I just learned that two active members of the computer industry and regional community died in a plane crash recently. Details at:
I knew both of these men, having spoken at the Heartland Developers Conference over the past couple years.
I sometimes think about this sort of thing. We live in an increasingly virtual world. While I, like most of us, still have friends that live near me, a great many of my closest friends and colleagues are scattered around the globe. I often interact more with people in Los Angeles, Boston, Europe and Argentina than I do with people where I actually live.
From what I know of Eric and Josh, I think both of them were well-grounded in their real, local world, so the people closest to them really are closest to them, and can mourn together and support each other. And that is a nice thing to consider.
But then I wonder, what about people who's closest friends aren't closest to them physically? How do they support each other in times like this?
I guess time will tell. We're in a period of transition, where the physical world seems to be less and less important relative to the virtual world, and only experience will dictate how we deal with issues like this. One thing is certain, it isn't the technology that matters, it is the people.
My deepest sympathies go to Eric and Josh's families and friends. It is hard to lose anyone, but it is especially hard to lose people in the prime of their lives. People with wives, fiances and children.