Monday, October 07, 2013

"Would YOU want to know when you'll die? Now there's a watch that can predict your death to the nearest SECOND"

"The watch that shows how long -- to the second -- when you die" (MailOnline, October 7, 2013):
First there was a website that predicted when your parents would die; now there's a watch that not only predicts when you will die, it also begins counting down.

Users fill out a questionnaire about their medical history before subtracting their age from the overall results to get their death score. This score is entered into the Tikker and the countdown begins.

Dubbed the 'death watch', Tikker has been created by Swedish inventor Fredrik Colting but far from being morbid, Colting calls it 'The Happiness Watch' and claims it has been designed to help people make the most of their life and cherish the time they have left.
In my opnion, it's a good thing. Medieval hermits are often pictured with a human skull on their desks. Why? Memento mori: "remember death."

By contrast, death is treated as an obscenity today because people want, more than anything else, to avoid thinking about what is existentially inevitable: their death. That's why physicians and athletes and entertainers are paid so much: they give us something else to think about -- the existentially peripheral, like whether the Green Bay Packers or Pittsburgh Steelers are going to win (sorry fans).

The questions that really matter, however, are of the order: Does my live matter? Is this suffering pointless, or is there a larger purpose? The dominant culture considers such questions unanswerable and therefore meaningless, and evades them by ceaseless distraction.

So: memento mori: "The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop at late or early hour [despite this gizmo]. To lose one's wealth is sad indeed; to lose one's health is more; to lose one's soul is such a loss that no one can restore."

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