I really appreciate all you did.
RIP, Anti-Spam Warrior
I really appreciate all you did.
RIP, Anti-Spam Warrior
I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to get to you know you both professionally and personally. I came to understand your passion and appreciate your desire to make a difference. I also came to enjoy when we weren’t talking shop. I never left a conversation with you without taking away something interesting, amusing or thought provoking. Thank you.
JD was one of the first people I knew on Usenet – perhaps not a mentor,
but not that far from it either. He co-moderated newsgroups with me; he
ran my backup DNS; as I recall, he even helped with The Dungeon back in
I never figured out that he lived down the street.
I never actually met JD.
And now I will mourn him.
…to hopefully help dull the pain and loss.
” I prefer to think of him as Fighting Spam In Another Dimension!
” JD Falk has accepted a position at an un-named corporation specializing in cloud computing.
” He would say only that their firewall technology is to die for, and the benefits package is heavenly…
Aloha, JD, you will most assuredly be missed.
I enjoyed the time when I worked with you during the dotcom bubble JD, you will be missed.
Compared to all the people posting here, I barely knew JD. I met him twice at MAAWG, exchanged a handful of emails with him and read lots of his posts at various anti-spam/IETF lists. He always seemed to me to be a genuinely nice person. Also someone who really want to make the Internet a better place – not someone who thought that x years of working within the industry/community entitled him to say how things should be done, but someone who listened to other people’s arguments and always had balanced arguments of his own.
Having read the things many people have written about him, here and elsewhere, I am now certain he didn’t just seem nice: he was nice. And I feel sad I never got a chance to properly meet him. Still, may he continue to be an inspiration for many people sharing his goals.
I know I can’t be as eloquent as some here, and I am sure I was little more than a passing face in the stream of JD’s life, but he had a large impact on mine. He helped to choose me to work for my first ISP in network engineering, even though I knew little of how things worked on that level. But he helped to teach me virtually everything I needed to know, from the basics of IP addressing to the OSI model to so much more. And that is just professionally!
I never knew him half as well as I would have liked, and looking back I realize how much of an opportunity I lost when I didn’t keep in touch with him, or try to get to know him more. But I was young, awe-struck, and terrified of looking stupid, so I never did. His loss is a loss to the world, and again, words can’t state the impact he had on my life.
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.
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.
J.D. and I both worked at MAPS back in the day, and had pretty regular disagreements. We were both a lot younger then. I was pretty mouthy, not recognizing the wisdom that J.D. was often offering. And MAPS was also a pretty poisonous environment. I’m glad that what happened back in those days didn’t keep me from learning to appreciate and learn from J.D.’s insight and wisdom later on. I’m glad that didn’t keep us from our later online interactions, as simple and limited as they were. When I search my saved email folder, there is so much there to and from J.D., and it’s all valuable stuff, steps on how to improve email, the internet, life. A bit of how to deal with the jerks, and occasionally, a bit of begging that he not lump me in with the jerks.
I didn’t know J.D. as well or as close as others. I regret that. But I am so amazingly lucky to have known him and been able to listen from him and learn from him.
Also, blue hair and a fantastic taste in music: J.D. was, and remains, cool.
— Al Iverson
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.
I didn’t know JD personally, but I worked with him while he was at Yahoo and missed him professionally when he left. Now I just miss him.
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.
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.
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.
You’ll be missed, JD!
– Tony Hansen
Rest in peace, and now you have superuser access to the universe, keep on fighting the good fight.
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.
“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