Sanding our assholes with 150 grit. Slowly. Lovingly.

Is Joel Aware

of what happened here over the weekend?

We used to do a lot of joking over the fact that this place was a sort of experimental community of misfits that Joel would use or write about one day. I don't think he ever really paid that much attention to it, but someone announcing a suicide on one of his forums and then carrying through is a little more noteworthy than the classic and tired Faith vs Science debates.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
January 24th, 2006
Won't happen. Too much of a down note. Joel's not about down notes on JOS.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 24th, 2006
Yeah, didn't expect an acknowlegement on his blog or anything. I just wonder if he feels at all impacted by this as the community landlord.

Personally, I don't see any obligation on his part toward any particular action. I think if I were him my initial reaction to the news would be "Hmm... never expected something like that", and then I would go on trying to do the normal daily stuff, but the event would keep lingering in my mind and require me to make some definitive choice on how I would handle it. Even if that choice were to do nothing at all.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
January 24th, 2006
What, exactly, would the options be?

Why would he be obligated to do anything?
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 24th, 2006
I'm almost scared he would become aware and shut ?off down. I doubt he knows about it though.
Permalink Phil 
January 24th, 2006
Geez Mark, I dunno. I'm not talking about hiring Dave Shea to make the forums 'happier' to prevent more suicides or anything like that.

Maybe read the threads that Chris posted, noting community response. Talk about it casually over the next Fog Creek lunch. Write about it in his diary?
Permalink Jeff Barton 
January 24th, 2006
I think Joel and crew monitor this forum more than you guys imagine. There have been several times in the past where Joel or Michael have surprizingly dropped into a conversation that somehow involved them, even where it wasn't readily apparent by the thread title. Maybe it's just for entertainment, but I'm sure they know about this forum well, and browse through occasionally.
Permalink Dennis Forbes 
January 24th, 2006
Dennis -

That has happened exactly twice in two years that I can recall.

Jeff -

I don't understand why you think Joel should be impacted at all by this. If someone new came along to MBM, stayed a month, and then took their own life, I can't say I'd sit around moping about it. Shit happens.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 24th, 2006
I seriously doubt he would shut ?off down because of something like this. I don't think ?Off in any contributed to Chris' decision, and as Mr.T.A.W. points out, was probably something of a bright spot for Chris.
Permalink Jeff Barton 
January 24th, 2006
And understand that the above is intended from Joel's perspective. He didn't know the guy even as little as we did.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 24th, 2006
Mark, if you actually go and read what I wrote, I think maybe you'll see that I don't think Joel is at all obligated to do a single thing. Certainly not mope. All I said was that the event was a little more noteworthy than the typical "how do I get my neighbors to move out of their apartment" or "my mutant colon disease is flaring up again".

And I stated taht if I were him, I would do absolutely nothing at first, but eventually want to address it in some manner, even if to clearly decide I would do nothing. Most likely though, I would talk about it casually with someone in the office. Just a normal conversation, you know, not a defensive, nit-picky argument...
Permalink Jeff Barton 
January 24th, 2006
OK. So you'd feel some need to memorialize some dude you didn't know who posted to your site a couple times and then killed himself.

And you're idly wondering aloud whether Joel would feel that way too.

I don't understand why this compelled you to post, but to each their own.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 24th, 2006
I suspect that somebody offing themselves provides a little bit of a reality check and makes you think about all sorts of things...
Permalink Cool Dad 
January 24th, 2006
I must confess I'd been wondering along similar lines, though. Sure, Joel didn't know thing one about the guy, but even so Chris did select ?off as a suitable site to announce his imminent departure, which certainly isn't an every day occurrence on any forum. Nobody's saying Joel will or should give a damn, but if I were him I'd certainly at least like to be aware it had happened...

(And along those lines, I wonder if he announced it elsewhere, or was it just here and his blog? Was there a physical suicide note?)
Permalink Mat Hall 
January 24th, 2006
I was wondering if it was anywhere else either...and he did post here before his blog.
Permalink Phil 
January 24th, 2006
Cool Dad -

Not really. It happens daily, I'm sure. The world is an imperfect place and seems to breed suffering more readiliy than just about anything else. There's no surprise that some people opt out, and when they have friends and family who depend on them, it's a selfish act to be abhored, even though it's tragic.

So yeah I guess there's a bit of reconciliation to be done the first few times you encounter suicide but (speaking for myself) once you've "seen" it happen a couple of times you mostly just shake your head.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 24th, 2006
"not a defensive, nit-picky argument..." :-}

Memorialize? No. I would think he would be far more interested in the mere fact that this happed on one of his boards. I think ?Off has something of a special quality to it. And as Dennis notes, I think Joel is aware of that in some small way.

Idly wondering? Yep, exactly.

> "I don't understand why this compelled you to post"

Do you know what board your on? Do you know who you are?
Permalink Jeff Barton 
January 24th, 2006
"Do you know what board your on? Do you know who you are?"

:)

touche
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 24th, 2006
Who killed themselves?
Permalink Dana 
January 24th, 2006
Chris McKinstry. On Sunday, it seems.
Permalink Mark Warner 
January 24th, 2006
It'd be a nice thing if Joel said something on the main site. But I have no expectations that he do so, for the reasons others gave above.
Permalink example 
January 24th, 2006

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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