Imagine if loved ones could ask and answer questions such as this as part of the end-of-life passage. They could create and share in a living agreement, a series of pinky promises, to say absolutely “This is love, here and here; look for it now and when I have passed.” It’s a dialogue not about memory, but rather the discoveries of the everyday and now.
“If we love such moments ferociously, then maybe we can learn to live well not in spite of death but because of it,” as BJ Miller remarked.
Blockchain technology, functioning as both an open database and community network, would serve as the backbone for this app. The pinky promises could be automated using simple if/then statements: If you discover [this], then know [this]. Image or text files could be uploaded for the “if” side of the promise before and after a loved one has passed. This app, given as a gift, could help to strengthen ties, and create long-lived meaning and impact.
Consider how those affected by tragedy, and grieving a death, often transform their pain into a call to action. This app for living agreements could provide that opportunity. This would be especially poignant in urban communities, where too many die young, and their loved ones feel as though the deaths are invisible.
Moreover, death reveals our values as no focus group ever could. Those in the social, private and public sectors may find value in this sensory-rich data for use in the design of goods, services and spaces. They may offer incentives for people to use the app. Blockchain allows for information that lives on the front-end and back-end of the app to be open to all for the public good, operating outside of the box of social media.