The original posting in the new journal is here
I was peripherally involved in the Chris McKinstry suicide announcement and its fairly petty aftermath online. For those that don't know Chris (and those that do will be bored enough by now to close their eyes for the following paragraph or two), he was an AI researcher of varying degrees of reputation depending upon who was doing the repping. He had more than his fair share of peculiar ideas (so have I but I generally call them fiction and story ideas), and a significant appetite for self advertisement. All of which probably had nothing to do with prompting him to announce on his blog and a couple of discussion boards that he was in the midst of ending his life.
A number of people from various places attempted to get someone to him in Chile but failed and the Monday before last he was found by his cleaner, gassed.
I had no idea of most of this during that weekend, I'd seen a few postings on the Saturday but by then all the toing and froing between him and others on the board had finished.
The board that I was aware of was the Off Topic semi-detached annex to the Joel On Software Discussion Forums (I'll not bother doing a link you can find them if you like), and I was one of the moderators of that Off Topic annex.
Again I was away from the computer (just sleeping normally), when the next event happened which was that Joel Spolsky decided to close the ?off board completely for a set of reasons which, I think its safe to say, are at variance with the ones published on his blog.
Anyway, I woke on the Wednesday morning with a fairly neglected site of mine (Ectopia) fairly jumping with activity as a number of those normally on ?off clung to Ectopia as a life raft whilst an entirely similar craft to ?off was being built (Crazy on Tap). That clone site is now up and running.
It prompted me to clean up and fix some of the bugs that Ectopia did have to make it easier to use and I guess that was worthwhile. There's still the occasional flurry to make out that there is some kind of competition between the two sites but that was never really the case. If Ectopia continues to be used, that's all well and good, Crazy on Tap will be the one that has to suffer from being just like the previous place but different and that's a much harder task than simply starting from scratch.
As for what Ectopia is? Well its a kind of blog for anyone to make a posting without any real restrictions other than breach of copyright and attempts to monopolise it.