16
November

Welcome

Thank you for visiting this memorial site for J.D. Falk.

J.D.’s professional focus was email technology and anti-spam systems and policies. His life was devoted to his passions: writing, music, travel, volunteerism, charity, culinary delights, and so very much more.

He had a long and storied career, most recently employed by Return Path Inc. as their Director of Internet Standards & Governance, beyond which J.D.’s boundless energy made him an industry leader; as a founding member of the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email (CAUCE), the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), and publishing standards with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Quite simply put, J.D. worked every day to make the world a better place.

Mostly, J.D. Falk was a Son, a Brother, a Husband, a Friend, and a Colleague in the truest sense of the word. He will be missed by so many, because above all, he was a truly nice person. We invite you to share your memories of our beloved J.D.  We welcome, and value your contributions.

Please post a submission to this site by clicking here.

6 comments

21
November

Vale dr.jd

Terribly sad to hear that jd lost his fight. Condolences to his family, friends and all the bay arean icbers.

A great loss to the world, here’s to the man who taught me everything I know about spam (even if he didn’t know it *lurks*).

dr.kat

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18
November

Be seeing you.

While we never met in person, I am saddened that now I never will.

P

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18
November

Requiescat In Pacem J.D.

I am wild tonight. I am wolf and jaguar and bloody to the root. My eyes are filled with blood and my slavering mouth fetid with outrage and hunger for the justice that I know is not here and will not come. There are three paths for the living: The first is to embrace life down to the bloody root. The second is to deny it. The third is some elaborate convoluted nonsense that does no beating heart or hallowed corpse a kindness. I am wild tonight, embracing bloody awful life because my darling friend, too soon, too young is dead. Requiescat In Pacem J.D.Falk.

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18
November

Much love, light and great peace J.D.

Thank you J.D. for being such a sweet, kind, compassionate and loving man! Truly beautiful soul! So broken up in your passing. Tearing up a lot… Seeing pix of your happy face radiating joy, and hearing friends memories and words about you. You are so greatly missed and dearly loved! So happy I had the honor and pleasure of being your friend J.D. Thank you for all the love and good vibes! Though I hadn’t seen you a lot in the last few years, the time we did have together was so very special and inspiring! Thank you J.D. for all the love, compassion, kindness, and joy you shared and created! You are in my thoughts and prayers! Much love, light and great peace!

<3 Forest

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17
November

Now, I realize that I miss him.

I knew J.D. in two ways: Through antispam circles, and in the Bay Area dance/party scene. He was a valuable and beloved figure in both, central to their vibrancy — although quiet and modest about his role. I remember him an a creative, thoughtful, and ready-for-anything co-adventurer.

Our antispam collaboration started when I got involved around 1999. He had already been a long-time soldier in that fight as a board member and founder of several organizations, and a technical pro for companies dealing with the problem. For some reason I remember him fulfilling a much more mundane role than his lofty titles suggest. In June of 2001, I threw an event called “SpamCon” at the Canterbury Hotel in San Francisco to bring together system administrators, online advertisers, policymakers, and other stakeholders for that seminal issue. He was always good with tools, so he showed up — a little late, possibly after an all-night dance party, blue (?) dye faded in his dissheveled hair — to wrench together pipes that held the “Welcome!” banner. Then he stayed for the entire two-day conference.
For the parties, I remember him in the context of another construction project: creation of the titular goat for the GoatRodeo camp for Burning Man, 2001 (or was it 2000?). Here it is: http://tgeller.com/graphics/portraits/tom_burningman.jpg . Sadly, the image galleries at http://www.houseness.org/goatrodeo/ are broken: Does anyone have pics of J.D. from there?
As too often happens, we hadn’t connected in years. His death makes me dig through old emails to see when we’d last chatted — it was 2007, regarding a real-estate article I was working on for the San Francisco Chronicle. (It was about converting churches into homes; years earlier, he had invited me to an all-night dance party at such a property near the Macarthur BART in Oakland.) Like the old-school ‘netter he was, his .sig included a quote. It was:
“Well here we are, Mr. Pilgrim,
trapped in the amber of this moment.
There is no why.” — Kurt Vonnegut
Wherever you are, J.D., I hope you’re having fun.

1 comment

17
November

Say hello to Heaven…

JD…  goddamn. A month ago, you told me via email that you were feelin’ all right. I reminded you to go out on your front step on October 31 and “holler ‘WEEN'”, like you mentioned once, years ago.

I’m lucky to have known you. I got to call you a good friend. And, even if I never quite spelled it out for you, I always admired your mind. The way your brain worked. The ideas you had, your diligence in research. Your sense of humor!

You left this world not knowing this, but in your last few months you helped me – in a way you might not have imagined. When you were going through treatment, when you observed others being treated for lung cancer, struggling with all their might just to take a breath — that reached me. You didn’t know it at the time, but you were talking me into kicking cigarettes after 25 years. Labor Day weekend of this year, I left the smokes behind. You helped me do that. I can’t thank you now, but I can forever be grateful.

I can’t forget your smile. I can’t forget your heart. I can’t forget how you so genuinely gave a damn for everyone you called a friend. I can’t forget the mark you made in my world, and the worlds of so many others.

And now, if it’s all the same, I think I’m just going to cry for a bit.

A.J. Morning

phoenix@cybernothing.org

 

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17
November

Heartbroken

I am almost at a loss for words.

In 1993, JD and I co-wrote the alt.internet.media-coverage FAQ ( see http://www.uni-giessen.de/faq/archiv/internet.media-coverage-faq.part1-2/msg00000.html ) which helped manage what was then a nascent journalistic community on the internet.

JD was probably one of the strongest forces for good on the internet I’ve met. It is hard to lose friends, it is even harder to lose friends when they are so young. I have lost a friend but more importantly, the whole internet has lost a friend and one of the people who helped make discourse on the internet substantially better.

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17
November

You made my friend’s eyes light up and heart swell

You did, JD.  I remember when Hope first spoke of you.  I remember the light in her eyes.  I remember seeing you two together for the first time……..and how easily you two connected….fit.  You loved her.  She loved you…..unconditionally.  It’s rare, you know.  Rare.  Thank you for being such a light in her eyes and her heart…….and in ours by association.  I don’t know why you had to leave so soon but I know that while you were here, you imprinted us all with your grace.

Thank you, JD.

Liz

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17
November

I’m still seeking the appropriate words.

For many of us who had our fingers in email and usenet before there was a spam problem to fight, it was really our souls… our spirit enmeshed in the idea. We were all hooked on these profound connections we’d made with our words in our niches of newsgroups and mailing lists.

There was a passion for providing an infrastructure to help others achieve the same connections, to provide a vehicle for their words,. And a naivety that just providing it would change the people who joined into our little world more than their joining changed it.  Some of us became jaded fairly quickly, but JD always kept the lamp of optimism lit and held high.

Even in the whiz-bang web2.0 world, words matter. These aren’t the best words, or the appropriate words, but they’ll have to do for now.

jzp

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17
November

A friend to everyone who uses the Net

I can’t claim to be a close personal friend of J.D., but for most of 2 decades I have known him as a fellow crusader against the abuse of mail and Usenet, a valuable colleague at MAPS, and genuinely good and kind man.

J.D. was one of the first people on Usenet to treat me like an adult human, as much as I may not have deserved it. It was some years later that I learned that he was significantly younger than me, making his combined level-headedness and technical skill all the more impressive. In a sense I owe him my marriage. He was one of the most active and positive participants in the “Usenet 2″ project, an experiment which succeeded long enough that my wife and I met through a Usenet 2 newsgroup.

More importantly, J.D. was a leader in the trenches of the war against net abuse for his whole career, and he has been working for the public good the whole time. There is still spam despite his work, and despite the work that the rest of us carry on doing, but because J.D. took on some tough battles and fought them as well as anyone could, we all are better off than we would be without him. Even those people who never knew he existed. Many of us who share that fight do it with varying degrees of misanthropic egotism, grumbling about spammers and clueless users and spamfighters who aren’t as brilliant or pure as ourselves, but J.D. always seemed to be doing it for everyone, mostly with a smile.


Bill Cole

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17
November

Miss you J.D. Thank You for all the memories and positive influence.

Its been awhile but I know you are always around that next corner.  You have proved yourself to be inspiring and always reliable.  I remember meeting you like it was yesterday, it has been a wonderful ride since. KOIN will miss you, I will miss you.

-Alex

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17
November

I can\’t be too mad at spammers

I can’t be too mad at spammers. I probably never would have met J.D. if not for them.

-russ nelson

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17
November

My Condolences

JD was such a powerful, wise, and kind-hearted colleague, friend, and ally. As a tireless leader of the worldwide war against spam — through his leadership at CAUCE and MAAWG, his hands-on work at Hotmail, Yahoo!, and Return Path, and his kind, sensitive, and caring approach to making the Internet a safer place — JD had a tremendous, lasting impact on spam, e-mail, and the Internet as a whole.

We will miss him and his contributions terribly. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family, friends, colleagues, and the extended e-mail community.

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17
November

We lost one of the definite good guys

You’ll be missed, JD!

– Tony Hansen

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17
November

Truly one of the kindest people I ever met.

I first met JD in India, when he good heartedly agreed to accompany my oldest friend (and later his wife) Hope on a visit to me. He had a conference in Hyderabad, many hundreds of miles away but went waaaay out of his way to make sure Hope and I could connect.  I had my then husband and three kids in tow, chaos abounded. He and Hope travelled all night by car to meet us at the hotel. It was beastly hot. The food was hot. The room was hot. My kids swarmed all over him. Hope and I chattered like excited birds and basically left him to his own devices. He and James bellied up to a bottle of scotch and wrangled the kids. When Hope and I came up for air, I tossed a ‘sorry about the choas, thanks for being so cool’ at him. He smiled a genuine smile and said, ‘no problem, it’s fine.’ And it was.

Then he pulled copies of Sesame Street out of his bag-‘There is a new character! Abby-Kadaby’. My oldest daughter’s name. He watched it with the kids 20 times in 2 days.

We travelled by rickshaw, went to the zoo (scary), the playground, shopped for souvenirs, ate at roadside stands, all in twenty trillion degree heat…and always that easy going smile. Always the ‘it’s fine.’ and it really WAS.

He was the most singularly laid-back cool cat I ever met. He took it all in stride. When the visit was over, he paid the hotel bill for all of us.  A class act.

A couple days later we picked up his wedding suit (betcha didn’t know that sucker was hand made for him!) and it is my priviledge to say that he purchased the yamulke he wore at their wedding in India as well. That was the first time I met JD and the last time I was actually in his physical presence. Mostly we e mailed, and sometimes spoke through Hope.

I am and will ALWAYS be grateful that he entered her life. He was the light of her world. A perfectly matched set. I pray for her to be able to remake her life without him. I pray that his good hearted spirit will find peace, enlightenment and ultimate goodness for eternity. And that he will bless her from wherever he is.

Your goodness will be deeply missed my friend. Travel on in peace.

~Maggie Rabiteau~

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17
November

Crying in my soup

My friend J.D. Falk died last night. Fuck cancer.

Lately, I didn’t get to see him (or his awesome wife Hope) as often as I would have liked, but I will remember him well as one who lived life with aplomb and panache.

Back when I worked with J.D. at Return Path,  I worked in our Bay Area office, and he still worked in our Colorado office. I’d travel there frequently, often going out every 3-4 weeks, and staying for a week before returning home.

As fun and interesting as the work was, the highlight of every trip for me was going out to lunch with J.D. (and Neil, when he was in the country), and the conversations we’d have. Having dim sum or phô with J.D. will always be one of my favorite things.

I’m crying over my oatmeal as I write this, but I’ll be having phô for lunch and thinking of you today J.D., and I’ll try not to get big wet tears in my soup.

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17
November

To The Good Life…

“Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives… and to the ‘good life,’ whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.” -Hunter S. Thompson

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17
November

goodbye old friend

I’ll better myself by remembering you.

– Eliot

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17
November

A Good Man

I had the chance to work with JD at KGNU. I can say without hesitation, that he was one of the nicest, smartest, and most good-humored people I’ve ever known. We felt like we lost a good friend and colleague when he left Colorado and feel very sad knowing we’ll never see him again.

On behalf of the entire KGNU community, I send my condolences to Hope and the rest of his family.

Barry Gilbert

KGNU

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