Gnutella pioneer dead at 25.
July 9, 2002 1:50 PM   Subscribe

Gnutella pioneer dead at 25. No details on cause of death yet.
posted by sid (23 comments total)
All signs point to it being a suicide.

waxy's entry where I first heard about it
Wired's story
posted by mathowie at 1:59 PM on July 9, 2002

christ that is sad. make such an impact and still belive (in his depression) he was a failure? sad sad. :(
posted by dabitch at 2:18 PM on July 9, 2002

Suicide? That's what the RIAA wants you to think!
posted by pjdoland at 2:24 PM on July 9, 2002

Very sad.
posted by donkeyschlong at 2:27 PM on July 9, 2002

pjdoland - not appropriate
posted by bshort at 2:27 PM on July 9, 2002

It would be appropriate however to mention in this thread at least one Internet site devoted to helping people find out information about clinical depression.

So here you are.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:42 PM on July 9, 2002

Damn, this is awful. (I mean this with no malice or sarcasm, but does it seem like a lot of "notable" people have been passing on recently? I'm getting scared to go online...)
posted by jalexei at 2:45 PM on July 9, 2002

Also, Yaroslav linked to Gene's weblog. It looks like he posted anonymously, mostly about sociopolitical issues.
posted by waxpancake at 3:06 PM on July 9, 2002

i don't understand...why did the news of his death travel so slowly?
posted by rio at 3:08 PM on July 9, 2002

why did the news of his death travel so slowly?

A friend had a good hypothesis about this, that suicide isn't an "honorable" way to go, and sometimes families prefer to hide the truth of something like this.

Note that Sun Microsystems released a statement attributing his death to an accident, but he was found with a note and deemed depressed and suicidal by friends.

When I first read his resume, I thought it was the most self-deprecating and dryly humorous one I've seen until I found out about his depression. I didn't read it as dead serious, but it seems like it was.
posted by mathowie at 3:27 PM on July 9, 2002

suicide isn't an "honorable" way to go, and sometimes families prefer to hide the truth of something like this

Yes, while Matt was writing this, I was off searching the web for information on differing cultural attitudes towards suicide (didn't find anything good to link to). His depression and suicide is likely not something his family wants publicized. It is difficult to respect their wishes on this when I hope that the best that can happen from his death is that someone gets the help they need before it is too late.
posted by girlhacker at 3:42 PM on July 9, 2002

I just spent some time reading his blog... something worthy of a great envy.
posted by msposner at 4:01 PM on July 9, 2002

Here is the boingboing post about Mr. Kan.
posted by engelr at 4:38 PM on July 9, 2002

pjdoland: Hate to admit it, but that was the same general thought that first went through my PoMo mind.
posted by at 5:02 PM on July 9, 2002

'Tho this is a bit tangential, there exists a debate in newsrooms about the ethics of publicising suicides (in my burgh, there is a long-standing policy not to print when someone jumps in the Metro, although all riders know what happened when the voice comes on the intercom saying a "temporary incident" has stopped the cars) as many argue they encourage copy-cats. Not that this is probably at issue here.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:08 PM on July 9, 2002

I guess I never noticed such a trend outside of directly-religion-related arenas. When I was in my catholic all-girls high school, one of my friends committed suicide and it really pissed me and other friends off that the church and school treated it so poorly--they were reluctant to hold a memorial service for her, they didn't want us to put a picture-page of her in the yearbook, blah blah blah. I have never noticed that same trend in the news-reporting arena. One would think the media would be all over reporting suicides, for the added scandal.

I'd never heard of Gene H. Kan before today. His story and death are incredibly sad to me. I wonder all about him, what happened to him, what was he going through, why he did what he did.
posted by rio at 8:15 PM on July 9, 2002

Don't tell people what they can't post in obituary threads.

Indeed, the irony...
posted by BlueTrain at 8:42 PM on July 9, 2002

skallas, you said, "Don't tell people what they can't post in obituary thread" which is, in itself, telling someone what they can't post in an obituary thread. Please stop telling me to look up words in a dictionary. We all know what I can do with a dictionary.
posted by BlueTrain at 8:55 PM on July 9, 2002

Just to be rather pedantic, I wasn't telling pjdoland that he couldn't post something, I was merely informing him that I didn't think that what he posted was appropriate to the discussion.
posted by bshort at 8:58 PM on July 9, 2002

This probably belongs in MeTa, but I noticed that my post was deleted. It was a crappy joke not knowing suicide was involved in his death. My apologies to those it offended....
posted by mkelley at 10:19 PM on July 9, 2002

I had to blink a few times before I realized the meaning behind the sidebar link on the Excite article:

Tech Pioneer's Death Called
posted by Danelope at 6:10 AM on July 10, 2002

I, for one, knew Gene and I do feel sad. Sad based on a bunch of assumptions, but I did watch his meteoric rise to fame during the height of P2P (he made the cover of Red Herring magazine, among others) and I am making an assumption that the bursting of the tech bubble contributed in some way to his feelings at the time of his death. Probably less out on a limb is to feel sad for the awful place he must have been in to do this, if indeed it was a suicide. Sorry about the confusing post, I feel sad about Gene and I don't know enough about what happened to put it into a succinct package.
posted by mikojava at 9:02 PM on July 10, 2002

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