What Interest Me This Week

By pure coincidence, this week is about life and death. How epic.

Proof of life

Humor me: a system is designed to dispense you money every month. The condition is you have to prove yourself tob be alive.

How would you design the this system for proof of life at the lowest cost possible?

Consider the peril of rapidly improving deep fakes. Will posting a selfie holding the most recently newspaper still fly going forward?

The context here is something called tontine, a form of reverse-insurance invented hundreds of years ago that pays you to not die. It fall out of favor because they can't trust other people in the money pool to not call a hit on you.

Now there's exactly one organization I know of that is trying to bring such thing back. But I still can't conjure how proof-of-life is done at a scalable trustless manner.

Death planning

Bruce Lee had this notion of artist of life. It goes that the opposite may also deserve the same amount of careful thought.

Interestingly you may not find much insights on the art of dying given the prevalence of the topic. By this I don't mean it in the sense of "to philosophize is learning how to die" but approach it in an engineering manner.

Ideally one should have a total control how one gets to kick the bucket. I imagine the ancient warrior class got this one down, the modern rendition of that may be a freestyle rock climber.

The tricky bit is in picking the timing. If you get to choose the manner to go, how do you know when the right time is. For the religious they leave it to god's will; for the nons, the time is never. I think both are poor choices.

Working backwards and closely related, the art of being ill should also be a thing. This I'm much more clueless about.