By His Things Will You Know Him
A funeral becomes an occasion for a son to understand his father’s life through the clutter he leaves behind, with help from a new technology to add digital meaning to physical stuff.
I thought that Mr. Purnell was a little young to be a funeral director, but he had the look down cold. In the instant between his warm, dry handshake and my taking my hand back to remove my winter hat and stuff it into my pocket, he assumed the look, a kind of concerned, knowing sympathy that suggested he’d weathered plenty of grief in his day and he was there to help you get through your own. He gestured me onto an oatmeal-colored wool sofa and pulled his wheeled office chair around to face me. I hung my coat over the sofa arm and sat down and crossed and uncrossed my legs...
We asked you to remix Cory's future after reading his story, to explore questions such as: Where else would you use the Infinite Space scanning drones that Bruce used to scan his father's house? If our houses, schools, offices, stores, warehouses (anywhere!) had the Infinite Space service continuously scanning all of the stuff inside—and a fully-searchable online model of the rooms and objects—how could we re-design these spaces to be more efficient, exciting, or social? How could we think about space in fundamentally different ways than we do today? How would our relationship to stuff change?
See the winning remix tweet below! Each story's contest winner receives a limited edition print copy of An Aura of Familiarity and a t-shirt. Read about the next round of our #FanFutures contest on the Aura of Familiarity page for your chance to win!
#fanfutures A 3D system coupled with InfiniteSpace allows anyone to live in famous historical mansions. Some experience flashbacks.— Vexelius (@Vexelius) June 21, 2013
A collection of short stories
This story is one chapter from a collection of six original science fiction stories, An Aura of Familiarity: Visions from the Coming Age of Networked Matter, commissioned for IFTF's Technology Horizon's Program and released in collaboration with BoingBoing.net.
Download the entire book (PDF) or read the stories online:
Text © the author and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Artwork © Daniel Martin Diaz and used with permission.