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Google AfterLife

November 28th, 2013

“Not many of us like thinking about death — especially our own…. So today, we’re launching a new feature (the Inactive Account Manager) that makes it easy to tell Google what you want done with your digital assets when you die or can no longer use your account.”Plan Your Digital After Life | Google Public Policy Blog

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ms. Werue Theaworld
Google Product Manager
650-555-1212

Not many of us like thinking of the after life – and where we might end up. So today, at Google, we’re launching a new feature called Google AfterLife that makes it easy to tell Google where you hope to go for eternity.

We’ve spent many years and billions of dollars developing this service in conjunction with various metaphysical entities, gods and other-world beings, as well as the earthly representatives of their religious traditions. We think you will like the point-and-click convenience of being assured of where you will eventually exist for the duration of the universe, and of time itself.

Please choose one religious tradition from the following options, and after reading the terms of service*, click “I Put My Eternal Fate in Google’s Hands.” You will be signed into your Google G+ profile and your eternity status will be displayed so your friends and circles can see what will happen to you.

You know you can trust Google AfterLife to make the appropriate eternal arrangements when the inevitable time comes.

Choose one tradition:

Protestant: A conclave of GoogleBishops examines your digital assets to determine if you have lived the Protestant ideal of hard work and maintained the spirit of capitalism in your family tree. If so, Google will delete any incriminating data before St. Peter sees your HIP (Heavenly Intake Profile) on his iPad. If the conclave finds otherwise, your Google AfterLife choice will be irrevocably changed to “Catholic.”

Catholic: A GoogleDeacon (supervised by one or more GoogleCardinals) analyzes your digital assets (Gmail, Chat logs, etc.) and compiles a report of all illegal and unethical activities. This report is faxed to St. Peter’s Office of Earthly Liaison in Mountain View. There, a Google intern will make the determination if you and your data will be forwarded to either heaven or hell. If Heaven, good for you. If Hell, you can file a hard copy appeal with the Office of the GooglePope, but good luck with the paper not burning up down there.

Lutheran: We know that you didn’t want to attract attention to yourself during your life and you never complained about any Google service or even changed any of your passwords (they were all the names of your hunting dogs and first girlfriends). So AfterLife assumes you won’t mind when a GooglePastor forwards all your emails to the writers of Prairie Home Companion as fodder for humor. This way, you will attain a form of immortality guaranteed by that book by God that everyone seems to believe in.

Jewish: You’ve survived so much already that one of our GoogleRabbis erases all incriminating data and you go straight to heaven

Fundamentalist Christian: You’ve caused so many problems that Google AfterLife will send you straight to hell. Along with your data.

Atheist: Google knows that you prayed to God(s) at 3 a.m. every morning in existential insomniatic angst. So Google will scan your entire Gmail and forum history and determine the religious tradition you were most nasty about and change your AfterLife choice to it. (AfterLife entertains no appeals to such decisions).

Unitarian: you thought you were in complete control of your digital assets and your trip to heaven assured? Hah, think again. The GoogleHolyTrinity knows you dissed them many, many times. You will be judged by a coffee klatch of Lutheran old women recruited by Google from the basements of small town churches in Wisconsin. (All AfterLife decisions are final, according to the AfterLife Terms of Service you agreed to)

Scientology: One of Tom Cruise’s many assistants will evaluate your data and make a recommendation to Cruise (a top GoogleAfterLife consultant) if you are to go to either Heaven, Hell, or be an eternal extra in B sci-fi films shot on backlots in Tijuana.

Ancient Egyptian: your complete Google Chat and Gmail logs are printed on artisanal linen made from cotton grown at sustainable, fair trade farms and your body is wrapped and preserved as a mummy in an AfterLife Loft Mausoleum crypt one of those tragically hip areas like Nolita or Dumbo or some other neighborhood that has earned a pithy contraction. (Not available where prohibited by law).

Islam: Your digital assets will be examined by a team of GoogleAyatollahs to determine the level of Islamic Heaven you will attain. If your Google web and Gmail history contains mostly adult site links and attempts to run Multi-level Marketing schemes, you will only be allowed to ascend to the first level of seven levels of heaven as described in the Qur’an. (The first level is still 100 times nicer than temporal life, it is said). If your Gmail account is filled with receipts of charitable donations and accounts of no interest loans to strangers you met online, you will attain the highest level of Islamic heaven.

Tibetan Buddhist: Your Gmail is transferred to GoogleBardo – the state of digital existence in between life and death, ones and zeros, on and off – for an indeterminate eon or two. Eventually, a group of GoogleMonks will have a vision and travel to a distant village and visit a young child who will chose your iPhone from among many, correctly enter the password on the first try, and thus assume your digital life. Meanwhile, some earthly decisions are more hygienically pressing: your body gets split open with axes and eaten by vultures in the hills above San Francisco.

Hindu: A GooglePandit will make sure your data just keeps being reincarnated, sometimes on a floppy disk in the stomach of a cow in Delhi, sometimes on a CD found on the floor of a Brooklyn 7-11, or on a flash drive left in a taxi. But if your data reveals sufficient karma and a GooglePandit determines that you have achieved Moksha (the liberation from the cycle of life and death and rebirth), Google will delete your data forever, your soul is free and your body goes to the Mumbai municipal landfill to feed the wild dogs.

Zen Buddhist: Because life is an illusion, the afterlife is also an illusion; so there is no after life, and thus no life to begin with outside of the illusion, so your whole life was an illusion, and as a result, your Google accounts and your data are illusions and never existed and thus don’t need to be deleted. And actually, you never existed, either.

* All data evaluations, ceremonies and conclaves with metaphysical beings are performed by Google employees who are trained in each religious tradition. Google assumes no responsibility for your behavior (or karma generated) in your temporal life. These options may change without notice. As with anything like this, the large print giveth and the small print taketh away**

Copyright © 2013 Mark Ratledge, All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

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