[Book] All the Ghosts in the Machine
We are reading a fascinating and really well-written book about digital legacy after death by Elaine Kaskett, and highly recommend it.
All the Ghosts in the Machine: Illusions of Immortality in the Digital Age
by Elaine Kasket
Publishers: Little, Brown Book Group, Robinson
23 Apr 2019, 304 Pages
Seen any ghosts on your smartphone lately?
As we’re compelled to capture, store and share more and more of our personal information, there’s something we often forget. All that data doesn’t just disappear when our physical bodies shuffle off this mortal coil. If the concept of remaining socially active after you’re no longer breathing sounds crazy, you might want to get used to the idea. Digital afterlives are a natural consequence of the information age, a reality that barely anyone has prepared for – and that “anyone” probably includes you.
In All the Ghosts in the Machine, psychologist Elaine Kasket sounds a clarion call to everyone who’s never thought about death in the digital age. When someone’s hyperconnected, hyperpersonal digital footprint is transformed into their lasting legacy, she asks, who is helped, who is hurt, and who’s in charge? And why is now such a critical moment to take our heads out of the sand?
Weaving together personal, moving true stories and scientific research, All the Ghosts in the Machine takes you on a fascinating tour through the valley of the shadow of digital death. In the process, it will transform how you think about your life and your legacy, in a time when our technologies are tantalising us with fantasies of immortality.
Elaine Kasket, Psy.D., is a Counselling Psychologist, speaker and writer who has studied the juxtaposition of death and the digital since 2006. She has contributed to multiple stories on this topic in TV, radio, print and online media, to include pieces for the BBC, Radio 4, Channel 4 News, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, and Psychology Today. All the Ghosts in the Machine is her first book for general audiences, following a decade of more academic writing on the subject. Originally from the U.S., Elaine now lives with her family in London, where she produces the Mortified stage show, acts as the Bereavement Lead for the Digital Legacy Association, and maintains a busy psychotherapy practice.
– BBC Radio 4: Digital Legacy – We Need to Talk About Death
– The Guardian: What happens to our data when we die?