I'm Surya

I ran for Congress, was on reality TV, was once a brand manager, and have worked at various startups. I just finished my book. I'm active on Twitter. Full bio here.

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Apr
17

tragedy & eternity.

I don’t have a lot to say about the Virginia Tech tragedy. It’s unspeakably heartbreaking, sick, and sad. With around the clock news coverage of today’s ceremony, interviews with loved ones, background on the killer, I feel surrounded. One thing I wanted to highlight:

The newfound eternity of a tragic face.

Until now, when when someone passes away, there’s an obituary in the newspaper, a funeral service, and then they  live on in our memories. Given this social age,  will death play out differently? Through their facebook profile, their myspace, their blog, flickr photos, etc? In this V-Tech tragedy, the majority of victims were college students who likely have a massive online footprint. Will all of this make them more human to us? As their profiles fill-up with comments on shared memories and displays of grief, instead of fading away, it’s brought to the forefront.

The implications in other tragedies are farther and wider: the deceased soldiers of unpopular wars, victims of corporate negligence, police brutality, etc. In many cases, institutions and individuals desperately do not want a human face for the tragedy, yet the Internet will keep that face at the forefront. The deceased’s favorite song will be playing through mySpace. Their pictures up on Flickr and Facebook. Their thoughts of the world posted on their blog.

Will tragedy live on for eternity? What consequences would that have for those of us who remain?

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8 comments to tragedy & eternity.

  • Mary Wagman

    — 04/17/07 at 2:43 pm

    Reminds me of James Kim's tragic death and how his vlog made him immortal in a way.

  • Michelle

    — 04/18/07 at 7:44 am

    With all the Virginia Tech coverage, I say, enough already. I'm a bit surprised at myself since I was a journalism major in my undergraduate days. So, naturally, I do have issues with some of the coverage, but they have to do with local news coverage more than national.

    Like others, I've been curious about the whole thing, and I guess that's only natural. But I get my news about the incident online, rather than turning on the TV. The difference is that I can read the information I want to, rather than have it all jammed in my face.

  • Christian S.

    — 04/18/07 at 8:43 am

    It saddens my heart to know that such remarkable, caring, loving, friendly, intelligent people have to experience this type of trauma. There is not a person working on a college campus anywhere whose hearts and thoughts do not bo out to every single person on that campus. I know because I once was a campus registrar at my alma matta. (FIU)

    If I was to relate the events of Virginia Tech to this website's theme I would sum it up with a quote that I once found in a Harvard Business Review.

    "Even bad brands have good customers. Can you get rid of the former without alienating the latter? Sure—but it's not easy".

    Maybe society failed him first, before he failed himself. And I agree with Michelle's post, the internet is an easier source of information on the eye.

    Cheers,

    Christian

  • Joe Lavery

    — 04/22/07 at 3:57 pm

    Well said.

  • hi

    — 04/23/07 at 3:46 pm

    I loved your line about sanjaya.

  • Vikas

    — 04/24/07 at 11:36 pm

    Donald tried to make peace with you by firing Frank.
    You should have also made peace with him
    I can see from where the Sanjaya comment came.
    just my thoughts.

  • Suresh Sampath

    — 04/25/07 at 6:05 am

    It appears that Trump held you in high regard. I think he disliked the fact that Frank tore you apart in the boardroom, and then hired you back, citing your hardwork and business acumen. He seemed to have found it disingenuous. It seems James might have fallen for focusing too much on details and not appreciating the larger picture, i.e. formalized systems of planning, like you emphasized when you were project manager. I agree with the above comment about a peace offering, but just the same, I could see where you were coming from. Neither of those two backed you, so why should you back either of them.

  • Douglas Brown

    — 04/30/07 at 5:53 am

    It is kind of eerie the way peoples electronic presence lives on after they are gone – Facebook, MySpace, and Blogs. Over time, they deteriorate in small ways – whether it be broken links, songs removed by artist and postings that may stop or slow down from old friends. Eventually probably forgotten by most, they seem to hang on as odd memorials for all to see or happen across. I from time to time visit a MySpace profile of a friend no longer with us, and leave a message. It gives some comfort in a way, that a piece of their character and personality lives on.

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