Funny he should write that. Many, many years ago I wrote an email to John Carmack asking something about his .plan postings which must have seemed fairly mundane looking back on it now. He was nice enough to write me back. And I thought that was pretty cool too.
I guess it just goes to show that even the people you respect or admire have people they respect and admire themselves.
As a joke, I emailed Gabe Newell and asked if he'd wish me a happy birthday
Much to my surprise, he actually replied! https://i.imgur.com/n0BvCPS.png
I can only imagine the amount of garbage he gets in his inbox every day. So to get that email back (on a Sunday for him, as well) was pretty heart warming
I’ve always thought that it wouldn’t be that fulfilling to be famous, because you’d lose the opportunity to do things like go out to a normal restaurant with your family and have dinner without people acting weird around you constantly. Paparazzi are one thing, fans and stalkers another.
TL;DR don’t be the person who makes being famous suck, and you’ll probably get a lot more out of having an interesting conversation with someone you look up to vs just getting an autograph.
To my surprise he actually read my question and answered it on tv! It was so freaking cool! But, my inner teenager kicked in when I realized his answer was something I already tried. I sent him an really awful email in response. I called him terrible names. I was a complete shit.
I felt so bad about my actions _for years_ that I eventually emailed him a, what I thought was, a heartfelt apology for being such a shit. I got an email back a few days later from his wife telling me she shared it with him and to not worry about it.
I still feel bad about writing it...
(I've written some pretty dumb things to him and he never called me a fooled. He was nice enough to try to re-explain things to me. I finally had to give up because I felt I was wasting his time.)
Alan is very smart and was a prodigy, but I think he put up with Steve Jobs' eccentricity to a larger extent than our eccentricity because he could influence people and got a few things right. (Although Alan has been said to call out CEOs for incompetence.) Murray Rothbard (economist) said all the billionaires he ever met were crazy. Probably because their colleagues and employees would put up with a lot of stuff they would never let anyone else get away with.
I bet dang saw that and wanted to remind him about the HN guidelines and then realized that the author of the comment was freakin Alan Kay and just said never mind.
Diogenes was in Corinth when Alexander the Great sent word through a messenger asking Diogenes to come see him in Macedonia.
Diogenes told the Alexander’s messenger, “Go tell your emperor that Corinth is as far from Macedonia as Macedonia is from Corinth. So if your emperor wants to see me, he can come and find me here.”
Irrefutable logic and infinite self-assurance. The last bit can only come from someone who really does not need anything from anyone however high and mighty.
Alexander surely was not used to being turned down. But I suppose being a warrior, he admired courage. So he went to Corinth to meet Diogenes. Diogenes was sitting in his tub and enjoying the morning sun when Alexander showed up on his high horse with a whole bunch of soldiers.
After a brief introduction, Alexander proudly offered to give Diogenes anything that he needed. “Is there anything I can do for you, Sir?” asked Alexander. Diogenes replied, “Yes, you could. You are blocking the sun. Please stand aside.”
Russ Cox never got back to me about having GUI apps take over the terminal window in Plan 9 from userspace, although my idea was fundamentally trash so I don't blame him
This was around 97, and the Internet was still new to me. There was access in one lab 1 hour once a week or something like that, so the fact that he replied with some pointers to few ps files about the OS was really amazing.