Life

What happens to your facebook after you die?

Every time I go to the bathroom I meet people tweeting, updating their facebooks and even chatting with their loved ones while doing their business. Even though few years ago I would have been (at least) confused if I had seen anything like that, nowadays it’s typical. Sometime in the future, I guess, you’d be considered lunatic if you don’t Instagram your Starbucks coffee every morning.

But have you ever wondered what’s going to happen to your facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. when you die? I mean, they claim that there are about 30 million dead people on facebook and someday you might as well join the army. Of course, after your friends would find out, your wall would be filled with cute and tear-squeezing posts, memorable pictures and Bible quotes. But soon, after singling you out, life will go on… and your facebook page with 1000+ party pictures and some dirty posts would still be there. Maybe even forever?

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But no panic, few years ago facebook instituted a policy regarding how to deal with deceased individuals. After your family proves your death – a requirement to make any changes in your profile – your facebook account could be deleted or converted into memorable account. Basically, you’d be a dead friend, always on the bottom of somebody’s friend list. As for me, it sounds funny, especially if your younger brother (or sister) decides to go “online” from your account. Online zombie? Hm, why not!

Luckily, after you die only your facebook friends would be able to access your account; you (or, realistically, your online grave) would be excluded from the global search and prevented from trolls and ex-girlfriends.

Believe me or not, there are some ways to prepare your online life for death! Of course, you can write down an old-fashioned letter with log-ins and passwords, but it’s way too sentimental. Instead, try Legacy Letters, a service providing online messages delivered to designated recipients after your death. It will cost you 25$ annually or one-time fee of 300$. You can store all your private data on Legacy Letters server and leave all wishes regarding your online after-life. There are other companies that will store your personal information and release it after you die only.

 

Thinking about death is hard, but thinking about your online death is even harder. You never know when you time comes. So, maybe you should take some time to rethink your last-minute speech, include some passwords and log-ins, accept last friendship requests and – as an option – post a last selfie on your Instagram.

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Life

When we were young: Lou Reed died at 71

Lou Reed, a founder of The Velvet Underground, I would say, a legendary rock band, died at age of 71. Recently he undergone a liver transplant but, despite his praises for modern science, something went wrong. “I am bigger and stronger than stronger than ever”, he tweeted few days after the surgery.

Last tweet from his account, a tribute to the great musician was sent on 27th of October, simple read “The Door” and had this picture attached:

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Bike

How your day gets ruined

Okay, so before I start I have to confess: I wasn’t going to write this post. I wasn’t going to share a story of my shitty day with WordPress community, either. But then accidentally I realized that somebody else might have experienced something similar, so I decided to give it a try. It’s a story of coffee and the greatest expectations colliding with sad reality. Or maybe it’s just a regular complaint about my life. 

Today was a regular Sunday in Bangkok. I woke up late, watched a short film, fixed a light breakfast. Sounds perfect so far, doesn’t it? Then, at about 3 pm, I took my bike downstairs and hit the road, planning to spend the rest of the day in my new all-time-favorite coffee shop Bike Cafe. It didn’t take me long to notice the sign: “Sunday: 8:30 – 4:30” on the door. Four-fcking-thirty! On Sunday! Weekend! Well, without showing anger churning inside my stomach, I unlocked my bike and took a long ride to Li-bra-ry cafe, making my way through the Sunday traffic.

Li-bra-ry cafe is a seemingly nice place in Bangkok, Japanese-style coffee shop, packed with book shelves and local hipsters. And that’s where my day was totally ruined. To start with, I love coffee with hot milk separately. It’s just nice to add milk yourself, without asking waiter or barista. Well, not today. Not in Li-bra-ry cafe, where you have to pay extra for heating up the milk. Isn’t that ridiculous? Never mind, I got over it, found small table and was about to finish Karamazov Brothers by F.M. Dostoyevsky but…something was bothering me.

– Can I ask you for a glass of water, please, I asked.

– Only bottled water, was the reply.

That was a last drop for me. I almost rushed out, making my way through oblivious crowd . I’d opened the door a second before the idea about writing a ruining-my-day post occurred to me. And so I did. Even though my day was ruined and supposedly enjoyable time in the coffee shop was spoiled, I feel some kind of relief after writing and sharing this post with the whole world of coffee lovers and (maybe) coffee shop victims like me.

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Life

Line of Sight. A Bike Messenger Story

I ride my bike every day. It was fun to be in the traffic for the first time, but then it started to annoy me. Traffic is every major city’s pain in the ass. Here, in Bangkok the streets are always full of crazy (but friendly) taxi drivers, scooters and tuk-tuks, so you have to really pay attention to where you go. Of course, it’s like that everywhere and, I am sure, you know how it feels to be almost squeezed or – it’s even worse – cut on the road.

Few days ago I was coming back home and almost broke a mirror of a cute pink girl car (double parked on the main street, nobody inside), making my way through the massive jam. Yesterday I came across this documentary about New York messengers. Surprisingly for me, none of them ever paid any attention to the mess and confusion they make on the street. They hit one or two pedestrians, too. I mean… it’s a good movie for independent (and YET unknown) director, but don’t you think cyclist should care about traffic a little bit more? The movie link below:

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Life

Bangkok, The City of Life

Before writing the post I tried to collect all notes and memories from the last 2 months in Bangkok, Thailand. My first exhausting day here. First padthai (Thai fried noodles). First ride on the river boat in Bangkok. First longboard ride.  Even though my life hasn’t changed that much, everything is so completely different and new here that it feels like everything is happening for the first time. I never thought I would trade my favorite club sandwiches for extremely spicy spring rolls and fried rice. But I did.

When I saw the city traffic for the first time, I though I would never be able to cross the road. Apparently, 3 weeks after I found myself on the longboard, crossing six-lane road, tacking between thousands of cars, scooters and tuk-tuks (Thai 3-wheel taxi). Surprisingly, none of the drivers were angry at me for slowing down the traffic, some of them even tried to give me a high-five and say few words of appreciation.

It is also fun to see how different the life is. Big shopping centers and skyscrapers leaning over slums and crowded China town neighborhoods. But nobody minds. White-collars buy food from the street. Beggars sit near the entrance of the newest shopping centers.

And it happens every day. Smiles from the strangers on the street. Random high-fives. I have stayed here for 2 months already, and for the first time in my life the city actually welcomes me. I had been living in bitchy Moscow for two years before I realized that I do not belong here. It took me less than a month to fall in love with Bangkok (and Thailand altogether). Bangkok is not only a heart of Asia, it is also a part of my own heart.

Next time I will tell about things to do and see in Bangkok. In the spare time you can check my impressions of Cuba, Colombia and Israel.

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Life

The Roast of Religiosity

Religion is overrated. It has been like that from the very beginning, when man had found his first stone and praised it, until today. Although experiencing different religions, digging into them and talking to religious people brings up the question: “What had happened that religion and evolution went the opposite directions?”

I believe that there would be a lot of controversy here, so if you’re afraid that your religious feelings might be hurt, simply press the cross on the right hand side of your screen.

Back in 20th century (and even earlier) philosophers treated religion and philosophy equally for it was disputable: you could either accept one idea and make your mind up to fit it, or simply make an argument. Same thing with religion that – at some point – allowed a concept of critical thinking to mix with the whole theistic multiplicity. And it stayed that way for a while. Society, at the same time, has been developing rapidly and, having no answer to any of upcoming questions, had tried to find them somewhere.  Like…in the church or mosque or synagogue. And that was a moment when religion had turned back to its ancient times. Rome was founded by Romulus, and – the funny coincidence –  the last emperor’s name was Romulus as well; religion was, too, a man-made creation, so it was a man who flushed it down with his ignorance and stupidity. Don’t get me wrong, not one man, of course, but the whole bunch of them, we call them monks, priests, rabbis, etc.

Few months ago I was sitting in Tel Aviv on the beach, sharing thoughts with a good friend of mine. So, eventually, we started talking about religion (note, back then I was bachur yieshiva – religious college student) and after a while she shared the idea that made me re-think and re-read everything that I’d known before. Back in the ancient times people needed an example, a real world story or something else just so it make them believe in some kind of supernatural thing (or creature) above. And, as you might have guessed, Bible had served their needs flawlessly. Unfortunately, the world is way more complicated right now and sometimes connecting a particular need with a “real source” gets impossibly hard. Of course, we should have elevated high enough to get rid of ol’ day’s mentality and needs…but, oh well, what can we do.  So, for all of you, who have suffered from illogical and complex explanations from the Bible point of you, I’d like to confess: I would have been religious… only if they hadn’t spoiled it for me.

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When people start to over-think religion and forget that it is a belief and not a weapon, the bad things start to happen. Like praying for gay people (in hope that they turn right again) or saying prayers because your 14-year old son is masturbating, or writing AMEN under the Facebook pictures, or force people to believe, or bless them every time something important is coming. So, when you talk to any of these “believers” you start to feel a bit irritated simply because you are not accepting the rules of their game. Unfortunately, there are no winners in that game. And, the most important, there is a really strong barrier between believers and atheists and it will never be destroyed – the unquestionable faint in God which will not allow any religious person even start considering other side’s arguments. And that’s it.

The-Myth-of-Sisyphus-225x300Well, I strongly believe that 90% of so-called religious people are just scared for their life (or soul?) and, by practicing the religion, they’re just paying off their afterlife insurance. There are no atheists in the foxholes, they say. You better be prepared. As for me, though, I like to chose my own path. After reading Camus’s “The Myth of Sisyphus” I was simply fascinated by the image of Sisyphus Camus had pictured. A man who had made his own decisions throughout his life, a man who had fought with gods, a man who had built his own happiness carried his stone with a smile, dignity and respect. It was deadly heavy, but it worth it. His life was worth the punishment he was sentenced to.

Amen.

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Life

“Oh, you haven’t read it? But you just have to!”

Do I have to? Does it really worth reading? And, of course, is it required? No, don’t get me wrong, I love reading and I read every day. But the more I read, the more I understand that such thing as required reading does not exist. Every book is a challenge, every book shapes you and makes you a better man. For me, the moment of picking the new book is so magical and sacred: what could be better than browsing through the Kindle bookstore and, finally, pick the right one? For sure, not downloading the one you’ve been told about.

It is like the medicine prescription. You don’t say: “Shit, man, you haven’t tried Diazepam yet? Maaaaan, you have to! You just have to!” It’s not working like that. When you think about it, it just doesn’t make sense. I don’t want my friend to give me a mind-blowing reading when I just need some funny short stories; plus I am not sure if I can trust my friend’s taste. Another problem: do they really mean it, or just trying to be a highbrow? Usually, it is the second one. Nowadays society makes people look and think the same, they even imposing a rhythm of life: finish the school,  get a degree (preferably in the field of Law or Economics), start a family, etc. So, every time I thing about “a required reading” I already have some doubts about it.

Few days ago I met an old man in the restaurant in Vientiane, Laos. Soon I figured out that he was a writer. Now, I though, I will have a good book talk. Although… it didn’t work out because we just couldn’t find a connection. Well, we both have read Camus, Sartre, Dostoyevsky, Hesse, etc. But it just wasn’t enough for it is well-known anyway. See, I am not surprised if somebody knows Shakespeare, but I am pleasantly surprised if he can talk about Christopher Marlowe. Does he have to? Not at all. Neither he has to know/read Jorge Luis Borges, Geoffrey Chaucer or François Rabelais. I am not judging him for what he has read, but for what he is now.

Bookworms like to have fun of super religious people (read – fanatics) for they try to find all answers in just one book. Bookworms forget, though, that they do the same, and, what is more, they even try to humiliate others for not knowing books and authors they adore. And THAT sounds ridiculous. Now, if you ask me: “How many books should a man read, and what are the books?”, I would have to say either all or none. Both answers are impossible, so calm down, get some fresh coffee and find a book YOU like.

And if you still need an advice…hm… I would say, cappuccino is the best choice.

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