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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.


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by kazzie on Sunday March 24, @07:07PM

    by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 24, @07:07PM (#1350117)

    I find myself surprised that it's only been five years. Perhaps that's an indication of how much has gone on in that time (globally and personally), or maybe it's just that my recollction of him is mainly of the many years before then, when he was a regular member of this community.

    The memories I have are of an individual who had a notable writing style. His posts sometimes took a bit of effort to dig through, but there was often a nugget of insight worth finding. I considered him to be yet another facet of the colourful, rich fabric that is this community.

    I have only vague memories of MDCs latter days. The mention of bananas rings a bell, for certain. The calls for help were ones I didn't feel (for reasons of distance, or inexperience) I could respond to. And all too suddenly, an announcement came on the front page. I hadn't understood the severity of his situation at all.

    I never had a good understanding of his career and technical background, not even after his death was announced. (Perhaps the surprise of the news overshadowed that.) I'm glad of the summary and links posted above, as it's helped me build a more complete picture of a gentleman I once knew, if at a distance.

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