TA wrote:Thad wrote:I was fortunate enough to see him speak once.
...you know what I mean.
was the ableist dig necessary
Maybe not. But he seemed to have a sense of humor about his disability.
You might consider that you haven't left yourself with a whole lot of credibility on the subject of what is and isn't an appropriate thing to say in the obit thread.
At any rate, I was fortunate to attend a lecture by Dr. Hawking; it was a privilege and an honor. And one specific moment stands out: he came out onstage, and there were some initial technical difficulties where his voice wasn't properly patched into the speaker system. And the auditorium was silent. For probably a couple of minutes, nobody said a word. This was in an auditorium that was probably near its 3000-person capacity, and every last one of them waited quietly. I've never experienced anything like it: a crowd of people that size, and that silent.
Stephen Hawking inspired a reverence that few people can -- the combination of his amazing brain, his perseverance in the face of a disease that doctors expected to claim his life 50 years ago, his gift for boiling cutting-edge physics down to layman's terms, and his warmth and humor. The world will never see his like again.