RIP Samizdata November 26, 2018 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Samizdata's mother let me know that he died last night of a massive heart attack. He was 51. Memorial links, etc. will be provided when they appear. I knew him here and on Twitter, where he was a chatty, thoughtful and supportive presence. I'll miss him a lot.

Here's an obit from his sister Aimée:
Sean Patric Tomlinson arrived on Planet Earth August 21, 1967. After several years of exploration on naval bases, young Sean established home base in Julian, California, graduating from Julian High School with the class of 1985. While living in Julian, Sean found the joy of computers and began hacking in a white hat and coding in service to humanity.

Later, Sean established a new home base in Decatur, Illinois, where he made important friends and encountered all sides of the human experience. It is there that he died suddenly of natural causes on November 25, 2018. May the force be with him as he journeys to the final frontier.

Sean is survived by his mother, Jo (Hensley) Garten, and sisters Brooke Deidrick (the smartipants) and Aimée Garten (the Romulan spy), in California, as well as brother Jeff Tomlinson and extended family in Illinois. SteelRat/Samizdata will also be greatly missed by his vast network of cyber colleagues, friends, and followers online.

The family will have a private service in California. In lieu of flowers, please simply make the effort to be kind to those who are different. Honor Sean’s memory by seeing the goodness and value in everyone.
posted by Johnny Wallflower to MetaFilter-Related at 2:46 PM (293 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

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posted by Barack Spinoza at 2:49 PM on November 26


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posted by lazuli at 2:50 PM on November 26


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posted by Stewriffic at 2:53 PM on November 26


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posted by pjsky at 2:56 PM on November 26


Crap! We were Twitter and occasional postal friends and he was a sweetheart. Really friendly and curious and a great person to just be there with a thumbs up or "Things OK?" depending on the circumstances. He was a backtagger on MetaFilter over a decade ago. I am bummed that he deleted his twitter because most of our recent correspondence was over DM and not email or other channels. He was kind and he was an occasional pain in the ass here but I'd had a lot of back channel conversations with him and I will miss them.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:58 PM on November 26 [17 favorites]


Ah, jeez, that's awful news. Thanks for letting us know.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:00 PM on November 26 [1 favorite]


Oh my! How sad. He will certainly be missed.
posted by Splunge at 3:01 PM on November 26


Ah, damnit. Another distinctive voice gone. RIP Samizdata, you were far too young to have left us :(
posted by h00py at 3:01 PM on November 26 [11 favorites]


I'm sorry to see this news; he was an enthusiastic presence here.

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posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:02 PM on November 26


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posted by zachlipton at 3:10 PM on November 26


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posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 3:11 PM on November 26


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posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 3:12 PM on November 26


Oh, no! So sorry to hear this.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:12 PM on November 26


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A good'un. I'll miss him.
posted by Existential Dread at 3:23 PM on November 26


Oh no - what a shock for his family and friends.
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posted by paduasoy at 3:23 PM on November 26


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posted by Songdog at 3:25 PM on November 26


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posted by jquinby at 3:28 PM on November 26


Oh how very sad. Thank you for letting us know.
posted by Neely O'Hara at 3:29 PM on November 26


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posted by asperity at 3:29 PM on November 26


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posted by mrbill at 3:31 PM on November 26


My thoughts are of him and with his family/friends.

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posted by Fizz at 3:33 PM on November 26


Very sorry to hear this. 51 is way too young. He was pretty active on Twitter, which is where I got to know him from.
posted by bondcliff at 3:33 PM on November 26


I'm stunned, and I'll miss him.

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posted by theora55 at 3:34 PM on November 26


aww geez

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posted by some loser at 3:36 PM on November 26


oh no
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posted by halation at 3:40 PM on November 26


I'm so sorry to hear this. He will be missed.
posted by lalex at 3:43 PM on November 26


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posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:44 PM on November 26


Condolences to his family, friends and fellow filter family....another awful blow to the universe.
posted by mightshould at 3:44 PM on November 26


Oh my God. What a shame. Will miss his presence.

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posted by Hermione Granger at 3:45 PM on November 26 [2 favorites]


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posted by thomas j wise at 3:47 PM on November 26


I refuse to measure my manhood fiscally. If that was true, I'd be Ethel Merman.
posted by Samizdata at 2:21 PM on March 5, 2002

I remember this. Because I love the Merman. And I believe Samza would chuckle at that. Will miss that very wry yet sorta playful repartee.
The art of it.
posted by clavdivs at 3:48 PM on November 26 [18 favorites]


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:49 PM on November 26


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posted by Dumsnill at 3:49 PM on November 26


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posted by eirias at 3:50 PM on November 26


Oh no. I'd just memailed him last week because I'd been missing him on Twitter. Condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed.

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posted by Room 641-A at 3:54 PM on November 26


one of a kind

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posted by mochapickle at 4:08 PM on November 26


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posted by supercrayon at 4:09 PM on November 26


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posted by Rumple at 4:11 PM on November 26


Oh, this is such sad news. I'll miss his voice around here.

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posted by Fig at 4:12 PM on November 26 [1 favorite]


. Condolences to his loved ones and to his mom, he was a good one.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 4:14 PM on November 26


Oh, no. I am so sorry.

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posted by Countess Elena at 4:19 PM on November 26


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posted by sara is disenchanted at 4:31 PM on November 26


Ugh. Way too young.

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posted by lazaruslong at 4:40 PM on November 26 [1 favorite]


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posted by nightrecordings at 4:40 PM on November 26


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posted by gyusan at 4:44 PM on November 26


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posted by Wobbuffet at 4:48 PM on November 26


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posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:10 PM on November 26


Oh, no. Such a clever and vital voice. So sorry to hear this and the obvious unexpectedness of it is also grievous. Peace to his family.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:12 PM on November 26


Oh no. : (

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posted by limeonaire at 5:13 PM on November 26


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posted by tofu_crouton at 5:18 PM on November 26


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posted by juv3nal at 5:28 PM on November 26


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Just what... yesterday? His unfeigned enthusiasm for Titan AE cheered me up substantially.

Fucking hell.
posted by selfnoise at 5:29 PM on November 26 [10 favorites]


holy moly

time is indeed fleeting

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posted by RolandOfEld at 5:39 PM on November 26 [1 favorite]


I am really saddened to read this.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:42 PM on November 26


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posted by notaninja at 5:45 PM on November 26


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posted by devrim at 5:46 PM on November 26


Oh no!

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posted by ChuraChura at 5:48 PM on November 26


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posted by virago at 5:55 PM on November 26


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posted by greermahoney at 5:56 PM on November 26


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posted by Skorgu at 5:57 PM on November 26


Aw dammit. I will miss his voice here.
posted by kimberussell at 6:01 PM on November 26 [1 favorite]


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posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:04 PM on November 26


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posted by carmicha at 6:15 PM on November 26


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posted by mustard seeds at 6:25 PM on November 26


Oh, no. I upped my Twitter activity a year or so ago and he was always one of the MeFites I could count on to throw a heart at my stupid little jokes and pony pix. Everyone needs a ❤️
posted by drlith at 6:28 PM on November 26 [8 favorites]


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posted by wellred at 6:32 PM on November 26


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posted by bilabial at 6:32 PM on November 26


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posted by Squeak Attack at 6:35 PM on November 26


Please pass along our condolences to his mother and his family from everybody here at MeFi who knew or interacted with him.

I mainly knew his name through his Arrowverse FanFare posts (although I know I've encountered his posts elsewhere on the site as well). Our little corner of FanFare just got a lot smaller, and while it may be stupid to even bother posting about silly super hero shows, it was always nice to fellow viewers to share comments and criticisms with, and Samizdata always had something worthshile to contribute.

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posted by sardonyx at 6:43 PM on November 26 [9 favorites]


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posted by _Mona_ at 6:48 PM on November 26


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posted by needlegrrl at 6:58 PM on November 26


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posted by rotten at 6:58 PM on November 26


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posted by TwoStride at 7:06 PM on November 26


I am shocked... My condolences to the family.
posted by Jpfed at 7:09 PM on November 26


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posted by Melismata at 7:10 PM on November 26


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posted by Start with Dessert at 7:13 PM on November 26


My first reaction was to yell out loud, "But that's not fair!" Life so rarely is.

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posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 7:20 PM on November 26 [11 favorites]


Oh, no, no, no. Just seeing his name always brought a smile to my face because I knew I was going to read something smart or hilarious or kind or all of the above.
I will miss him very much.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:30 PM on November 26 [13 favorites]


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posted by Phire at 7:34 PM on November 26


Crap
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posted by thatwhichfalls at 7:39 PM on November 26


Oh sheesh, I was just reading his responses in the Titan AE thread. Godspeed, friend.
posted by smoke at 7:42 PM on November 26


Aw, hell no!

I liked him: he had rough edges, but a lot of enthusiasm. I always imagined him leaning back from the keyboard and laughing loudly in between comments. I didn't know his real name until tonight, either -- just a lot of mutual MeFi faves and Twitter likes exchanged between us, and I enjoyed his comments here almost all of the time.

To his family: I only knew your Sean in the online world, but that very real friendship brought me joy. I will remember him fondly, and his name will be a blessing. Peace, Samizdata.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:48 PM on November 26 [14 favorites]


I tried to pretend I didn't see this because I already had a not great day, and when that didn't work, I decided to finally do something I've been meaning to do and start a rolling list of things I want to talk to my therapist about, and when I was trying to type in samizdata's name from memory (because I didn't want to look it up because I was hoping noting it down would allow me to put it out of my mind enough to go to sleep because it's pretty fucking close to fucking bedtime and I guess I should stop looking at MetaTalk before bed, but that didn't work either), and the autocorrect suggested Samizdat, which I didn't know was a thing. That's a pretty fucking good username, I realize. I wish I'd thought to look that up sooner.

So if like me you didn't know what Samizdat is, now you do, I guess.

Cheers, samizdata. You were a frequent font of wit, wisdom, and levity. I really appreciated your presence here. You'll be missed.

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posted by Caduceus at 7:52 PM on November 26 [9 favorites]


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posted by XMLicious at 8:11 PM on November 26


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posted by jameaterblues at 8:13 PM on November 26


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posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:15 PM on November 26


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posted by mogget at 8:30 PM on November 26


What the fucking hell.

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posted by tzikeh at 8:34 PM on November 26


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fuck.
posted by anem0ne at 8:42 PM on November 26


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posted by DingoMutt at 8:50 PM on November 26


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posted by riruro at 8:50 PM on November 26


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posted by Roger Dodger at 9:07 PM on November 26


😥
posted by pjern at 9:07 PM on November 26


Oh fuck.

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posted by Artw at 9:17 PM on November 26 [1 favorite]


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posted by notyou at 9:21 PM on November 26


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posted by monopas at 9:24 PM on November 26


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posted by Secret Sparrow at 9:51 PM on November 26


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posted by Chrysostom at 10:00 PM on November 26


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I'm pretty bad at noticing who's who on this site, but Samizdata was one of the few and frequent users of my MefiReply extension. At first I just recognized the formatting and was happy someone found a little thing I'd made helpful. Then I was glad for the indicator that Samizdata was in a thread! He was a consistently warm and witty contributor to the MeFi community and will be greatly missed.
posted by waninggibbon at 10:15 PM on November 26 [5 favorites]


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posted by but no cigar at 10:17 PM on November 26


. for a lovely man who brought warmth and spoke with kindness often.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 10:32 PM on November 26


His Mom is monitoring the thread, and she said
He’s an organ donor. He was a genius, but on the autism spectrum. He had been participating in autism research at U of I[llinois]. I’m sure many are familiar with Asperger’s. He cherished his online friends, and wouldn’t he be so pleased at all the comments? He was a kind, caring guy.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:33 PM on November 26 [76 favorites]


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posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 10:34 PM on November 26


O no. Such a good person. we'll miss him.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:42 PM on November 26


Such sad news. I also remember him because he kindly helped me test out some MeFi user scripts I'd updated.

Speaking of which -- he has the distinction of being the person to approve/merge my first real PR on github (a restyled MeFi Deleted Posts script). I say "real" because I had done some PRs before as tests or outside of github, but this was the first one that I had submitted for review by people not myself. I am not a programmer and was nervous about it; when Samizdata said "looks good" -- what a relief.

Samizdata, I'll miss you and I wish you peace.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 10:57 PM on November 26 [6 favorites]


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Far too young, condolences to his family and friends.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:02 PM on November 26



posted by Gotanda at 11:30 PM on November 26


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posted by yeahlikethat at 11:38 PM on November 26


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posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:50 PM on November 26


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posted by Atom Eyes at 11:56 PM on November 26


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posted by kinnakeet at 12:29 AM on November 27


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posted by Faintdreams at 12:39 AM on November 27


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posted by riverlife at 12:54 AM on November 27


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posted by mannequito at 1:03 AM on November 27


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posted by misteraitch at 1:04 AM on November 27


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:06 AM on November 27


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posted by halcyonday at 1:19 AM on November 27


My sincere condolences to his family, he was a lively voice, one to look out for.

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posted by From Bklyn at 1:45 AM on November 27


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posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:46 AM on November 27


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posted by dancestoblue at 1:52 AM on November 27


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posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:04 AM on November 27


aw, fuck.

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posted by dogheart at 2:27 AM on November 27


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posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:30 AM on November 27


Oh I’m so sorry to hear this. That’s much too young. He was an interesting presence here and I’ll miss seeing his name. Condolences to his family and friends.

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posted by billiebee at 2:37 AM on November 27


oh no!! I knew him here and on Twitter as well. I will miss his contributions. So sorry to hear this.
posted by vacapinta at 2:58 AM on November 27


I too will miss seeing him here. Condolences to his Mom, family and friends.

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posted by michswiss at 4:03 AM on November 27


Well, this sucks. RIP Samizdata, I'll miss you.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:55 AM on November 27


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posted by mmascolino at 5:00 AM on November 27


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I would like to stop losing good folks too young, universe.
posted by EvaDestruction at 5:17 AM on November 27 [6 favorites]


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posted by fleacircus at 5:17 AM on November 27


What shocking news and such a loss. Condolences to all his loved ones. He will be missed.
posted by briank at 5:28 AM on November 27


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posted by terretu at 5:40 AM on November 27


very sad news - I will miss him here
posted by thelonius at 5:45 AM on November 27


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posted by sammyo at 6:07 AM on November 27


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posted by mixedmetaphors at 6:08 AM on November 27


Oh, man, far too young. Deepest condolences to his family & friends.

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posted by soundguy99 at 6:11 AM on November 27


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posted by cooker girl at 6:11 AM on November 27


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posted by Krazor at 6:11 AM on November 27


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posted by cjelli at 6:24 AM on November 27


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posted by radwolf76 at 6:31 AM on November 27


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posted by Wordshore at 6:46 AM on November 27


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posted by Kwine at 6:53 AM on November 27


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posted by GuyZero at 7:29 AM on November 27


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posted by Lawn Beaver at 7:33 AM on November 27


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posted by dinty_moore at 7:40 AM on November 27


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posted by Alterscape at 7:42 AM on November 27


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posted by lucy.jakobs at 7:45 AM on November 27


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(and friends - please update your donor cards just in case, but get your hearts checked. We need you here. 51 is too young.)
posted by bibliogrrl at 7:46 AM on November 27 [13 favorites]


What awful news... my heart goes out to his family if any of you are seeing this. I always appreciated his point of view. He will be missed here.
posted by Mchelly at 8:02 AM on November 27


Oh god. What the fuck.

He will be missed. My heart goes out to his mother and other loved ones.
posted by schadenfrau at 8:06 AM on November 27


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I always liked hearing what he had to say.
We'll miss you.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:11 AM on November 27 [1 favorite]


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posted by holborne at 8:29 AM on November 27


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We will miss you.
posted by gt2 at 8:30 AM on November 27


I made Samizdata laugh once.

So I feel OK that I made his life a tiny bit better for two seconds once.

I wish he could have had a billion more seconds
posted by GuyZero at 8:39 AM on November 27 [7 favorites]


He always complained that my comments don't rhyme.
Rest well, Samizdata. I'll give you one time.

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posted by Etrigan at 8:42 AM on November 27 [33 favorites]


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posted by tonycpsu at 8:44 AM on November 27


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posted by madamjujujive at 8:45 AM on November 27


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posted by sarcasticah at 8:47 AM on November 27


Oh, ffs. Too soon, man.

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posted by blurker at 8:48 AM on November 27


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posted by lovermont at 8:52 AM on November 27


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posted by Ghidorah at 8:52 AM on November 27


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posted by Kattullus at 9:05 AM on November 27


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posted by boo_radley at 9:06 AM on November 27


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posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:18 AM on November 27


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posted by zamboni at 9:19 AM on November 27


Terrible news. I will miss his voice here.

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posted by biogeo at 9:36 AM on November 27


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posted by dhruva at 9:36 AM on November 27


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posted by fizzix at 9:56 AM on November 27


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posted by ambrosen at 9:59 AM on November 27


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posted by Doktor Zed at 10:03 AM on November 27


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posted by miles per flower at 10:06 AM on November 27


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posted by gauche at 10:18 AM on November 27


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posted by cheapskatebay at 10:18 AM on November 27


Oh God. Thanks for sharing the news, Johnny. This is terrible.
posted by maxsparber at 10:18 AM on November 27


I tried shutting the browser and saying “no, no, no” for a while, but this thread was still here on relaunch. Damn it all.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:21 AM on November 27 [8 favorites]


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posted by nickmark at 10:36 AM on November 27


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posted by cass at 10:46 AM on November 27


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posted by clew at 10:54 AM on November 27


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posted by elsietheeel at 11:03 AM on November 27


This is unbelievably sad news.

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posted by erratic meatsack at 11:26 AM on November 27


A name that's been around since I first started visiting this place. Part of the fabric.

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posted by dazed_one at 11:33 AM on November 27 [3 favorites]


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posted by daisyk at 11:33 AM on November 27


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posted by col_pogo at 11:36 AM on November 27


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posted by Iteki at 11:41 AM on November 27


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posted by flatluigi at 11:45 AM on November 27


Aww, man

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posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:54 AM on November 27


Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear this! My condolences to his friends and family.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 11:59 AM on November 27


So very sorry to read of his loss. Condolences to his family, friends and all of us who will miss him.
posted by Lynsey at 12:02 PM on November 27


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posted by Sophie1 at 12:13 PM on November 27


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posted by Faint of Butt at 12:28 PM on November 27


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posted by Rock Steady at 12:28 PM on November 27


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posted by double block and bleed at 12:31 PM on November 27


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posted by witchen at 12:58 PM on November 27


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posted by tobascodagama at 1:02 PM on November 27


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posted by augustimagination at 1:49 PM on November 27


What the hell?
posted by Space Kitty at 2:08 PM on November 27 [4 favorites]


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posted by mordax at 2:16 PM on November 27


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My heart goes out to his family and friends. I will miss him here very much, and I think this is another piece of the worst timeline.
posted by vers at 2:40 PM on November 27


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posted by humph at 3:11 PM on November 27


Here's an obit from his sister Aimée:
Sean Patric Tomlinson arrived on Planet Earth August 21, 1967. After several years of exploration on naval bases, young Sean established home base in Julian, California, graduating from Julian High School with the class of 1985. While living in Julian, Sean found the joy of computers and began hacking in a white hat and coding in service to humanity.

Later, Sean established a new home base in Decatur, Illinois, where he made important friends and encountered all sides of the human experience. It is there that he died suddenly of natural causes on November 25, 2018. May the force be with him as he journeys to the final frontier.

Sean is survived by his mother, Jo (Hensley) Garten, and sisters Brooke Deidrick (the smartipants) and Aimée Garten (the Romulan spy), in California, as well as brother Jeff Tomlinson and extended family in Illinois. SteelRat/Samizdata will also be greatly missed by his vast network of cyber colleagues, friends, and followers online.

The family will have a private service in California. In lieu of flowers, please simply make the effort to be kind to those who are different. Honor Sean’s memory by seeing the goodness and value in everyone.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:29 PM on November 27 [43 favorites]


This sucks. The world needs more people like him, not fewer.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:05 PM on November 27


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posted by sleeping bear at 4:41 PM on November 27


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posted by bettafish at 4:50 PM on November 27


[Got that obit text added to the below-the-fold bit of the post for visibility.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:51 PM on November 27 [4 favorites]


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posted by lesser weasel at 5:03 PM on November 27


My condolences to his friends and family.
posted by Halo in reverse at 5:06 PM on November 27


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posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 5:17 PM on November 27


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posted by stet at 5:23 PM on November 27


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posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 5:50 PM on November 27


Love and light to Samizdata’s family. Such a loss.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 5:58 PM on November 27


Ugh, another longtime member of the community is gone too soon. Love and peace to his family and friends.

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posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:33 PM on November 27


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posted by jamaro at 7:52 PM on November 27


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posted by Maarika at 8:14 PM on November 27


Oh no. No, no, no.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:15 PM on November 27 [1 favorite]


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posted by camyram at 9:41 PM on November 27


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posted by bryon at 10:59 PM on November 27


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One of the best Mefites.
posted by Telf at 11:01 PM on November 27 [1 favorite]


Oh no, that's terrible news. He was so young! I'm so sorry. My condolences to his family and loved ones. May the force be with him indeed as he crosses to that final frontier.

I always noticed his presence in a thread because when I first came across his username, I looked up what it meant and thought it was interesting. He seemed like a rambunctious, sometimes blurty, smart, good humoured person who really liked Metafilter and enjoyed the interaction with others.

I noticed recently he had favourited my dumb joke in the Hallmark Christmas movie thread, and that made me happy.

RIP Samizdata...You will be missed.

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posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:29 PM on November 27 [4 favorites]


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Very sad. He will be deeply missed.
posted by daybeforetheday at 1:37 AM on November 28


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posted by Panthalassa at 5:06 AM on November 28


but
well, shit.

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posted by seanmpuckett at 5:27 AM on November 28


Fuck

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but that doesn't really feel sufficient.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:22 AM on November 28 [1 favorite]


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posted by lollymccatburglar at 7:39 AM on November 28


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posted by Julnyes at 8:03 AM on November 28


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posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:54 AM on November 28


I'm so sorry. I will miss his voice.

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posted by Going To Maine at 8:55 AM on November 28


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posted by annathea at 9:05 AM on November 28


fuck everything! what a fucking blow!

there's so many people on this site who I'm like "dang you write interesting comments I wish I knew you" about and one of them just up and fucking died. what the hell.

note to self: go to more metafilter meetups. go to more metafilter meetups in places other than where I live. any of you cool mf'ers could just die at any moment and then I'll have to be like "dammit I would have liked to meet them!" but I won't be able to because death is the worst, it's the absolute worst, it ruins everything.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:23 AM on November 28 [20 favorites]


Damn.

I got myself pretty wound up replying to him a few times over the years, which is something I try not to do unless the person on the other end seems worth arguing with. He was worth it.

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posted by Kadin2048 at 9:27 AM on November 28 [2 favorites]


Oh no, I'm so sorry to read this terrible news. Condolences to his family and loved ones.

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posted by Ziggy500 at 9:40 AM on November 28


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posted by Cash4Lead at 9:43 AM on November 28


there's so many people on this site who I'm like "dang you write interesting comments I wish I knew you"

MeMail is a good way to get to know someone and tell them you appreciate their presence. I highly recommend it.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:21 AM on November 28 [7 favorites]


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I hate this. Samizdata was a wonderful presence that I recognized often, both here and on Twitter. Much love to his family.
posted by WidgetAlley at 10:33 AM on November 28


God damn it. I will be extra kind in his memory.

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posted by missmary6 at 10:36 AM on November 28 [2 favorites]


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posted by thereemix at 11:52 AM on November 28


What a lovely obituary -- his family seems as neat as he was. *sigh*
There's only one rule that I know of, babies-"God damn it, you've got to be kind.”
― Kurt Vonnegut.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:17 PM on November 28 [1 favorite]


damn, damn, damn.

damn.

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posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:48 PM on November 28


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posted by The Great Big Mulp at 2:23 PM on November 28


The funeral home has posted the obituary his sister wrote. There's also a guest book for messages.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:55 PM on November 28 [2 favorites]


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posted by The Bellman at 4:01 PM on November 28


"In lieu of flowers, please simply make the effort to be kind to those who are different. Honor Sean’s memory by seeing the goodness and value in everyone."

(From the obituary. Aw, crying now.)
posted by clew at 4:06 PM on November 28 [12 favorites]


(From the obituary. Aw, crying now.)

Yeah, that made it a lot more real.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:35 PM on November 28 [1 favorite]


Sean, I wish I had known you back when I lived in Decatur. Safe travels on your new journey.
posted by SyraCarol at 5:15 PM on November 28


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posted by edeezy at 6:15 PM on November 28


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posted by soren_lorensen at 6:49 PM on November 28


Samizdata got me to resume participating in the World Community Grid distributed-computing project. He had nine machines in various stages of obsolescence that were still cranking out results for Team MetaFilter until nineteen hours ago.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:01 PM on November 28 [11 favorites]


I remember this guy, he was good and I am sorry he is gone. Bye Samizdat, sorry I did not get the chance to meet you IRL.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:51 PM on November 28 [3 favorites]


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posted by gudrun at 8:32 PM on November 28


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posted by theappleonatree at 2:10 AM on November 29


Oh my god, no! I missed this post until just now, so I’m shocked. I haven’t even read most of the post yet, but I’m heartbroken. We had some long talks on twitter, sometimes going back and forth for most of the night. He was such an incredibly sweet, sweet man. I’m crushed.


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posted by MexicanYenta at 5:44 AM on November 29 [6 favorites]


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posted by skycrashesdown at 6:54 AM on November 29


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posted by growabrain at 7:24 AM on November 29


I'm gutted by this loss. It took me a bit to process and that time meant I didn't miss Sean's lovely obituary. May your memory be a blessing, samizdata, and may we here honor it as we should.
posted by Ruki at 8:40 AM on November 29 [2 favorites]


Sean's picture is up now at the obituary page, and the guest book seems to be working.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:23 AM on November 29 [3 favorites]


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posted by brujita at 10:11 AM on November 29


The text on the obit page has been updated, and his picture is actually in color if you save it.
DECATUR – Sean Patric Tomlinson, 51, passed away on Sunday, November 25, 2017, at 10:19 pm at Decatur Memorial Hospital.

Sean was born to Rick and Jo Lynn (Hensley) Tomlinson on August 21, 1967 in Portsmouth, Va.

Sean graduated from Julian High School in Julian, California in 1985. In 1992, Sean chose to move to Decatur to be with his father and younger brother, Jeff, when his father returned to Decatur after receiving his doctorate from St. Catherine’s College in the University of Oxford. Sean married Caroline Kracht in 1999.

Sean worked in various positions throughout his life, including StarTek and Heritage Behavioral Health Care in Decatur. Sean’s passion was for computers and anything electronic. If anyone had a problem with a computer, Sean was the “go-to” person. If Sean did not readily know the answer, he would spend hours researching until he found the solution.

Sean spent many hours volunteering including Christmas bell-ringing for the Salvation Army, and, also, serving meals for the homeless, monthly, at First United Methodist Church of Decatur.

Sean was a very gentle man who never had a bad word to say about any person. His sense of humor was quite quirky and was enjoyed by all who knew him. Like his father, Sean loved to talk and debate, and his vast knowledge on a myriad of topics was fascinating. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed.

Sean is survived by his step-mother, Pat Tomlinson and brother, Jeff, both of Decatur; sister, LeAnne (Dan) Terneus, nephews Mason and Owen, and niece, Addyson, all of Latham, Il, numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins, and his mother and 2 half-sisters of California.

Sean was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Rick Tomlinson, and his paternal and maternal grandparents.

There will be no formal services at this time; however, the family will have a private service in January. Please honor Sean’s memory by making an effort to be kind to all those individuals who are different; try to see the goodness and value in everyone.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:33 AM on November 29 [19 favorites]


Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this. I always enjoyed his presence here. He will be very, very missed.
posted by palomar at 11:19 AM on November 29


Shit. I always have noticed his thoughtful comments.
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posted by fiercecupcake at 3:11 PM on November 29


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I'm so sorry. The world is a lesser place for his absence.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 5:30 PM on November 29


Oh, how awful.

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posted by minsies at 6:04 PM on November 29


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posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 7:52 PM on November 29


Please honor Sean’s memory by making an effort to be kind to all those individuals who are different; try to see the goodness and value in everyone.

Bolded so I don’t forget.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:32 PM on November 29 [16 favorites]


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posted by Secretariat at 8:57 PM on November 29


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:(
posted by solarion at 10:10 PM on November 29


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posted by Coaticass at 10:28 PM on November 29


Oh hell.

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posted by rmd1023 at 6:11 AM on November 30


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posted by ZeusHumms at 12:32 PM on November 30


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posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:45 PM on November 30


Still kind of reeling from the unexpected loss of both Samizdata and rtha. What a shitty month. I loved both of those mefites to bits.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:25 PM on November 30 [8 favorites]


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posted by rewil at 7:38 PM on November 30


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posted by (Over) Thinking at 1:23 PM on December 1


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posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 3:14 PM on December 1


Oh no. I just now saw this and unexpectedly burst into tears. I had the privilege to play games with Samizdata on occasion - memorably playing Borderlands multiplayer with him one night and basically laughing the entire time at all kinds of shenanigans. We hadn't played together much lately, but I would always read his comments here and on Twitter with interest. What a terrible blow to his family and friends, and to those of us who admired his spirit and wit. RIP. We'll never forget you.
posted by gemmy at 4:18 PM on December 1 [2 favorites]


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posted by julen at 4:35 PM on December 1


I somehow missed this and only learned of his passing from the podcast. This is awful, and I will miss him, for all that we only interacted a few times directly.

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posted by kalimac at 4:53 PM on December 1


Today I got a copy of Marlon Bundo for my niece who's due in April. Inside I wrote "Celebrate differences and always remember that you are important and you are loved."

Thank you for being a light in the darkness, Samidata.



I had the privilege to play games with Samizdata on occasion - memorably playing Borderlands multiplayer with him one night and basically laughing the entire time at all kinds of shenanigans.

Also if you ever need a new Borderlands friend, I think Samidata wouldn't mind me saying here that I'm up for a game with a fellow MeFite (gemmy or anyone!). Contact me on MeFiMail for my Steam info.

posted by elsietheeel at 8:02 PM on December 1 [6 favorites]


And I'm sorry I mistyped and forgot the z both times.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:46 PM on December 1


Oh no, that's awful. His presence here will be sorely missed. RIP.
posted by Harald74 at 10:43 PM on December 1


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posted by Dr. Grue at 12:55 PM on December 2


Dangit.
posted by aspersioncast at 1:36 PM on December 2


So sad to hear this. I chatted with him on here a few times because we are from the same tiny town and I knew his family. He seemed like an interesting person and I'm sad I didn't know him better.
posted by exceptinsects at 10:38 AM on December 3


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posted by ferret branca at 7:11 PM on December 3


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posted by Altomentis at 11:14 PM on December 3


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posted by DigDoug at 7:51 AM on December 4


What?! He was so enthusiastic of my show, and of my online presence in general. Even signed up to my Patreon and always commented on my posts. And now his Twitter account is gone, and he's gone now, and...

holy fuck. Out of every Mefite we've lost over the time I've been here Samizdata is the one I probably knew the most. goddamn.

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posted by divabat at 10:15 PM on December 6 [6 favorites]


Definitely a known name.

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posted by rhizome at 6:48 PM on December 7


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posted by cotton dress sock at 4:51 PM on December 8


Coming back to MeFi and finding that we've lost two amazing people is a blow.

Samizdata was lots of fun, and I'll miss him. The universe is poorer for the loss of rtha and Samizdata.
posted by MissySedai at 9:48 AM on December 12 [4 favorites]


Samizdata once MeMailed me out of the blue (ha), saying he'd noticed I commented about rats a lot, and telling me about rats he'd owned in the past. We exchanged a couple of messages chatting about our respective pet rodents. It was a lovely little interaction that brightened my day.

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<:3(OO)~~~~
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 6:04 AM on December 14 [6 favorites]


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