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posted by janrinok on Friday March 22, @06:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the fare-ye-well dept.

This month, on the 24th March, it will be 5 years since MDC, denied essential medication, ended his life.

Why was Michael David Crawford different? - well, he wasn't. In many ways he was just like many of us. By profession he was a software engineer. He wrote software for OSX. He first became well known - or reasonably so in our circles - for being on Kuro5hin. However, he was certainly different from many of us for the physical and mental health, and social problems that he experienced. Despite all of these things though he remained polite and open to having an interesting discussion on any technical issue that arose, both on Kuro5hin and subsequently here on SN. Someone who knew him far better than I did wrote about him here some 12 years ago. If you search on your favourite search engine I think that you will find his name appears quite a few times.

His journal on SN is still there for all to read although it does not do him justice. He was a 'nice guy' and intelligent too.

For example, in 2010 he was interviewed on CNN discussing employment problems that were being experienced by software engineers at that time. But this youtube link was not his only 'appearance' on that site. For some reason he thought others might want to hear him sing and elsewhere he thought that we all ought to know that he invented the internet. That last link perhaps shows the battle that he was having with mental problems yet here on this site he remained the same old 'MDC' that we had known since the start of SN and even before then for some of us.

An Anonymous Coward has reminded us:

Remember in his last words here, he begged us for help. For Theophylline or Aminophylline, or even bananas; he begged for help with "the desire to take my own life. I'll explain later, I can't just now as I cannot breathe and so am fighting for consciousness ... I Beg Of You! ... Please FIND SOME WAY I DO NOT HAVE TO DIE!"

Remember him. A good person, sometimes bewildered at the senseless cruelty of others, and at his best, indignant and retributive against those cruelties. Not a Vigilante, just a human who wanted children to be safe. Smart but too much of a misfit for society to let him live happily and productively for very long at a stretch.

MDC with hair: https://imgur.com/aQO4kyE
MDC without hair: https://imgur.com/IYPS7To

On this site it was our own takyon who broke the news to us that he had lost his struggle. But on the same day several other sites covered the loss that the community was feeling, including this page from HackerNews.

Please, if you have the time, tell us your memories of MDC. He was one of us, and he is not forgotten.

Thank you to all of those who have contributed submissions to make sure that we remembered MDC.


Original Submission

 
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Gaaark on Friday March 22, @10:18PM (5 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Friday March 22, @10:18PM (#1349909) Journal

    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---

    My sanity has gotten so much better after learning from him what it's like to be civil... and human.

    RIP MDC

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
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  • (Score: 2) by mrpg on Friday March 22, @10:41PM (4 children)

    by mrpg (5708) <mrpgNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Friday March 22, @10:41PM (#1349913) Homepage

    Yes, he was educated. I read he lost his wife, when, how?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by choose another one on Saturday March 23, @12:32AM (3 children)

      by choose another one (515) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 23, @12:32AM (#1349920)

      He left a public will which states he was divorced. Severe mental illness will do that, at a guess.

      https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Crawford-16441#Last_Will_And_Testament_of_Michael_David_Crawford [wikitree.com]

      • (Score: 2) by mrpg on Saturday March 23, @12:41AM (2 children)

        by mrpg (5708) <mrpgNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Saturday March 23, @12:41AM (#1349921) Homepage

        Oh ok, I read somewhere in those links that he "lost his wife".

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by choose another one on Saturday March 23, @12:30PM (1 child)

          by choose another one (515) Subscriber Badge on Saturday March 23, @12:30PM (#1349962)

          Not sure if that was MDCs phrasing or someone else's, I do think it has a normal or common meaning but outside of normal/common, I can see that divorce could easily be described that way.

          My marriage may well be headed in similar direction, currently I'm still stubbornly holding on to hope where there is none, what has happened isn't her fault or mine, it's what has been done to her and it's something (I now know) that few marriages survive. How will I describe it in future? - I don't know, maybe I'll be clear unambiguous and factual and just say we're separated or divorced, but maybe I'll say what I feel which on a good day would be "I lost my wife" and on a bad day would be "my wife was taken from me".

          life sucks. I'm not mentally ill like MDC, but I do have multiple physical problems which (let's be honest) in turn impact mental health, on the other hand MDC believed he had multiple physical problems, which may have been delusions caused by his mental health, or not. I have no idea what happened in MDCs case but I can easily see that he might have regarded it, and described it, as that he "lost his wife" - to his own illness. I can empathise, I feel (some of) his pain. RIP

          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mcgrew on Sunday March 24, @01:49PM

            by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Sunday March 24, @01:49PM (#1350096) Homepage Journal

            Indeed, my mental health would have suffered less when "evil-X" as I called her on K5 left us if she had died. It might have been easier on the kids, too.

            It was hard to get over. I feel like a widower with a flesh and blood ghost that occasionally haunts me. It's hard to imagine what it would have done had I already had mental health problems like MDC had. The Paxil Diaries was basically a collection of K5 diaries. I remember kind words from MDC (I don't remember him ever being called "Mike" or "Dave") about my ex leaving, but I don't remember what they were, it was two decades ago.

            --
            mcgrewbooks.com mcgrew.info nooze.org