Sadly, Phil Agre, who suffers from manic depression, has abandoned his apartment and his job and has disappeared, according to the All Tech Considered, Technology News And Culture Blog from NPR. If you weren’t involved with the Internet in the 1990s, you may not know who he is. But like alot of people back then, I was a big follower of his famous mailing list, Red Rock Eater. I agree with NPR, when they say:
“Agre’s online influence reaches far and wide – which makes it all the more surprising that he could have gone missing for such a long time without more people noticing. He was the publisher of the Red Rock Eaters News Service, an influential mailing list he started in the mid-1990s that ran for around a decade. A mix of news, Internet policy and politics, RRE served as a model for many of today’s political blogs and online newsletters.
I was influenced by Agre, too. I became a fan of the Red Rock Eaters list in the 90s, and encountered online references to it almost on a daily basis. I was always excited to see one of my articles or projects cited in it. With Agre’s curation, RRE reached thousands of Internet researchers, policymakers and some of the first bloggers. Agre had established a sizable online network and knew how to use it – so much so, he even published a how-to guide on using the Net to strengthen your professional relationships.”
I started my own list, Smart People I Know, due in a large part to the influence of Phil Agre and RRE. Eventually it turned into this blog.
I hope they find him safe and sound, soon.