Nathan Hawking - an amazing mortal man

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People who have followed my exchanges with Nathan Hawking over the last year on SoloHQ know that we had some fireworks, then Nathan went off to start his own site, We the Thinking.

After SoloHQ split and OL opened, I decided to stop with the acrimony and insults, since I was already becoming uncomfortable with all the bickering. (Instead of growing properly, the best talent was going away.) One of the prices you pay when you do that is that you start remembering when you were unfair.

So out of the blue, I decided to apologize to Nathan. That apology is here together with Nathan's email sent to me in reply.

New starts. New things. New beginnings.


What I did not imagine was a new ending.

I just recieved the following email from Nathan and I am posting it as is - with his permission. It is quite an email. I have moved Nathan here to the living room because for some time I have felt he is more part of our Internet family since that apology.

Nathan, you're one amazing mortal man. You completely stunned me.

With great affection,


Hi Michael:

Thanks for posting my last reply on your site, and  

I'm glad to see that you signed up on WTT. I wish  

I could reciprocate, but am forced by circumstances  

noted herein to use my time and energy with special  


This announcement should explain why WTT was delayed  

in resuming its activities. If you are so-inclined,  

please feel free to reproduce this email wholly or  

in part on your site.  




December 2005:  

During 2005, I resolved to take WTT in a new


In my view, as the decades of this century  

unfold, three issues will increasingly dominate

philosophy and the human experience:  

* the emergence of technologically-achieved  

 human immortality;  

* vastly improved understanding of the nature of  

 human thought and consciousness;  

* emergent human nature--not as a product of  

 accidental, evolutionary process but as a  

 product of human design.  

 These are some components of a view that  

 may be called transhumanism. As I see it,  

 any philosophy that does not embrace trans-

 humanism is destined to become an intel-

 lectual backwater.  

 Objectivism, it has been said, is a philosophy  

 for living. But to remain a living philosophy,  

 it must become a philosophy for living FOREVER,  

 with all that entails.  


February 17, 2006:  

Life decided to take ME in a new direction; I was

diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  

Needless to say, though, this has brought a whole  

new focus to my thinking about mortality.  


* There are several new articles on, and forum topics!  

 More to come this week. Check it out.

* This week I'm setting up a new website,

 It should be operational by Sunday or Monday,  

 March 6, 2006.

 We the Dead is NOT a cancer or terminal illness  

 support site.  

 Rather, I am writing a series of brief and  

 lighthearted narratives and commentaries based  

 upon my experiences and  

 the /philosophy/history/future of death in  

 general--and if these do not leave you LAUGHING,  

 I will turn in my artistic license.  

 I'll continue long as I have the strength,  

 interest, and cognitive ability to do so--

 weeks, months, who knows?--and so long as  

 my sense of humor remains intact.  

 Well-wishes in general are appreciated, but  

 posts about "alternative medicine" or  

 contemporary "beating cancer" themes are  


 We the Dead is about beating DEATH itself!  

* Next week I hope to have the new, streamlined We  

 the Thinking online.  

 Precisely how these two vehicles, WTD and WTT,  

 will complement each other, and how they will  

 evolve and survive, is something of a mystery  

 to me. I hope you'll join me in the journey  

 and in the discovery.  

 All those previously registered as members of  

 We the Thinking will be in the We the Dead  

 database as members. These sites, however,  

 are independent, and henceforth will require  

 independent registration and login for new  


 Nathan Hawking, Mortal-in-Chief  

 It's about the ideas.

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I just want to send my best wishes to Nathan too. This is sad news indeed, and I really admire his attitude. Last night I was watching an interview of Ayn Rand with Tom Snyder in her later years. It was a wonderful interview and they discussed death and how she did not fear it. She put the topic into a unique perspective and expressed a very healthy attitude towards it. I hope Nathan has a chance to catch this interview as I think he will find it inspiring. I did.


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I regarded Nathan as one of the most thought-provoking posters on SOLO and, despite whatever contrarian views he might have had, that forum lost out when he left.

I'm torn between hoping to see WTT and WTD sites active to see confirmation Nathan's alive - or hoping that he has decided instead to enjoy any time he has, and is travelling and seeing the world.

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