Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Passing

     And not just any passing, but that of a giant of our form:

     Steven Den Beste has passed away.

     I just received word from Steven's brother, graciously thanking me for making the welfare call to the police and confirming that what many of us feared had indeed come to pass. I did not inquire as to specifics, but Steven had been in very poor health of late, having had a stroke just under four years ago.

     Steven was brilliant, a former engineer with a crackerjack mind. His old blog, U.S.S. Clueless was tremendously important in the early days of the 'blogosphere'. It is hard to overstate the importance of U.S.S. Clueless and the brilliance of his analysis. Sadly, that site went down this past week as well, when Steven's server failed. That site was immensely influential to many of us, and I am far from the only person he inspired to blog or helped along.

     “In the beginning,” so to speak, there were only a few bloggers whose emissions were noteworthy: more cerebral evolutions than personal jottings. Den Beste was one, and perhaps the foremost of all. His essays, which have been archived here, are gems, and not merely of Blogospheric history but in their own right. To anyone who might not be familiar with Den Beste’s work, I commend them unreservedly, even imperatively.

     Rest in peace, Steven.


Erbo said...

Thanks for helping share the link to the archives of USS Clueless.

To give everyone some background, back when Steven stopped writing on the site, I was concerned thatt he content would go away. He sent me, at my request, an archive of the site's content, and I hosted it on Electric Minds for a time. It is this archive that I now put up on erbosoft.com. (I added the "In Memoriam" message to one graphic image, so it would display on most of the pages.)

He had granted me permission to publicly host a mirror of the site's content, and even put up a note on USS Clueless to that effect at one point. I think that permission remains intact.

Steven was a great influence on everyone who read his writings, including me. He will be sorely missed.

Geoffrey de Bouillon said...

I am very sorry to hear of his passing. I would like to find his series of articles on the impracticality of alternative energy schemes. They are much better reasoning than most of what is written now.