I used to hate travel for work. I'd be stuck in the pressure cooker of modern air travel with people with whom as often as not the only thing I had in common was a job. Can you imagine, long spans of either awkward silence or endlessly rehashing work? For those jobs of the past, the purpose of any given trip was likely to involve some customer glad handing, a chore under the best of circumstances. The destinations were always uniformly nondescript, beige, corporate, even industrial.
If you follow me on any social media, you've seen that a friend of mine is dying.
The last part of that sentence was really hard for me to write. I don't deal well with death. I don't mean emotional collapse, I mean failure to even find a handle. Just writing such a simple statement, admitting this is happening to someone I have known for the better part of a decade feels surreal.
This essay is adapted from the podcast episode originally published on 2010-01-27.
I am planning a state of the podcast episode to end my current hiatus. I may get that out this week but more realistically it will be next week.
My heart keeps breaking over and over again. I awoke this morning to immediately see the news that Aaron Swartz, one of the most passionate of hacktivists, took his own life yesterday at the age of 26.
Long time readers and listeners know I am a tremendous fan of Ed Piskor's story about a fictional hacker, Kevin "BoingThump" Phenicle, clearly inspired by real life hackers and events that figure largely in modern computer mythology.
I wrote previously about how Ed decided after finishing volume three of a planned four parts to go back and re-work all of the material so far and release a single, more finished volume containing the entire story rather than completing the final installment. He very generously posted his progress as a regular web comic for those unfamiliar with the work at the point or fans, like me, interested in following his progress.