Death in Cyberspace: A Study in Contrast

When you die, would you rather be remembered as a technology hack who annoyed millions and forced them to waste time by weeding through torrents of junk e-mail, or a brilliant teacher who inspired millions to treasure every moment of the time they have left?

According to police, Edward Davidson, the “spam king” whose wife helped him break out of a minimum security prison, has killed himself, his wife, and a child yesterday. He was famous for getting rich off of the stupid people who respond to unsolicited bulk e-mail advertisements.

According to various news reports, Randy Pausch, whose “Last Lecture” at Carnegie Mellon University became a YouTube sensation, has run out of time in his battle with pancreatic cancer today. He was famous for giving the rest of us a model for how to face our final days.