Chris Lightfoot is dead

by Chris Bertram on March 5, 2007

I’m very sorry to see, via “the Virtual Stoa”: , that “Chris Lightfoot”: , blogger, coder and social entrepreneur “has died suddenly”: . My own knowledge of Chris was limited to reading his blog, exchanging the odd email, and sometimes visiting the various projects he helped create (such as “Pledgebank”: ). But I read enough to notice that he was one of the few really individual voices on the interwebs: quirky, stubborn, idiosyncratic and pretty determined about the things he cared about – such as government and commercial threats to privacy.



Maria 03.05.07 at 8:09 pm

What awful, shocking news. I never met Chris but I’ve read his blog for some time and admired his wry but never completely cynical view of privacy politics in the UK.

In my experience, it’s rare that people with strong convictions do the real, constructive, ego-denying and continuous legwork inside and outside of policy processes that’s essential to make their ideas reality. Chris’s work for mysociety showed he was one of those rare people. He is a huge loss to anyone who cares about using the web for accountability and public participation in the work of government.

This is a sad day.


Donald Johnson 03.05.07 at 9:22 pm

I was sorry to hear this. I only visited his blog a few times, but I knew the name immediately.


Chris Williams 03.05.07 at 10:44 pm

Damn. I’ve known Chris online since the early days of soc.history.what-if. I’ll miss him as a person, and you, reader, will also miss him, especially if you live in the UK. Chris was an industrial-strength example of civilty and civic-mindedness.


Harald K 03.06.07 at 7:13 am

He was also seriously clever and original. His political surveys, which used principal component analysis to identify people’s fundamental agreements and disagreements, were a stroke of genius. I’ve wondered why more people didn’t take it up, and I’d even played with the thought of asking him for the source code.

I will miss him.


John Quiggin 03.07.07 at 1:18 pm

Sad news. I enjoyed visiting his blog.

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