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An influential Ruby programmer, writer and cartoonist working under the pseudonym “_why” has disappeared from the Internet. He — or someone with access to his accounts — has deleted his Twitter account, blog, and all of his programming work. Some folks think the disappearance, which has been extensively analyzed and examined by commenters at Hacker News, was related to an anonymous blog that attempted to uncover _why’s true identity. But the person whom they decided was him, Jonathan Gillette, told me this afternoon that he is not _why and that he’d never even heard of him before yesterday.
So while the mystery goes unsolved, a number of “eulogies” and tweets directed at his Twitter stream have been posted in the aftermath of his disappearance, but no real answers. Perhaps his very name, _why, sums it up best: Why did he share his code to begin with, and why did he leave without a trace? The truth may come out eventually, or we may never know. Perhaps ours is not to reason why, but to simply enjoy what is.