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On the Sliding Scale Of Cynicism Vs. Idealism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon, Ko-Fi.)

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Dying online: the isolation of the Internet · 4:00pm May 16th, 2018

I shouldn't be writing this.

I've been debating it for most of the morning. When it's talking about other people, there's only so much I can say. When that individual is in the rough vicinity and I need to protect their identity... even less. And no matter what I do, some people will make guesses and inevitably, some of those will be correct. All I can do is ask that if you do so, omit names. Grant that degree of privacy: there's little enough of that out here as it is.

Or I could not write about this at all. That would be the ultimate form of protection, wouldn't it? The gift of silence.

Except for silence being part of the problem.

A little bit of news went into my ears this morning: one of those minor factoids which the morning shows love to toss out in the name of filling time. A college study covering thirty years of popular music, and what did it discover? That over three decades, the tone is increasingly sliding into sadness. Negativity. Less of the positive emotions in notes and lyrics. I shouldn't be surprised. I'm not surprised. Thirty years just about covers the Internet age.

I measure my time online in tragedy and scars.

Welcome to the Internet. Now wait for something horrible to happen to you, because it probably will. Here are a few of my scars.

Catfishing? I was targeted by a variant: didn't find out for a while. There's someone out there whose real name and appearance I now know, and they still don't know mine. If I ever saw that one, I could just walk up and hit them a few times before strolling away...

Scammed? I've been pushed through emotional wringers. There was this one con job... actually, I missed the final act of it: I had computer problems while the curtain was coming down. But the short version is that one person faked a fatal illness, then faked a sibling to give everyone the bad news, and then got caught. You could say there's no way that could have ended well, and you would be right.

How many dead?

The first online-met person I ever truly felt was a friend? He's dead. I never even knew he was sick. We drifted somewhat, and... he never told me. Anything. @#$%ing British reserve: no, I can't possibly mention that I'm dying, it would just upset everyone else and we can't have that. One of the more freewheeling individuals I've found and in the end, even he went stiff upper lip, just before 'stiff' took over in the form of rigor mortis. Someone else had to tell me he'd passed on. I'm still angry with him. Maybe I always will be.

I think I've mentioned that I was online for someone else's live suicide attempt. Everyone in the area collectively 'doxed him to life: we used everything he'd ever mentioned about where he lived, narrowed it down, and sent the police. He came through it. To my knowledge, he's still alive. But trying to reach him... that's about as helpless as I've ever felt, or was until last night.

Another died in a fire. Something in his kitchen went up, and he slept through it. Maybe the smoke helped keep him asleep. Ponies sleep through fires, Rainbow, and that's why you need that alarm...

Illnesses here. Accidents there. And sometimes, voices go silent and you never learn why.

Or worse: you do.

The contact came last night, and it was meant to be a final one.

A follower sent me a PM. They were leaving the site. Permanently. Just wanted to say goodbye. And... that sets off a lot of alarm bells. One of them is labeled 'was it me?' Because I can certainly offend people. I may be doing that right now, in talking about this. I also made a huge mistake recently. You know that 'Mark All As Read' button next to your PMs? I hit it. By accident. The fallout on that one is going to build up for a while.

An announced departure comes with questions. But it sets off alarms, and it makes old scars ache.

(Before we go any further: yes, I know that some people lie for attention. Build a character online, then use the last chapter to kill them off. Writers who write themselves. I don't believe that's what's happening here, but I'll understand if you want to keep a healthy layer of shielding doubt present.)

So I wrote back. I asked.

And they're dying.

(I can only talk about so much. I can't give out details. I shouldn't be writing...)

Disease: I didn't ask which. Just something where there was a surgery coming up soon, and it might extend things: it might not. Regardless, they were leaving now, and...

...I tried to talk them out of it.

I spent a good part of last night trying to talk them out of it.

I failed.

"Ultimately, everyone dies alone" is a cliche'. It's also a lie. Even for those deaths which are truly isolated, we all eventually follow each other into the dark. Lives are measured in the impact they have on others, and thus so is death. We don't live in true vacuums: absolute cut-offs are nearly impossible. We don't die alone. We may make a personal journey, but the emotional drag weight of those travels pulls others along in our wake.

If we're truly lucky, we get another kind of wake.

And so I thought they were making a mistake. I told them so. Unless there was a bucket list which takes priority -- head out on safari or stay on the site: safari it is! -- you can't cut yourself off in what you feel are your last days.

Death always wins. But it had better be prepared to put some work in.

I know someone who's currently dying of vanity.

The early stages of her other disease could have been treated. It would have required surgery, and if that had succeeded, she might have lived. But she decided not to have that surgery, because it would have left her on a colostomy bag. She couldn't stand that. She decided she didn't want to live like that, and so now she's not going to live at all.

That's the choice she made. People argued with her, for weeks on end: she ignored all of them. Maybe she's finally second-guessing, as her weight continues to drop away. But it's too late now for that road. We're at the point of requiring miracle, and those don't appear on demand.

In many ways, I consider her stupid. She feels the same way about me. We are not friends: we have an associate in common, and that forces us to spend some time together. It's let me learn about her, and most of what I've learned is that she's incredibly petty, almost perpetually angry, and the sort of bigot who'll say that she isn't prejudiced because she has a colored friend and dear gawds, that's a direct quote.

She's dying. Here's what she's doing with her last months.

Well, first, she volunteers at the local animal shelter. Gotta make sure all the four-legged are comfortable! That's a lot of her day. Also, there's gardening. Plus she's the type who decorates her home for every holiday and she must continue to do so, because she is in a feud with the neighbor across the street, a women whom she hates and must take down at all costs even if it means spending a thousand dollars in grass-mounted pinwheels. (To be fair, said neighbor once reacted to seeing her house being robbed by -- watching the house being robbed.) Now we turn to her habit of giving a few local seniors rides to the pharmacy for their medication...

She's dying. She's also living exactly as she would if she wasn't dying, with the exception of a few doctor's appointments. It certainly hasn't improved her driving skills any.

It's hard to hold her up as an example for anything, because there are ways in which she's a very stupid woman. Racist, filled with rage against those who aren't just like her, and she forfeited her lifespan for vanity. Prime role model material right there.

But she's living. And her remaining time is being measured in its impact on others. In taking care of them. The same as she's always done.

She could just retreat. And then she'd be the angry bitch in the house on the hill, whose only interactions were in screaming at those who parked too close and telling them to go back to their own country, wherever that was.

I don't know if I'll mourn her. It's hard to say I'll miss her. I'm a lot of what she very directly hates.

Based on some things she's half-said, I think she wants me to take her cat.

She got a cat, two months ago. As if she was going to outlive it...

So I was arguing last night. About not cutting yourself off in the final days. Part of the point is to make sure someone knows you were there, so they'll also know when you're gone. And some of it is that interaction makes us human. Isolation turns us into nothing more than our disease. And then the disease wins.


This person had already taken down their work. Didn't want their blog to turn into a series of illness updates. At one point, a Discord ID was offered, and then I got them mad enough for that to be deleted. They didn't want to have an impact. Didn't seem to want others to mourn or notice or even remember, and...

...yeah, I can hold a master's class on that one. I've had days where my most fervent wish was for the entire planet to forget I'd ever walked across any part of it. Another when I started to act on it. I can talk about dark days, because I've stood in the heart of that black hole and felt the pressure squeezing from all directions.

So I argued for contact and not dropping out. And most of what I did in the end was anger them.

There were some personal details provided: I won't repeat them. There were reasons given for wanting to vanish, and I treated them as excuses. At one point, I went into chat, told a few people the very rough basics of what was happening (no names, much less any of those personal details) and asked for more words, because none of mine were working. I forwarded some of them, including these:

"I feel like the wrong person to ask about this. All I can think to say is: the people in your life who care about you, care enough that they'd rather you made them feel sad as you passed, rather than feeling empty that you cut yourself off.
People want burdens.
Just about every sad person in history has had the idea that the people around them didn't want to be burdened with their troubles
just about every sad person in history has been wrong"

"There's really only negatives from taking your account down
More people notice and worry without having any answers
People who could find worth or joy in your stories no longer can
You're pulling away from a community you don't need to distance from if you don't actually want to
Even going silent just leaves people to wonder
And that's kinda more cruel than the mourning, because at least mourning is over an answer"

It mostly provoked anger.

And still... this person reached out, if only to say goodbye. I was hoping that meant there was some desire to go forward...

Or we see what we want to see.

At one point, I was asked why I even cared. But that was after the exhaustion had taken over, and I didn't see that until this morning.

So here's my answer:

I won't go for the cliche' of 'Every man's death diminishes me.' It doesn't. There are those whose deaths I wouldn't care about, along with a few I'm actively rooting for, and there's probably a dozen people who should never stand on a cliff's edge in front of me. My hands get itchy.

It's not a question of self-interest. I gain or lose absolutely nothing either way.

It's not faith. There's no scriptures dictating my actions.

It's this:

I've heard the silence. I know the echoes of that call. The desire to remove yourself, to erase footprints physical and digital. To never have been there at all. I've had days when my deepest prayer was let everyone forget me, and I still do. It's just that I've got them down to hours. Maybe minutes are within reach. But I've heard that call, I've started to respond to it, and...

...it doesn't work.

Our humanity is in our ability to recognize others as human, to accept those links. To not be alone. We stay alive through knowing there are others around us: we live through embracing those connections. To cut yourself off... all that lets you hear is silence. And the silence is hungry. It doesn't want you to hear anything else. It spreads out until every form of sound is gone, and...

...there's more than one way to die.

Complete inner quiet isn't harmony. It's emptiness. The soul goes before the body. Even meditation maintains the "om," because we need something to hold us.

Let go, and we drown.

The person I'm discussing will have their account deleted soon: I was told they made that request. They may not log back in between now and then. But they could see this, and it'll probably -- make them angrier. Not as if I have much to lose there.

(I also may not be the only person they contacted, to say goodbye. If so, and you know who they are -- no names, please. It's their decision to come forward. I'm not dragging them out.)

But if they're reading this...

It's your decision. Ultimately, it always was. But all you can create is the illusion of erasing footprints. You can say you're isolating yourself, and... you can't succeed. Not when it comes to your online presence. You can stop posting, delete all your logins, burn the computer... it won't matter. There are always echoes. The truth of the Internet is that in the end, we all sit alone with our systems and in that isolation, we are surrounded. We're all by ourselves, and we're in the center of the world. At the same time.

There's always a saved page somewhere, and human memory takes over from there. You can't remove yourself entirely, and I don't think you should. Where you go, we might have to wait before we follow. We step through the door on our own. But if you need someone to steady your hand on the lever... I think you can find people willing to do that. To walk alongside, as far as we can go. And if you're lucky, there's a wake.

But it's your decision.

I'm just used to people making the wrong ones.

Report Estee · 1,408 views ·
Comments ( 33 )

this is a sensitive topic really i understand death as much as any human i have experience it so many times we cry and grief but at the end we blame ourselves for this for everything i/we make decisions say things we don't regret until its too late and their gone thats all i'm gonna say but blessed everyone heart who is sick and dying i wish you rest peacefully

Somebody is gonna cark it and they’ll soon be deleting fucking everything. If their writing is worth even half a damn people will notice their sudden inexplicable absence and put two and two together. Some will have known them well enough to get the right answer. Others are isolated or unobservant enough that they’ll come to the wrong conclusion and assume cowardice or spite provoked it. Regardless, if their goal is leave no footprint it’s a fool’s errand; between archives, mirrors, hard copies, and locally saved copies people will remember and the only thing they’ll accomplish is to tarnish their legacy.

Given the timing, I believe I know who you're referring to. I got a similar goodbye PM, though I didn't see it in time to discuss anything with him. That said, I do have continued contact with him via Discord. We'll see how it goes from here.


I was told the Discord ID had been changed, which was apparently a direct response to my PMs.


I have this absolutely amazing talent for setting coal mines on fire.

You know, I've sometimes thought that way, of what would happen if I died. Would people miss me? Well, yeah, my parents, IRL people would know what happened. But people online? They wouldn't know. It would be like one day I was here, and the next...

Would my profile become one of those empty shells where people talk in the comment sections? Asking questions, wondering where I went? Or would I be forgotten, slowly lose followers and fade from relevance until there's nothing left?

I've occasionally considered making one of those 'legacy blogs,' just to say that if I ever vanished, my stories, anything unfinished, would become public. So anyone who wants to can continue whatever I left undone--because I feel like I owe that to my followers to have closure in that regard.

Because, in the end, all that's ever left after your gone is what you leave behind. The legacy in the memories you made, the friends you had.

Sorry. This blog just got me thinking again.

I haven't seen the person you're talking about, haven't had any contact with them. I'm sorry.

Well that is beyond sad.

As for the music bit at the beginning of this blog, that may explain why I prefer classic rock and roll over most of modern music. They only modern musician I follow is Wierd Al.

When it’s my time to go I hope I have someone half as good as you around. You’re a good person, Estee, and I hope you realize that.

@#$%ing British reserve: no, I can't possibly mention that I'm dying, it would just upset everyone else and we can't have that.

As a British person (and one unrelatedly pi... peeved at the moment, so forgive for perhaps being less tactful than usual), allow me to say this:


[Expletive] that noise with a rusty, spiked object coated in poison and acid until the noise gurglingly expires, thrashing, in a bloody, corroded heap.

The one thing that annoys almost beyond others (and regular payers-of-attention-to-me will note there are many, many things that annoy me), lack of communication is one that is the most egergious.

(Actually, y'know, the cause of my current ire is actually not unrelated, as it is partly a communications issue.)

You can garentee if I am placed in the position I'm dying (and, because Lich, you can imagine I have ALL sorts of Issues with that), I will be not only be screaming about it as loudly as possible to anyone and everyone, but I'll probably be making a spirited attempt to take reality with me.

(Hell, "make sure everyone everywhere knows" is on my nominal deathbed list of tasks, admittedly slightly under "make the universe cark it as well.")

There was a... routine procedure[1] I had to undergo last year that nevertheless carried a microscopic chance of explosively scattering my spiritual essence throughout the universe (which would have been both inconveniant and meant I missed season seven) and the only reason I didn't make mention it here (i.e on my Fimfic account), specifically, was because a) I have no evidence anyone actually reads the occasional blog thing I vomit up (which of course make me less inclined) and b) my local ponythread knew about it and I'm pretty sure one of them might have said something in the event of the unthinkable happening.

[1]Looong story, and no, you do not want me to elucidate.

This may be a sensitive topic, but it's an unfortunately common one that I see, so I'm glad you brought it up. While in this case it doesn't apply, as this person actually reached out to you—albeit in private—it seems that a lot of people want to keep their online persona the only thing the public sees.
I've tried not to do that. I'm open with my medical woes. Hell, I just had a pacemaker put in as a temporary fix while I (hopefully) wait on the heart transplant list for the second time. But I've told people in my blogs. I WANT people to know something may happen. I'm obviously not one of the most popular people on the site but when my story updates it gets traction from the Featured box. God forbid I know something's going to happen, I'll be publishing my outline so people at least have some closure for the story as well as for me (if I don't pass it to someone else who I know will finish it the way I wanted).
But I apologize, this isn't a pity party for me. The point is that like you said, people need closure. We don't want to be left wondering. I don't know whether that's more selfish of us because we make it about how we feel, or more selfish about the person who left because they didn't want anyone to know something was wrong (for those whom the death was unintentional and/or unknown this obviously doesn't apply), but these unexpected departures still... well, they suck.

A follower sent me a PM. They were leaving the site. Permanently. Just wanted to say goodbye. And... that sets off a lot of alarm bells. One of them is labeled 'was it me?' Because I can certainly offend people.

Speaking as one of your readers and followers of your blogposts, it sometimes feel as if you're too touchy about this, too worried that you're driving your readers and followers away. I mean, I have no idea of what (if any) PMs you get, or keep an eye on your follower count or anything, but there are tons of people on this site who are ten times as offensive and annoying as you, without one tenth of your talent or empathy. So... um. Maybe don't sweat it so much?

It is blogs like this that help remind me of how human we should be. That leaving behind those ripples, those echoes help us look forward to whatever is beyond with acceptance.

I have my friends, no family beyond the local, but my friends about, i talk and i joke, but they know about issues that happen. And i'm glad for it. I may never meet these folks in person, but their voice, i've heard. And the compassion when its been rough.

Yes, its been different, being apart, but not. Yet, I never would have met these folks. Never would have been as fortunate in that sense as I am now without the internet.

I am happy for the many I know, the people, and if anything. I hope you can find a better day for venturing into the silence. Few have the bravery to.

I cannot tell you how much it meant to me to come across this today. I was am still having quite a challenging day fighting the ancient demon-monkeys that are my baggage, armed with weapons given them by my brain-chemistry depression, exacerbated by the stress of my day job and the amount of emotional and physical labor in which I engage at home.

I am not ready to die, and not interested in hastening toward that end... at least, not today. I've certainly been there in the past, and narrowly escaped; that I continue to do as well as I do is because I've done a lot of work on myself and my view of the world.

And you know what? It was worth it. I will not go quietly into any night, no matter how 'good', and I will not detach as I go. I have too much love to offer, even when I'm down, to desire that approach.

I'm sorry you weren't successful in reaching the person of which you spoke. You were, however, successful in reaching me, and as I have often said: thank you again for writing, Estee.

Light and laughter,

Death is bad. The most horrible lie humanity has told itself is that death is okay, peaceful, necessary. It's not.

As someone with two siblings who have struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts, this really hit me hard. Death may be a natural part of life, but non-existence is not. Everyone has the capacity to make a positive impact on the world around them, even if it's just bringing a smile to a random person on the internet.

No one is worthless. Everyone can make a positive difference, but only as long as they continue to exist.

Estee, I know this may not help that much, but if you ever feel the desire to surrender to the void, remember this: you and your works have brought tears and smiles to me and so many others. Please don't go.

I know someone who's currently dying of vanity.

The early stages of herotherdisease could have been treated. It would have required surgery, and if that had succeeded, she might have lived. But she decided not to have that surgery, because it would have left her on a colostomy bag. She couldn'tstandthat. She decided she didn't want to live like that, and so now she's not going to live at all.

I'm not sure whether it's vanity or preferring the quality of life over its length. I wouldn't judge her too quickly.

Just the other day I was talking to a mental health counselor. I was talking about my anxiety about the present-day dystopia we are living in, and she wanted to talk to me about methods for unplugging, and being able to go about my day without spending every moment worrying.

I thought about that for a moment, and remarked that the idea of caring about my own well-being was kind of alien to me. Because I am not important, and the world is, and I feel an obligation to bear witness.

I'm a recluse by nature. Many times I've thought that what I mostly want is to not be a bother. And that is... a very negative thing to value, in the sense that it's about what isn't rather than about what is. And the most certain way to not be a bother is to, well, not be.

It would be so much better to feel like I were able to help. Even if it's only in little ways.

...To this day I don't quite know how to respond to the people who tell me my stories mean something to them. The idea that I have contributed something, rather than merely gone without being a burden, is hard for me to grasp.

I hope they're alright.

All it takes is one wrong chemical, and life isn't worth living anymore. Terrifying, that.

Then you get help, you let people back into your life, and you look back, and you think to yourself that it didn't really seem all that bad. But if you'd waited even a moment longer, you'd wouldn't be here.

I think to myself sometimes, that it's really funny how we're more connected than ever, and at the same time more isolated for the same reason. You can watch a thousand people walking down the street, each and every one of them wrapped up in a world of their own and cut off from everyone around them. And I can't even say anything, because I haven't left my own home for years now.

Then we try to forget who we are online, and try to be another person who doesn't have all the flaws and problems we do. Live one life, but leave another behind? Honestly, no, I'm not all that surprised by this. It's depressing, cruel, cold, and a perfectly logical conclusion to the road our society is voluntarily taking.

4862220 Well, then what is death? It may not be okay, or peaceful, or necessary, but we sure as heck can't know that for sure, because the people who could describe it aren't around to. We have to accept death, as a concept and as a regular occurrence, because what else can we do? If there's one thing that death is, it's inevitable. We can actively fear it, or we can cope with that fear with stories and philosophy, or we can choose not to fear it at all (Far easier said than done, I know. Nothing is scarier than the unknown.).

Personally, I cope by telling myself that I'll get my answers eventually, and then I stop thinking about it.

Author Interviewer

Today, I was listening to the latest album by a band I'd heard of before and liked the music of. Not enough to call myself a fan, but enough to want to hear more of what they did. I especially liked their lead singer, he's got a great Scottish accent. I look them up on Wikipedia (the album's from about two years ago) and find out he's listed as a former member. Odd, since he was also the founding and sole member, once upon a time. So I click on his name.

He was found in the Firth of Fifth not a week ago.

I never knew the man's name until a few minutes before I found out he was dead, but the timing. And this keeps happening to me! I'm still trying to process it.

Also, I got one of those PMs. I never could put a finger on that guy. :/ I have a very lengthy conversation of him trying his hardest to connect with me and neither of us really being able too because we were both too autistic. I just kind of felt sorry for him.

But if we're being really real here? I forget people. I forget people good. If someone doesn't talk to me for a few months, they fade from my memory entirely. I still think of the couple I befriended back in the aughts on a furry chatroom, but I can't remember the names of literally anyone else from back then I called a friend. I often have to remind myself that I haven't heard from Pav Feira in a long time. And I know that I'm going to forget about this particular person given enough time, because that's just the way I'm wired, it seems. :/ I had forgotten about him until he sent me that PM, to wit. It makes me feel bad, but there's nothing I can really do about it.

Well, that was deep... and heavy.

I’m not really one to socialize on the internet. I go on for a reason, I do what I set out to do, and then I am done socializing. But even with how “Alone” on the internet, there are always people at home I chat with.

And there are some dreams where I am alone, truly alone, and they terrify me.

There are many things that you have said that make sense to me. People want to have burdens and not let others carry them, one big macho “tough guy” act. I can relate to that, no one wants to intentionally be a bother without a reason. But there is a line to balance between being considerate and stubborn. Having said all that, here is my piece.

Lives are finite, always have been. So what makes us immortal?
Those around us.
Won’t they die too?
Why does that matter then?

Our existence is defined by our actions and what we do. We will live on in our actions. We live on in others memories.

George Washington. Does that name ring a bell? To nearly everyone in American it does because he was the first President of the freshly “united” states of America. And how long ago did he up and die? Destroying everything you built is equal to erasing yourself from ever existing, that I agree with. And those you have influenced will be left with nothing as well. Why be so selfish? When you keep that huge mound of a burden to yourself, what is going to happen to that burden when you DO die?

The answer:
Those around you.

If you die, without telling others, then they are left with the burden of questions. And you can’t take that burden for them, you’re dead.
So in the end, “How am I considerate to my friends and those I actually do care for?” Trust them. Tell them. Let them help you carry this burden. And if you think about ending your life, why? As far as death is concerned he is going to have to drag me kicking an screaming. So long as breath is in my lungs and my heart beats there is a chance I can do something grand with my life. Why can’t anyone else?

That is my bit on this topic. As is the very nature of the topic, I don’t fully understand what I am talking about. Those of the internet can call bull-crap on me but that is my view and I would be willing to argue with them. Of course, my point does not apply if you do not believe in certain morals and kindness.

Thank you, Estee, for coming to us with this. It shows that you care not only about what we think, but for the nameless people you mentioned. Even a little bit for that one woman you hate.😉

(Readers) Take time to give a positive thought to authors out there you like. You could be the one to lighten their day.

I've occasionally thought about some kind of dead man's switch that would post on the sites I frequent, just to let people know if something happens to me, since just fading away isn't something I like the idea of.

But I'm fairly sure I'd fail to maintain the switch's upkeep requirements (maybe I'd have gone overseas for a month?) and it'd falsely post my bland, generic farewells to people who wouldn't really have been that fussed anyway.

I've saved a couple of birthday threads from an mmo I used to play, it's the best argument for continued existence I can think of. I was enough of a positive influence on these people that they created threads for birthday wishes without being prompted.
I have to remind myself of that sometimes.


Many times I've thought that what I mostly want is to not be a bother.

Likewise, but I mean, not to the extent of not being an actual person myself.
One of the things I fear is becoming the person who's simply an extension of somebody else.

It would be so much better to feel like I were able to help. Even if it's only in little ways.

I treasure the little things; the one person from a game who said I'd made them smile on a dark day, the lady on the bus whom I'd given a mildly busted umbrella when they had none, the person on Reddit who I may have given new appreciation for life.

I think that's one of the possible curses of empathy

Holy hell, that was a journey. Not a happy one, but still an important one that I'm glad I've read.

I don't really know what input I can even give other than that you've done what you can, and that's admirable in its own right.

It feels like this is one of those posts where I can't simply lurk. Here goes.
If this person is as angry as you say then I'm not surprised, isolation is a way to lash out against people who've angered us, it's even a way to lash out against ourselves, our failures and shortcomings and all the petty shit we think is actually important.
It's a shame to cut so many bonds so quickly without so little else to say (or do). I think in the weight of her actions will be for this person to bear (or free herself from), in the face of death nothing really matters, but goddamn it! The bonds we leave behind do, whatever they were.
There's enough loneliness out there already.

Well done with this post. You may have not managed to touch this person in the way you'd hoped, but others will be touched and they will be found.
They will want to.

You have a number of skills, Estee. I'm only privy to a few of them, such as your skill in describing a process, character, or game (Marvel Puzzle Quest, anyone?) using an impressive balance of dry humor, sheer saltiness, and an ability to stir our empathies. Some of your blog posts have made me laugh even while crying over your predicaments, and that is a gift.

Many bands from 20 years ago are still making music today. Al started back in 1976. He's not exactly what you would call 'modern'

4862364 Eh, the dragon seems more comparable to a terminal illness than death, imo, and I don't really see anyone vouching to keep an illness around.

4862233 I've considered that exact issue myself, and decided I'd rather take my chances with death. It's not vanity. it's a question of what you want, and what you're willing to risk to get it.

(And, no, I'm not dying, except at the usual speed of us mortals.)

I'm not sure if you know the intention behind the story and just think it's a bad comparison or if you didn't notice that one, but in case it's the latter, the maker of the video, CGP Grey, is really into anti-senescence and life-span extension stuff, he's made a video about this before, and he even links the story he based the video on in the description, where it explicitly says it was about death.

(If it's the former, though, I'd say the fable is applicable to many different things. I confess that when I watched it I couldn't shake the feeling it was about capitalism. Probably says more about me than about the story, no?)

Pulling up the roots and leaving behind a blank slate is like admitting you was a mistake.

I mean sure, everyone says you are, but you're supposed to disagree with them.

People are very strange. I'm pretty sure almost everybody goes through life hoping to make some sort of an impact as you say. And then, as history surely shows, most of that goes right down the sewer after less than a century. Why anyone would want to erase their impact on the world, however modest, knowing that time will inevitably silence them anyway is beyond comprehension.

I think I've mentioned that I was online for someone else's live suicide attempt.

I think Timothy Leary was going to do that but died first
(IIRC, he created the “Tune in, Turn on, Drop out” meme back in the 1960s)

Oddly, that was written almost 30 years before his death

Jeremy Bentham, the founder of utilitarianism, described utility as "that property in any object, whereby it tends to produce benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or happiness...[or] to prevent the happening of mischief, pain, evil, or unhappiness to the party whose interest is considered." Utilitarianism is a version of consequentialism, which states that the consequences of any action are the only standard of right and wrong.

Folklore says that when he was told that he was fatally ill, no possibility of a cure
his last words were “Then minimize the pain”

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