Oxford was published in the journal Big Data & Society.


Photo from Medium

“Evil Dead” vs “Evil Dead”: Remake or original?

To anyone who has read one of my previous articles, you know how much of a Sam Raimi fanboy I am. On April 5, the remake of the 1981 cult classic “Evil Dead” was released and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. This comparison may have some slight spoilers, but nothing so detrimental that it will ruin the film. Continue reading “Evil Dead” vs “Evil Dead”: Remake or original?

Weekly Time Wasters: Werewolves and jihad

How many ninjas could you take on at once? Have you ever marveled at the destructive glory of a nail gun? Do you know how Dr. Evil got his start? There questions answered and a special musical guest to boot on this week’s Time Wasters. You know, with the weather now I should be telling you to read no further and go play outside. I won’t do this because, well, I want you see these clips but after you’re done reading this go enjoy spring.

What is the difference between a good prank and theater? Less than you would think as it turns out. What if Seth Rogan turned into a werewolf in your taxi?

http://youtu.be/q2L19ZIVeQ8 Continue reading Weekly Time Wasters: Werewolves and jihad

RU houses more than we think

Not many students know this, but there are tunnels underneath the Radford University campus. Back in the day, when Radford was an all-girls school, they were used by the students to get around campus without having to go outside. These tunnels have been closed for a long time now and no one is allowed to walk through them ever again.  However, even fewer students know about the legend that these tunnels hold so secret. Continue reading RU houses more than we think

Pirate Latitudes: Exhilarating read

Photo from Creative Commons

Michael Crichton recreated the terror and triumph that came along with piracy in its golden age in the 1600s. Pirate Latitudes follows an English privateer, Captain Charles Hunter, as he assembles a crew, sets sails, attacks a Spanish galleon and returns home. Obviously none of these tasks were simple.

At the beginning of the book, Hunter meets with the Governor of Jamaica, Sir James Almont, to discuss his next endeavor for the king. As a privateer, Hunter is allowed to utilize all his pirate knowledge but not be arrested. Privateers are servants to the king who share their plunder with the king. Because of this, they have papers stating that they are not to be arrested for common criminal acts of piracy. Hunter’s next mission is to attack a well-known Spanish fortress, Matanceros. At the Spanish stronghold is a galleon filled with treasure. It is one of the most dangerous journeys to make because of Matanceros’ rocky shoreline.

Hunter gathers a crew of fearsome characters to assist. They all seem loyal to him, but they are also all pirates. Loyalty doesn’t run deep in their blood. Along the journey, the English crew encounters storms, sea monsters, attacks from other ships, capture by the Spanish, subsequent escape from capture and trouble on an island where they stopped to escape a storm. It seems the sailors will never make it to Matanceros and home to Jamaica. The ones that make it home alive don’t know how long they will stay alive.

This book keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what the crew will encounter next. There are so many shocking twists in the plot, you will be guessing the entire story who is good and who is evil. The characters switch which side they are on so quickly and sometimes don’t announce a side. You are left guessing right up until the end about who will betray whom next.

The historical accuracy of this book is fascinating. Crichton seems to get the facts spot-on in terms of life at sea for pirates on a raid. It was a fiction book that seemed so real. The short chapters also kept the book flowing. I never wanted it to end, knowing I would have to leave Jamaica and come back to the present.

One of the other fascinating parts of this book is that it was published posthumously. An assistant discovered the manuscript on one of Michael Crichton’s computers after his death, and it was published a year after he died.

If you are looking for an action-packed, swashbuckling tale, or just a good book to read, this book is an excellent one. The writing style keeps a steady pace, and the plot twists make it hard to put down.