Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

Hello and Goodbye, Len Sassaman

July 3rd, 2011

The late Len Sassaman at the 27th Chaos Communication Congress by Alexander Klink.

It's always a strange feeling--Facebook recommends someone who has 43 friends in common with you and yet you've never heard of her. Or you first hear about someone because suddenly, the Twitter stream is filled with references to that person's tragic death.

Today, I first heard of Len Sassaman. I follow people on Twitter who had suddenly discovered that they'd lost a friend to apparent suicide. I learned the cause of death by clicking over to his wife Meredith L. Patterson's Twitter feed. I wanted to send her a message of condolence but what's the right thing to say to a complete stranger about the worst grief she may ever experience in 140 characters or less?

I don't know you, Meredith, but my heart is with you right now.

Since the death of my friend Mac Tonnies I've become an inadvertent spokesperson for the digital graveyard and its inhabitants. Like Mac Tonnies, Sassaman seems like the kind of person who had a lot of very philosophical and practical ideas about the relationship between humans and technology.

It's just strange to find out on Twitter that you've lost something you didn't know you had.

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Categories: len sassaman, meredith patterson death, twitter

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