Current Events
Re: A thread for JohnGaltII

Format for Printing

Format for printing

Request Reprints


By exoracle
June 28, 2004

Posts selected for this feature rarely stand alone. They are usually a part of an ongoing thread, and are out of context when presented here. The material should be read in that light. How are these posts selected? Click here to find out and nominate a post yourself!

[Sadly, a much-loved Fool who called himself JohnGaltII has passed. In memoriam, we present these few writings of his, and a fond farewell. He was degreed in aeronautics and medicine, and enriched the lives of thousands of Fools here, and wherever he went. JohnGaltII leaves an unfillable void.]

The Libertarian Fools Board FAQ

Economics and Health Care

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Notice

I knew Ken only on this board. He sent me an email last week asking where I've been. Between travel, broken computers, and other commitments I have not logged onto the board for about a month. This is not unusual. I've been away from the board for extended periods and longer periods many times since joining this community. This was the first (and only) time anyone came looking for me. I was composing a smart-ass note to post in response to his e-mail on the board when I got the news from Stormwatch. It was like a physical blow. I regret that I did not get my reply to Ken's email posted a few days ago. I think he would have enjoyed it.

I knew Ken only on this board. I never met him face to face. I never shook his hand. We did not correspond privately. But, for reasons I do not fully understand, I feel this loss no differently than the loss of any good friend.

There was a time, before the Internet, before television, before telephones, when people communicated over time and distance exclusively by means of the written word. If, in that time, one maintained a correspondence consisting of dozens of letters over many years with another individual, it would be assumed that you knew that individual very well. It would be assumed that you were friends, that you were confidantes, that you were close. No one would invest that time and effort unless it was with someone that you cared about, respected or loved. Ken maintained a correspondence representing thousands of messages with hundreds of people over many years on these boards. He had many friends here. I'd like to think I was one of them.

I knew Ken only on this board. These are some of the characteristics of the Ken I think I knew.

Intelligent - His intellectual depth was broad and deep. He believed in a rational universe and man's capacity to understand the universe on that basis. You could get him to agree to a debating point - but you better bring airtight logic and indisputable evidence.

Courage of Conviction -or- stubborn as a mule - Take your choice. He embraced a Libertarian view of a rational world and all the implications of that choice. It is relatively easy to dabble in a philosophy as an intellectual exercise. It is another thing entirely to choose to live your life guided by a philosophical principle. Ken took the more difficult path.

Wildly Optimistic - You cannot embrace libertarian ideals without a deep-rooted belief in the essential goodness of man, a belief that, in any situation, enough people will understand, respond rationally and do the right thing. At times, I thought he was a bit naive, but that is probably more a characteristic of my cynicism than his optimism. I learned from him.

Enthusiastic Gamesman - The debates on these boards are a game. Ken reveled in them, and played them as well as anyone. But he did insist on playing by his rules. You had to be logical and coherent. He was kind of petty about that. He presented a serious face to the world, but had a playful side. Our late night sprint for the 70,000th CE post comes to mind. He outflanked me on that one. As usual.

Disciplined, Focused and with boundless energy- The accomplishments, the breadth of knowledge, the late nights on the board debating, all while maintaining a medical practice and working on his projects on the side. It was almost as if he knew that he would not get enough time. He probably accomplished more than what any two of three of us accomplish over a lifetime crammed into the time that he had. Still ... I cannot help but feel ...

Ken - You deserved more time.

We deserved more of your time.

I deserved another shot at you. I think I might have won one - eventually.

It is a beautiful sunny day in San Francisco, but in a noticeably diminished world.

- exoracle

Become a Complete Fool
Join the best community on the web! Becoming a full member of the Fool Community is easy, takes just a minute, and is very inexpensive.