Hacker News new | more | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
[dupe] Debian mourns the passing of Ian Murdock (debian.org)
388 points by Tsiolkovsky on Dec 30, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 40 comments

Prior to his death, Ian was briefly harassed by this character here: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CXguqJGWMAEYM0B.jpg:large

@jackstormwriter has since deleted those tweets and disabled his account. He also deleted jackstormwriter.wordpress.com.

I saved a copy of his about page for those interested here: http://www.filedropper.com/archive_77

Twitter is so awful. b^(

[there may be something wrong with your filedropper link]

Sad to hear this.

I wish that someone who felt so desperate would not be in a manic state, and use their considerable funds (if he made 1.4 million last year alone) in a campaign against police brutality. A life like a Christian monk from the medieval era or a Buddhist of freedom. As far as his "career being over" as he said, someone of his stature would have been gladly supported by generous benefactors as he spent a life crusading against injustices even if he spent every dime he had.

He likely had other demons going on, but this is reaction is something that someone very justice minded, someone who would demand libre software like Debian would do. That said, Debian is the most respected distro in the world. Hearing Ubuntu mentioned so much next to Debian is like nails on a chalkboard to me, but as an extension Mint has an Ubuntu base and straight Debian base available, and even SteamOS is based off Debian. So almost everything noteworthy, quite a legacy.

An injustice in the software that governs our lives is bad enough, but injustices outside are hard to swallow. RIP Ian.

There are definitely some people who need to be looked into judging from his last tweets. http://pastebin.com/PLxw4buc

He tweeted a couple days ago or so that he was going to kill himself. Very sad. :(

Its really sad to see someone who contributed so much to world, life ended so sudden like this.

Looking at twitter conversion. Most people speculating this tweet on suicide. He also said "The rest of my life will be devoted to fighting against police abuse".

This is incredibly sad--RIP Ian. Some may consider his actions extreme, but if you haven't been harassed, arrested, and deprived of your rights + freedom you won't understand how shitty it feels.

I can't fucking believe it. How does something like that happen?

I think a few notes to the Policy makers are in order right now.

Some more tweets:

jackstormwriter - wonder who owns this @ianmurdock account, 2007 no post.


the pastebin is self-explaining and it seems true too, I'm sad, upset and speechless.

Jesus, I thought his account was hacked. But apparently it was for real... poor guy

Very few people know the cause of death right now, but the speculation is pretty convincing to me that it was suicide after allegedly being a victim of police brutality and rape by police officer.

Of course, this isn't confirmed. But if it is, oh the anger.

Even if it isn't, this is a damned shame.

Here's a pastebin of his last tweets: http://pastebin.com/yk8bgru5

Thanks. That was difficult to read and frankly distressing (it has certainly affected my own mental state at the moment), but I am glad I got to read it so that I can have this inform my perspective regarding the abuse of power by police in the ongoing future (Admittedly I had been on the blase side on the matter, and like Ian himself wrote, "i'm hoping coming from a successful white guy it will help everyone").

Is this really true? This is almost stranger than fiction. I mean, anyone can post something on pastebin. Can anyone else vouch for the truth of this (Having seen it on twitter).

Here is the reddit discussion from yesterday:


Seems to be true, per google's webcache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:le7oSCj...

It's true, I saw it with my own eyes before the account got deleted.


I think he's not being racist, rather intending to highlight the racism of others: "They don't care when the victim of brutality is black, maybe they'll care when it's a wealthy white man"

I didn't read it as him being racist. The wording may have been harsh, but I read it as saying that police brutality isn't something that only happens to black people.

I would think any racist feelings he had would have come to light long before now.

Could be a major head injury that is later fatal if untreated - that can cause immediate personality changes. I don't think Ian was used to be beaten regularly to withstand that...

It wasn't racist. As others have pointed out, Ian was making a statement about certain demographics being ignored when they speak about police brutality. It's very clear for those who have known Ian personally over the years what he meant (I agree it sounds weird for those who may not have known Ian very well, I guess that happened because he was in a very panicked state of mind and didn't really think how things could be taken)

I'm sure he used said language in a provocative and mocking manner, not because he was actually racist or racially insensitive. I'm sure the stress and pain of the situation didn't help him choose his words thoughtfully.

I don't think he was actually raped. Sounds more like he resisted a body-search upon intake processing for jail.

I am saddened by this loss. Everyone should know that even if you think you are being wronged that you must listen to and obey every instruction a police officer gives you. If they did something wrong you can bring it up to your lawyer afterward. Resisting will pretty much always make the situation worse.

Police use force. This can be surprising. Sometimes they use it when you may not think it's warranted. You might have thought you presented no threat. When police start to raise their voice and use force the last thing you should do is get upset. You just need to do whatever you can to listen to their instructions and do what they tell you. They may continue to use physical force like pushing, punching, twisting and causing you pain even if you are listening to everything they are saying and trying your best.

The hard truth is you just have to deal with it. Resisting will only make it worse, and even puts your life at risk.

If you can, it's best to avoid police whenever possible. If police show up just leave. If they stop you on the road stay calm, don't argue, do what they say and try to share as little information as possible.

I'd certainly like to know how of those down voting me think I am wrong. Are you going to resist arrest and think that will turn out well? Maybe you don't like reality, but it is what it is. The police frequently have to deal with dangerous people, thus they are trained to use force to subdue and arrest. You cannot question an arrest as it is happening. Your right to due process happens in court after the arrest, not on the street.

Again the best thing to do is to just avoid encounters with police in the first place.

I'd like for someone to comment as to why they down voted.

up voted, those are words to live by. it's not victim blaming, it's the reality of that situation and having the presence of mind to just shut up and take it. Your turn to punch back comes once you are free or in court.

s/police/violent criminals/gi

Unfortunately there's no possibility of legal justice if you're jumped by the largest gang.

That's what the allegation was, on his Twitter feed, so that's what I wrote.

For the record, I agree that you're probably correct.

From the Pastebin doc of his tweets:

>5:27pm: Maybe my suicide at this, you now, a successful business man, not a NIGGER, will finally bring some attention to this very serious issue.


Nice intersectionalism there. /s

I believe the statement was meant to sound more like, "since Americans seem to overlook police violence against black people, now that it has occurred to a rich white male maybe someone will care."

> 5:27pm: Maybe my suicide at this, you now, a successful business man, not a [edit], will finally bring some attention to this very serious issue.


Ian was obviously fighting with some very serious demons.

My heart goes out to his loved ones who survive him, and I pray he finds peace where he took himself.

From personal experience, this can be a very lonely and painful time of year.

Sounds pretty straightforward (if profoundly sad) to me. Police violence--in the political sense as well as the physical, though I should caveat that without further information I don't know what violence, if any, occurred here--is not new, but predominantly happens to the underprivileged. Which is to say, the use of the slur sounds like it's projecting upon the people who tend to exert this violence very disproportionately upon people of African descent (who, historically as well as today, have much less political power to wield and to have wielded on their behalf).

I've quite unfortunately been arrested more time then I care to admit...its always a brutal, scary, and shocking event.

I've seen things that I shouldn't even describe as I feel like people would just think I'm making the shit up.

Nothing in civil society even come close to what happens to you during the first 6 hours in most US county jails.

From reading his tweets, it sounds like he was simply going thru the typical steps that all people who get arrested go thru. The process is as brutal as it is uncaring.

I am heartbroken that they guy chose to end his life, but I can hardly believe that this was the only issue he was battling when he chose that path.

I am not speculating BTW...I'm relating his actions to my own life and my own feelings and thoughts related to being alone during this time of year.


I'd really like to discuss the mod downs my comment recieved.

I did not just randomingly pick this twitter post for shock value...I picked it for a specific reason.

Like I've said..I've spent more time then I care to admit in both county jails and prison. The one absolute thing that a white person never says in those environments is the N-word that Ian used in his tweet.

It is literately the third-rail of vocabulary where perhaps 75% of your fellow detainees are of color,and for that reason is why it stood out so much to me, in reflection of MY personal experience.

I just thought a bit a deeper explanation may be in order.

Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact