I googled the web for any previous postings by my dear Munch2 and found his previous postings as long ago as 1995 when he was just a 15 year old pioneer of the web and a photo of him (see photo on the left) in a Kidlink class. It's so precious and bittersweet to see his photo then and hear his youthful idealistic voice again in these postings on kidlink:
Subject: File: "KIDART PXBENWAL"
|=| THE KIDLINK |=|
|=| PHOTO EXCHANGE |=|
|=| PROJECT |=|
|=| Coordinated by |=|
|=| Ben Walter |=|
1) Who am I?
My name is Ben Walter, and i'm 15. I live in the outer reaches
of civilization in Cambridge, England ;-> I love music,
reading, computers and going to see movies. I'm a DeadHead
(or as close as you can get to one stuck over here :->); that
is I love the Grateful Dead. I'm about 6ft tall, and I love
wearing brightly-coloured tye-dye shirts. I guess typical
clothes for me are jeans and a t-shirt (tye-dyed of course!)
with the odd silk head-band thrown in for effect :-> No
60s retrospectives here folks! *grin*
2) What do I want to be when I grow up?
I'm not entirely sure what I want to be. I certainly want to
carry on working on the Net; I love the Net and all those on it.
I'd think to carry on working the KidLink community and help
it to expand. I'm really entranced with the whole idea of
a global community of kids. It's the sort of thing most
people are only dreaming of, but it's happening now and
we're a part of it!
3) How do I want the world to be better when I grow up?
I would like to see people learn to understand each other
more. I would like to see people treat each other as they
would treat themselves, and realise that they aren't alone.
I'd love for people to understand different ways of thinking,
and learn to respect them rather than ridicule or criticize
4) What can I do now to make this happen?
I think that the KIDS project is working on this right now. It's
getting Kids all around the world working together and learning
about each other. There is a big difference between learning
that there are however-many-million people living in, for
example, Russia, and talking to a russian child, learning about
how they see the situation. It makes people see how events around
the world affect real people. For example in the recent uprising
in Moscow I knew people who actually were in the city at the time.
It wasn't just a crowd of blank faces, hell, my friend could have
//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\ > firstname.lastname@example.org <
In the land of the night \ email@example.com
the ship of the sun is drawn by The Grateful Dead. \//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//
As I am copying this message and including his old photo... I have dispersed his pixeldust into the web world for the duration of this site and his kidlink site. One never knows how long one's words will last online. Online sites converge into one in mergers and acquisitions... sites go out of business... new website redesigns replace old pages. I discovered that munch2's website "bwalter.org" is probably going to be down someday. I thought of buying his domain and so that I never see it replaced by someone else's information. instead, I could pay a tribute to him on that site. If more people comment on these messages and his words proliferate, he lives on in the pixeldust, his words echo forever in cyberspace.
There's so much beauty in him that I see again when I read this message -- all that idealism I saw when he was passionately engaged in mudding in the first day of the MIT class we took together so long ago. Hmmm... 6 feet tall-- I never knew he was that tall and never knew he loved tie-dyed shirts although I can imagine that he did as a hippie visionary of the X generation. Or is that the Y generation? I believe the Y generation starts in 1978.