Thread: WinAce has died
November 6th 2005, 11:14 PM #31
Re: WinAce has diedOriginally posted by LakeGeorgeMan“I never learned from a man who agreed with me.”
― Robert A. Heinlein
November 7th 2005, 11:56 AM #32
Re: WinAce has died
Here's a document composed by Allan on June 6, 2004 that he sent to a poster at II which was initially intended to be released upon his death.
He refers to his condition being a secret as it was at the time, but as you should know he has revealed it since the composition of this eulogy.
So without further adieu, I give you the words of Richard Allan "WinAce" Glen from beyond the grave:
This post is intended to provide help, guidance and hopefully a bit of closure for individuals suffering from SWDS (Sudden WinAce Death Syndrome). Symptoms may include--but are not necessarily limited to--shock, loss of appetite, anxiety, anger, guilt, grief, crying, etc.
And now, a few words from our sponsor:
Hello, all. If you're reading this, you know that I, Allan L. Glenn, am no longer with you. Being a non-theist, and one painfully familiar with what happens to the mind when the brain is damaged/modified, I am 99.9% certain this is the end of the road. Once mine permanently reverts to grade-A maggot food, as it did by the time you're reading this, the person you knew is gone:
"You will never see me again, Helena. Tell our children that I love them, and that their father died in defense of their future. Au revoir...."
- Admiral DuGalle, StarCraft: Broodwar
But while I feel quite sad as I write this, I am comforted by the fact that life in general goes on. Individuals come and go, but our legacy survives. This may consist of anything from the memories that friends and loved ones will cherish for ages, to our impact on the environment, and finally, and most importantly to me, the overall effect we've had on other people. It remains my sincere hope that I was, on the whole, a good friend to those I've enjoyed the honor of calling such. I won't make any excuses for those times when I was petty, or wronged someone; instead, I will only remain hopeful most weren't noticed and ask for forgiveness on the rest.
With that out of the way, I have a confession to make. During life, I had reservations about sharing this knowledge online with everyone but my closest friends. And even among that cherished inner circle, I carefully picked a select few to entrust based on their maturity and (perceived) ability to cope with such revelations without excessive sadness. However, now that I'm dead, there remains no remotely plausible reason to keep it hidden any longer; and, at any rate, the uncertainty of "Where the hell did that guy I used to know... go?" would likely outweigh any benefits from keeping my fate a secret. Thus, I'm finally revealing it publicly. You may all gaze, wide-eyed, stutter for a moment, and then go on reading, while the fundamentalists among you are additionally welcome to throw out a "Haw haw!" or two ala Nelson Muntz from The Simpsons.
The most probable reason I died was complications resulting from Cystic Fibrosis, an inherited disease affecting tens of thousands of (mainly young) people in Europe and the United States alone. It manifests primarily in the lungs and digestive system, producing emphysema-like symptoms and increasingly serious pulmonary infections. In addition, its side effects (and some medications used to treat it) stunt growth and are known to delay puberty. This may help explain my low height and why the pictures I shared were oddly young-looking. Further, more detailed information on this condition can be found at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website.
The reason I remain ambiguous and write "most probable" is because I might have died in a freak parachuting accident, or been kidnapped by a hot female denizen of Toronto; other possibilities include murder by extraterrestrials, spontaneous human combustion, and losing Internet access for many months on end with no prior warning. However, since those range from the unlikely to the implausible, and I've always been a big fan of Occam's razor, you may safely assume I'm dead. (Although, wouldn't it be great if the second one happened, after all? I would have so much fun paraphrasing Mark Twain if and when I escaped--not that I'd want to...)
While this revelation may be initially disheartening, it should also serve as a (further) reminder to strive and live to the fullest, most meaningful extent possible. From an early age, given life expectancies for those afflicted with CF, I had few illusions about living past 30, at best. It is (rather, was) my sincere hope that my friends will live happy, successful and long lives in my stead.
My little blasphemous corner of the Internet, perhaps euphemistically titled the "Not-so-Wonderful World" of WinAce from now on, shall remain mirrored at http://www.winace.clickhalah.com and http://www.winace.andkon.com thanks to some mighty generous hosting offers from the webmasters of those respective sites. Anyone who wishes is welcome to set up additional mirrors, and I hereby give all documents/posts I've authored to the public domain.
Speaking of which, before continuing, for my religious friends, I think it would help if I explained why I became an atheist. I'm not writing this to offend anyone or bring painful thoughts to the forefront, but hopefully to show that being an atheist isn't the epitomy of total corruption or Satin worshipping. (Although, out of all the fabrics available, I'd understand if you wanted to worship Satin specifically....)
Whether for better or worse, I was a skeptical and somewhat cynical kid from the start. At age 4, I was virtually certain Santa Claus' exploits could best be accounted for by postulating trickery on the part of parents. I took little on authority, and tested almost every claim I encountered. I must have inherited the dreaded "skeptic gene"; it was only a matter of time.
In addition, I became aware of my own mortality much earlier than others. The death of my older brother at 6 (from the same disease as I had) hit me quite hard with the realization there was something different about us. Henceforth, my condition forced me to ponder about the nebulous "afterlife" for many a lonely night. At first, with a child's innocence, I believed that all was well in the world, and while my parents weren't particularly religious, I was brought up in the Christian tradition. But there soon appeared chinks in the armor of dogma.
At first, it started with the small stuff--I couldn't readily accept the idea that anyone could be tortured forever as some militant religious schools propose, and came up with a very universalistic view, partially inspired by Friday's religious musings in Robinson Crusoe (which I had read at 9). In my mind, all 'sinners' would eventually be welcomed back to heaven after realizing the error of their ways, even Satan and his fallen angels. Instead of focusing on vengeance or punishment, I wanted to take to heart the timeless words recorded in, of all places, the Bible:
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge... but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away... And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
- St. Paul, 1st Letter to the Corinthians 13:1-8,13 (NIV)
Like most others with my condition, I could have remained with whatever religious views comforted me best. But other questions began accumulating at a rather pace, questions that I had trouble finding answers for that didn't somehow seem insincere... or forced.
Why did people in Iran mostly adopt Islam, and people in India do the same with Hinduism? Were they correct, instead? (After some investigation, I decided the answer was most decidedly "No.") Could they really all be insincere? Or could it be that I was only Christian because of innate familiarity, just like they were with their respective religions? And just why were predominant spiritual traditions (of any region) so easily explainable by appeal to natural forces, like conquests and church-sponsored missionary campaigns? Without assuming a priori (that's 'beforehand', for those of you who were home-schooled by fundie parents) the veracity of any of the numerous religions inhabiting our world, I was left with little to fall back on except a generic agnostic theism. As you can guess, I was still a long way to go.
Why did shocking miracles only occur in the distant past? Did God grow weary of the world... were we no longer worthy of a show of power to support our faith? Perhaps, God wasn't immortal at all, and had died sometime in the past--which would also help explain seemingly gratuitous suffering and other observations--? Perhaps our world was a neutral zone where the forces of good and evil had temporarily declared a ban on paranormal confrontations? Wouldn't it be the most ironic and cruel twist of fate if God were simply evil? Or, could it be that the gods never really did interact with people at all, but like modern urban legends, the old stories of their power were grossly exaggerated with the passage of time...?
Why was the Bible, and most other scriptures I had read, filled with apparently vindictive, petty actions that were easily explainable as products of the dog-eat-dog societies they arose in? Why would Artemis demand Agamemnon to brutally sacrifice his own daughter, and why would God order natives of a land destroyed, complete with their children and even livestock? Was I just not getting the obvious, perfectly credible explanation that would have cleared everything up--or did the evidence suggest there was none? And why did these stories all seem so similar in credibility, if not exact details? Was there really more reason to believe they happened than medieval European folklore, for example?
I was quite attracted to science. In addition to being utterly fascinating, I hoped it would help explain some of these questions. Surely, it would show that God must exist and perhaps confirm enough of the other material that it would be prudent to accept the rest. What I found, however, did not bode well for my beliefs. The world was a staggeringly bigger place, both in sheer size and age, than the Bible's genealogies from Adam and ancient cosmology (as state-of-the-art as it was in Babylonian times) suggested. The Noachic global deluge was unanimously rejected by Christian geologists as incompatible with evidence more than a century ago. And apparently, life was no longer as compelling an argument for a designer as it was in William Paley's time.
The last especially intrigued me. These scientists were saying complexity could arise without design (!), merely by virtue of simple patterns slowly culling order from chaos--evolution. I had a hard time believing it at first. So I began looking at the evidence, especially noting creationist "rebuttals."
The data spoke for itself. In every area I looked into in depth, from fossils to genetics, the only reasonable conclusion, one that elegantly accounted for the data in many disparate fields using one coherent explanation, was devastatingly obvious. Opposition arguments were, at best, unparsimonious or speculative compared with the mainstream view, and at worst, with even a little study, easily exposed as outdated and often blatantly dishonest, ideologically motivated nonsense rather than a sincere attempt to find the truth.
What was left? Hold out hope that the advance of science would be stemmed at some undetermined future point, reserving a privileged gap or two for the gods to hide in? Accept that life developed naturally, but nevertheless believe that God built the universe as some sort of humanity breeding ground? While others could no doubt live with these options, to me they seemed almost disingenuous, more an attempt to rationalize away damaging observations inside a particular worldview than adopting the one best supported by evidence in the first place. It seemed that the gods were nowhere to be found, and our ancestors were as wrong in postulating them to account for life as they were postulating them to explain thunderstorms or that blinding white ball in the sky. I officially became an agnostic.
But it wasn't over just yet. I continued voraciously reading everything on related subjects I could get my hands on: Apologetics and counter-apologetics; the social, psychological and historical aspects of religion; science and its relation to vindicating (or rather, contradicting) assorted views on the origin of reality and the afterlife; the epistemology of skepticism towards other things, including alien visitations and cryptozoology (i.e., the Loch Ness monster); and so on. Eventually, after trying to deny it for a while, I could no longer, in good conscience, even give lip service to the concept of theism.
Nowadays, I unambiguously believed, and was strongly confident that, the gods were made in our own image and nothing more. I'm proud to say I was an atheist in a (metaphorical) foxhole. And while lack of oxygen to the brain can impair good judgment, I nevertheless hope I remained true to my ideals to the bitter end. But even if, by some miracle (pun intended), I didn't, I have few regrets about my life as it stands. I particularly enjoyed debating, writing and satirizing, activities that required little physical stress but keen knowledge and a sharp wit.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.
No "I died and all I got was this lousy coffin!" post would be complete without patronizing, condescending personalized messages which reveal the most embarrassing facts about you (required by law, don't blame me...), so prepare to sit back and blush, cuss or throw things at the monitor!
Just kidding. While I'd want to individually mention all of you, that would simply make this post grotesquely oversized; in addition, I would inevitably miss someone, hurt their feelings and (not) live to regret it. Therefore, aside from acknowledging one very special person, I'm just going to toss out some generalities, and if you fit in one or more of the following groups, just imagine--as you read my words--that I'm there heckling at you as described.
To Jessica: Parting with such sweet Sorrow... If only I could plant one last, passionate kiss on your neck right now. I'd add something else, but that might be too shocking for comfort, what with my current physical state and all. Not that disgust on the part of a lady has ever stopped me before, of course.
As I write this, my sincerest hope is that you never have to read it, except perhaps as a joke when we're 60 and looking back at our lives... But unfortunately, if you are, it most likely means my lungs have failed us both. I'm so sorry. Sorry for everything. Selfishly, even with the knowledge that this revelation may bring you great sadness, I cannot bring myself to regret pursuing you both on and off-line. But I must acknowledge that, perhaps, it would have been best if you had never known me.
Farewell, my love. If only I could hunt down the evil Thanatos for this, rip out his darkened heart with a rusty can opener and feed it to him, I would. I would be honored if you symbolically did the same, by living for both of us from now on. From what I knew, you certainly had a good start.
"Can the lips sing of Love in the desert alone,
Of kisses and smiles which they now must resign?
Or dwell with delight on the hours that are flown?
Ah, no! for those hours can no longer be mine...
Farewell, my young Muse! since we now can ne'er meet;
If our songs have been languid, they surely are few:
Let us hope that the present at least will be sweet--
The present--which seals our eternal Adieu."
- Lord Byron, Farewell To The Muse
To everyone I used to chat with or email: I won't miss you bums at all--since that would require the mind I used to have and the ability to think about you--but if I were still alive, I certainly would. You people were great. Again, I wish you all the best.
To all my formidable debate opponents, past and present, on this and other forums: Thanks for helping me sharpen my critical thinking skills, wit and assorted views. You get brownie points if you were one of the supremely rare posters that ever won an argument against and forced moi to rethink his position.
To all the people deconverted as a result of my writings: I accept your thanks if you're better off, and/or apologize if that little change in belief systems caused you grief.
To my real-life friends who might happen to read this (all -5 of them): The world needs more people like you and less people like the Bush administration. Hence, go forth and multiply.
To the religious people I knew as friends: I am sooo gonna be embarrassed, initially stunned but very happy nonetheless if we ever meet again, somehow. Should that happen, the drinks and dancing girls are on me. Not that it seems remotely likely.... Nevertheless, I sincerely thank you for reminding me that fundies are only an obnoxiously vocal minority of theists.
To the fundamentalists whose crappy arguments I made fun of: Thanks for a great amount of free entertainment that easily rivaled, and in many cases surpassed, the best George Carlin rants.
To those few people I trusted with this secret until my death: Thanks for everything, and I owe you one. Here's a signed debt slip for several million dollars US, not that it'll do you any good now! Hah, hah, hah.
And for those who think I deserve to be tortured forevermore for sincerely held ideological views that differ from theirs: a hearty "**** You, it's your Hell, you burn in it" will suffice.
In closing, I'd like to sign off with one of my all-time favorite poems, which you may very well consider my Internet epitaph:
"When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head
Nor shady cypress tree.
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain.
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set
Haply I may remember
And haply may forget."
- Christina Rossetti, Song
Sincerely, wishing a Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night,
Allan Lawrence Glenn,
friend, loved one, webmaster of the "Wonderful" [yeah, right] World of WinAce, LordCo Centre product designer, superstition-basher/sarcastic jackass extraordinaire, henceforth dead guy.If triangles had a God, He'd have three sides.
In 1945 the USA unleashed an enormous amount of energy over Hiroshima and Nagasaki...
What did THAT big bang create..?
Did it create anything at all..?
No it didnt. - Some YEC Muppet
November 7th 2005, 01:25 PM #33
Re: WinAce has died
I am heartbroken by his loss. What a wonderful letter.
November 7th 2005, 02:09 PM #34
Re: WinAce has died
I never met Allen, I only knew him as WinAce, here on TW. Everything I read of his I enjoyed. I thought he was brilliant. I will miss him. I don’t know what to write further I can’t find words I feel are appropriate; but when I read of his struggles and read his final letter these words came to mind.
Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
'T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,--
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Alfred TennysonIt is always better to know an approximation of the truth. We are not wise enough to know a good lie.
November 7th 2005, 03:14 PM #35
Re: WinAce has died
"Get used to believing that death is nothing to us. For all good and bad consists in sense experience, and death is the privation of sense experience. Hence a correct knowledge of the fact that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life a matter for contentment, not by adding a limitless time [to life] but by removing the longing for immortality.
For there is nothing fearful in life for one who has grasped that there is nothing fearful in the absence of life. Thus, he is a fool who says that he fears death not because it will be painful when present but because it is painful when it is still to come. For that which while present causes no distress causes unnecessary pain when merely anticipated. So death, the most frightening of bad things, is nothing to us; since when we exist death is not yet present, and when death is present, we do not exist. Therefore it is relevant neither to the living nor the dead, since it does not affect the former, and the latter do not exist.
But [most people] flee death as the greatest of bad things and sometimes choose it as a relief from the bad things of life. But the wise man neither rejects life nor fears death. For living does not offend him, nor does he believe not living to be something bad. And just as he does not unconditionally choose the largest amount of food but the most pleasant food, so he savours not the longest time but the most pleasant. He who advises the young man to live well and the old man to die well is simpleminded, not just because of the pleasing aspects of life, but because the same kind of practice produces a good life and a good death."
[Epicurus, Letter to Menoeceus]
November 7th 2005, 06:31 PM #36
Re: WinAce has died
I am very saddened to read of WinAce's death.Tektonics Research - All content, no jokes.
November 8th 2005, 07:04 AM #37
Re: WinAce has diedOriginally posted by LakeGeorgeMan
November 8th 2005, 10:07 AM #38
Re: WinAce has died
Rest well Allen!
Kiwimac"Mere mechanical infallibility is but a poor substitute for a plenary Inspiriation, which finds its expression in the right relation between partial human knowledge and absolute Divine truth." (Introduction to the Study of the Gospels, Westcott, p.41).
Poverty is not only low income and no assets. It is a condition of exclusion from the institutions and organizations of modern life. In many countries law courts, banks, education, health services, roads, water, electricity, even respect, are not available to the poor.
November 8th 2005, 11:08 AM #39
Re: WinAce has diedOriginally posted by Clutch Cargo
You can read all about it here: http://www.epicurus.net/
November 8th 2005, 11:27 AM #40
Re: WinAce has diedOriginally posted by Doubting John
One can wonder, as I do, had his journey on this Earth lasted, might he have learned the truth, and changed his convictions? (I noted his trust in the old Infidelic canard about the God of the Bible being so mean. (i.e. unjust), etc.)
Some cynics will never get it, and that is really sad! (The Bible presents a progressive revealtion of God, and we yet see through darkended lenses.)
A Psalm of Life
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
"Life is but an empty dream!"
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act to each to-morrow
Finds us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,--act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing
Learn to labor and to wait.
Longfellow (After his wife died in childbirth to his first son. Age 24 - 26 as memory serves me.)
Last edited by Richbee; November 8th 2005 at 11:32 AM.
November 8th 2005, 11:38 AM #41
Re: WinAce has died
I never had the pleasure of knowing Allen, but my deepest sympathies go out to him and his family.Your affectionate friend and fellow-citizen,
"Any system of religion that has any thing in it that shocks the mind of a child cannot be a true system."
-- Thomas Paine
(If a TWebber were to donate to Barack Obama's campaign by clicking <here>, would that be a cyber-violation of the separation between Church and State?)
November 8th 2005, 06:40 PM #42
Re: WinAce has died
• Edited by a Moderator •
November 8th 2005, 08:54 PM #43
Re: WinAce has died
I am saddened greatly by WinAce's death. I have read through his letter, particularly the part on how he became an Atheist. The three themes that come out are the profound sense of the absence of God, the reality of chance-like occurrence's in nature, and how a commitment to Love and Truth trumped for him all the other chasings of the wind in coping with his agonies in life.
But I think the intellectual dedication he showed in his lifetime along with the creative wit shown in this letter is a testimony to how we are not just molecules in motion or selfish genes trying to replicate ourselves. I have hope for WinAce because it seems his life and how it has touched me provides, IMHO, the proof that he so earnestly sought for. And I wish very much he could have gotten that operation so I might have gotten to know him a little.
November 8th 2005, 10:42 PM #44
Re: WinAce has died
I'm sad to say that I never had the pleasure of knowing WinAce, nor can I recall many of his posts... But it is on my list to look some of them up.
From glancing at his website, he was one smart young man. Very skilled at the keyboard.
My condolences to his family and friends.“Knowledge is experience. Everything else is just information.“
November 9th 2005, 12:25 AM #45
Re: WinAce has died
Last edited by LGM; November 9th 2005 at 12:53 AM.
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