Death Clocks and Douglas Adams

I’m going to indulge in something I’ve been superstitiously afraid of since I first heard about them. It was sometime during the mid-90s when I first heard of The Death Clock. Specifically, you typed in your name and age, and this website would output when your death would take place.

At this point, two circuits are triggered within my mind. The Rational Circuits which suspects that the Death Clock randomly outputs a date based on current statistics about life expectancy, because, if tasked to make such a website, that’s how I would do it. And the Superstitious Circuit, which now and then kicks in to make sure that I, say, don’t step on any crack in the pavement, or if I see litter that makes me responsible for picking it up, or any other mildly-OCD behaviour because the consequences will be UTTERLY DIRE AND LIFE EFFECTING. Or so the Superstitious Circuit assures me. It sees the Death Clock and immediately starts screaming that if I ever use it then my death-date will be locked into the machinery of the universe, which I’m sure has formed the basis of a number of sit-com episodes out there.

A fight breaks out between these two circuits, a fight that twenty years later the Superstitious Circuit keeps winning.

So I’m going to make my own Death Clock. I’m sure people might find the concept of this a little macabre, my mother for one. But for me it is a mere tool just to make sure that month-by-month I am asking myself the question: Am I satisfied with this month?

Douglas Adams was a writer that I grew up reading and I respect his work. He died aged 49, which was 590 months of life. I hope to live much longer than 49 years, but I’m still going to take this as a benchmark, that takes me until Tuesday, December 29, 2026, which means I have 136 months left.

Damn, that’s creepy to write.

And already, highly mind-focusing.

[This brings me to the next point. We have lists of accomplishments we want to achieve in life, and many people flippantly call these “Bucket Lists”. No idea why. I’ve also been moderately suspicious of the concept. I prefer the idea of structuring your life so that these hopes or desires are more likely to occur. THE SOUND OF INEVITABILITY, MR. ANDERSON. There are several dozen thoughts that have emerged around this theme of Bucket Lists, so I’ll explore those later.]

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