Instructions to People

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Step 0 : Notification

If anyone a part of this circle hears about or witnesses my death or incapacitation, please post to this mailing list (and no where else - part of the point of this is a slow release of information). External parties may also post to the list, and I carry a note in my wallet to the effect that this list should be notified in case of death or incapacitation (is there some kind of "go code" that authenticates somebody the mailing list doesn't know posting to it?) Any such post to the list will trigger an auto-response from my own email including reminders of process and locations of artifacts. Please don't be alarmed when this happens.

There will also be a yearly test of this system, which will clearly indicate it is a test. Please also do not be alarmed by this, although a response to indicate continued interest and responsibility is requested.


More detailed instructions for each task are found in the password vault, which will need to be unlocked.

Step 1 : Unlocking the Vault

The file exists here, and two people each have one half of the master password (4 people total). You'll announce yourselves on this list when it's reasonable to expect I'm dead or beyond repair, and preferably not otherwise. The password vault includes passwords, files with instructions for who to notify, etc. You're on this list because 1) I care deeply about you, 2) I trust you to follow through on the responsibility you've agreed to, and 3) I trust your judgement, proactivity, and care in dealing with complex situations. Please know each of the other people on this mailing list are also here for the same reasons, and that I hope you'll have each others' backs.

On that scaffolding:

Step 2 : Quietly Passing On Notification

There are groups people on the list have agreed to notify. This involves sending a templated letter to a set of people - the template is in the password vault, and the group of people will be tagged in Gmail contacts with "notify" and the category. Categories are:

  • Family ("Family")
  • Friends not in online communities ("AFK friends")
  • Friends in online communities ("Friends from the Internet")
  • Work projects ("Non Profit", "Academia")

The notice should include a "where to find all the things we were working on" (online links as well as color coded files from laptop), a "while there's no wrong way to mourn, name 's wishes included maintaining a cone of silence so those near and dear could first be personally notified. We request you adhere to this by not posting to social media about this until date and time, and "the ceremony services will be announced via location." It might also make sense to set up a space for these folk to self-organize and grieve together - I suggest the talk page for my profile on OSC, another mailing list, or an IRC channel.

Step 3 : Privacy

At least one person on this list has been tasked with maintaining my privacy. Any bit-based files color coded in red should be immediately deleted. Those people also know where the sensitive atom-based items are, and should remove those. Housemates and other holders of keys to those areas: please be willing to provide access.

Step 4 : Online Accounts

After the notifications have been sent out, please be sure to update the following accounts with notification of death: blog, twitter, facebook. The login credentials to each of these will be in the password vault. Pull down any data available post-privacy purse on the accounts and host them at Open Source Cadavers under cc-by-sa licensing. These accounts should be shut down one month after death, unless it seems better to leave them up.

Step 5 : Executing Wills

Living will and wills will be attached to the auto responder from my email to the list. There's an executor named in this. Pretty standard fare.

Step 6 : Cadaver

I'd like my body to be donated to science. The preferred recipient's form will also be attached to the auto responder. If I'm not geographically close to that location, please pick a different group from the "Open Access Amicable" list here.

Thank you

Thank you for helping to carry forward the care I feel towards you (and others), as well as my commitment to open knowledge, into the world.