Nathan Hawking, R.I.P.

Aaron's picture
Submitted by Aaron on Sun, 2006-07-23 20:25

Today I got word that Nathan Hawking died at age 59 of pancreatic cancer on July 5, 2006.

Many may remember Nathan as one of the most prolific posters on SOLOHQ around a year ago. He later also created the site 'We The Thinking' (now down) exploring general philosophical questions and arguments. Upon his diagnosis this past winter, Nathan began creating 'We The Dead', a site dedicated to transhumanism and the conquest of death - in a lighthearted manner. Unfortunately he didn't have a chance to finish this endeavor.

I found Nathan one of the most insightful and clever people I've had the pleasure of crossing paths with online. Even if I didn't agree with him, I could be sure he'd always say something that makes you have to seriously stop and think. One of my last emails to him was to say I hoped he had a chance for time away from treatment and WTT/WTD to tour the world, rock-climb, skydive - any risks normal life and consideration of mortality holds us back from. He appreciated the sentiment, but would prefer instead only to be able to spend time trout fishing in Wyoming. I hope he got the chance.

Rest in peace Nathan, you are missed.

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Kenny's picture

That is an excellent and perceptive post. Civility and manners are to be valued (despite the abuse displayed by certain posters on this website). They are not in conflict with philosophical rigour and consistency.

You are a true gentleman and I look forward to reading your future posts.


R. Christian Ross's picture

I've just today received the news that Nathan Hawking has died, and I want to take a moment to post a few words.  

First, I had no idea that Nathan was near 60.  From his posting persona, and the photo he put up here, I had always assumed that he was much younger, and closer to my own age.

Second, it is no secret that Nathan Hawking and I were online adversaries (something, I have regretted to a certain degree).  Nathan and I had a very contentious relationship in listland; this was mainly due to his posting behavior on NB's list (which I administer), but carried over into a number of other discussion groups as well.  I found Nathan's posting persona to be excruciatingly stubborn, pretentious, ill-informed, and primarily guided by a desire to "make trouble".  In short, I thought most of Nathan's ideas were silly, and I didn't like him much as a poster.

Still, one's existence, one's *life* in this world can not (and ought not) be minimally judged by a short time of irritating behavior on internet discussion lists.  None of us are fully recognized or known from our online discussions, and despite my well-documented dislike of Nathan's posting persona, I for one, have no problem in expressing my deep and genuine sadness at Nathan's recent passing.  

*Life* is a dear, precious thing, and the loss of it is almost always a tragedy, as it certainly is with Mr. Nathan Hawking.   

Rest in Peace.


ad hominem abuse

mykestriker's picture

I didn't know Nathan Hawking, and I don't know Kenny, but I certainly agree that "too many of the posters on this site rely on ad hominem abuse, including the principal".

And Fred, as a longtime lurker, I find Aaron to be both intellectually sound and thick skinned. As for you, well, I'd like to say one out of two ain't bad, but, you're a sharp cookie too.

Luke ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I find a eulogy of him now on SOLO puzzling, to say the least.

The "eulogy" was personal to Aaron, and he had every right to post it.

As it happens, I didn't like the guy any more than you, and I wouldn't be a hypocrite and pretend I did just because he'd died. But in the circumstances I don't feel a need to go after him right now either.


"Be reasonable, Kelly."

User hidden's picture

That is excellent advice, Fred. Should I find myself acting irrationally in any circumstances, I will be sure to apply it.


I didn't think it was,

Fred Weiss's picture

I didn't think it was, Aaron. I was just exercising my divine right to be a buttinsky.

Nor you Fred.

Aaron's picture

Nor you Fred.

Ad Hominem

Fred Weiss's picture

You're so right, Kenny. So, in that spirit I'd like to ad my hominem to the abuse.

Be reasonable, Kelly. Not hurting Aaron is a virtually impossible assignment and you can't really ask that of us. Aaron gets all offended if you go "boo" at him.

Furthermore, Aaron is such a birdbrain that if he thinks this Nathan Hawking person was "insightful and clever", I'd prima facie assume the exact opposite - and from what little backgrounding I did on him that appears to be the case.

That said, I have no problem with Aaron's eulogy. But if he is going to use this forum for his blathering, then you can't expect sensible people not to respond to it.

P.S.: Luke referenced some commentary on RoR. So, on that subject but on a different topic I've been admiring how Dennis Hardin is unflinchingly fending off the RoR wolfpack on the subject of Bidinotto's utterly bizarre and disgusting "Anatomy of Cooperation".

Dennis, despite his incomprehensible adoration of Barbara - especially contradictory given his thoroughly on target attack on TAS - has another special place in my esteem for having coined the expression "Journal of Ayn Rand Sludge".

It's not about you Luke.

Aaron's picture

It's not about you Luke.

Well said, Kelly

Kenny's picture

Too many of the posters on this site rely on ad hominem abuse, including the principal.

One good thing I learned from my grandma . . .

User hidden's picture

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. It doesn't apply in all situations, but here, I think it is appropriate. Nathan Hawking will not be back here to post, so
I don't see why it is important to remind us all of whether or not you liked his posts. Aaron clearly liked him, at least in some ways, and I think it is mean, spiteful, rude, and uncouth to use Aaron's thread about his death to vent about him. Nathan can't be offended obviously, but it might hurt Aaron, and it certainly showed me that you don't have any manners.



Luke Setzer's picture

A sad loss

Kenny's picture

I have only been posting on SOLO for a few months and missed Nathan's posts. He sounds a great guy and I'm sorry I missed his contributions.

2006 has been a sad year. Several libertarians and Onjectivists have passed away all too young.

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