Chris Lightfoot has died. You probably haven’t heard of him, but the world is less now & there are eulogies all over the place.
Why? Because he was a genius. A interdisciplinary visionary. And he put it to a lot of use. He was only 28 yet was behind unique and groundbreaking combinations of technology, democracy, and politics. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ and http://www.politicalsurvey2005.com/ are the best-known examples, but there are many, many others. EDIT: he was behind the Downing Street petitions site too.
So perhaps the sort of work for which Chris will be be most remembered is his wonderfully individualistic, virtuoso forays into scholastic areas in which he had no formal training. He wandered into differing disciplines, made a mark, and wandered on again like a giant that had no idea he’d just trodden on a village.
His intellectual honesty and keen appreciation of human dignity informed all that he did, and it is no overstatement to say that the whole UK political arena and IT community will suffer by his loss.
But this is the blog post that first made me aware of him:
Statistical analysis of public data re: how tabloid’s immigration coverage affects public perception. Like a wandering giant. He was awesome.