Christ Lightfoot

RIP Chris 'Oggie' Lightfoot

As you may have read - here, here, here, and especially eloquently here, our friend and colleague Oggie passed away unexpectedly in February 2007. There is so much to say about Oggie - and many people have eloquently done so - because he did so much, and because what he did, he did more elegantly & passionately than anyone else.

I first met Oggie at school and became firm friends - his wit and sharp argumentative brilliance were already fully formed. As 14 year olds we carved a hole in the school's walls to rig up a rudimentary network between our adjacent rooms. As always with Oggie, what I thought was an attempt to write a 'silly' multi-player game - soon turned into a rather rigorous exercise in some of the fundamental principles of networking.


That's how I like to characterise Oggie's intellect: caring deeply about profound problems - and not suffering any kind of fluff or lazy thinking. His work for mySociety, and his often hilarious blog posts, changed forever the way people use the internet - not just politically, with sites like WriteToThem, but also through his many ground-breaking internet/ statistical/mapping/geographic/political creations.

In his work for MediaMolecule, he immediately distinguished himself by having a clever, considered answer for anything, on demand. Invariably, any disagreement would lead to intense discussion, and the resolution would quickly be found - usually because while I fixated on some surface wrinkle, the fluffy details of the problem, he would already be working on a deeper, more fundamental issue.


One of his many legacies, then, is something like 'Oggie's Razor'. Chris, I hope I use it wisely, and never will I see a recv() without thinking of you.

The world has lost a wonderful, important person. Rest in peace dear Yak.

- Alex

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