Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Stuff >

This was totally a different post a few minutes ago. It was, in fact, my Haiku of the Day. But when I noticed the post id number, I had to change it.

This post is now in honor of Douglas Adams, in my opinion, one of the greatest minds of the last half of the 20th century. He was my generation's Mark Twain. He's known as a writer, but I think he was more of a thinker. He may not have had the raw analytical power of a Stephen Hawking or Albert Einstein, but he did have a keen insight and a gift with words. He observed the human experience almost as though detached from it, himself; from an outside perspective. He was then able to communicate those observations with simple language and wit, so that anyone could experience that point of view with him.

He was also a pioneer, I had the opportunity to meet him, briefly, at a book signing and reading in Dayton, Ohio, of all places, because he told us about it, personally, in his Usenet fan group. Before most people had ever heard of the internet, and before there were more than a few pages in the fledgling world-wide-web. He was an avid Apple fan and saw promise in the new electronic media before anyone else did. Hell, Wikipedia is basically the Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Mostly Harmless Edition.

It is a terrible shame and loss for all of us that he died so young, and perhaps also that he was not a very good writer. Not in the sense that what he wrote was in any way lacking, but he was notoriously horrible with deadlines and making himself write. I can relate to that. To quote Douglas, "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they go by."

And so it is that we have so few of his works to remember him by. Quality over quantity, I suppose. Thanks, Douglas.

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