(Provo) After having lived my daily life during the week at the Transhuman House for two years and coming back a year later, it has been an experience that impacted my thinking about how our culture and digital world has emerged to experience decay like the natural world. In this experience of the digital decay in my own digital remains. It really was an experience in the digital ‘ecology’ of the past at least for me that really impacted my thinking. A few months ago a reporter wanted to do an article about this topic and came and visited the Transhuman House and this made me, I guess, focus on the idea of digital decay when I was there.
The Transhuman House seems almost normal to expect the living and dining areas are more like a museum than a house, with displays related to transhumanism and the like all about. Really what I found was this sort of haunting feeling seeing things like a pile of Amazon Alexa’s in the draw. Probably these were in the draw as I changed the name to “computer” and no one knew so they thought them broken or the telepresence robot that was dead as the battery back up was for too gone and not charged (this robot once the battery goes dead it needs to be reset from the ground up.
So basically things that worked were like the blinds but even in that case no one knew they were remote control, robots where dead, the coffee table off (no one knew how to set it up after it got shut off), the hydroponics were dead, most voices devices like Alexa and Google home were unplugged in drawers, digital frames off (later found that someone had tried to change the pictures) and the like.
I realize that this sense of loss I was transfixed by was a lot to do with having lived there for so long and my emotional ties to the place but it did get me thinking about how those we leave behind will find our smart homes as our own digital lives decay. In the remains of my own digital decay, I think it really put a fine point on the need to overcome death. It is not the digital rot but the loss of a mind that is so much the tragedy and seeing the shell of that was really sad.