Acknowledgments [chapter]

2020 Hitting the Brakes  
Acknowledgments Hitting the Brakes is dedicated to the memory of Michael S. Mahoney, a professor of history and the history of science at Princeton University for forty years. On 23 July 2008, Mike unexpectedly passed away. He was my mentor and friend and a strong influence on this work. A master teacher and a thoughtful scholar, Mike took particular pleasure in speaking to many audiences, from software engineers to historians, undergraduates to high school teachers. In part he was able to do
more » ... he was able to do this because he scrupulously followed his own curiosity; to Mike, history was about finding the right questions to ask-of practitioners, texts, and artifacts alike. Ideally, interesting questions yielded great stories, such as Christiaan Huygens's disputes with his clockmaker and the tales Mike heard firsthand from Bell Labs engineers involved in the development of unix. Mike's questions drove my thinking in this book, as I wondered out loud in his office why so much supposedly proprietary knowledge was sitting in the library at the University of Stuttgart. He replied simply, "That's what you need to figure out. " This book is the result of trying to figure that out. My debt to him is far deeper than my admiration for his scholarship. Mike's death, one year before he planned to retire, cut short a life we all hoped would continue for years, allowing him not only to complete his work on software engineering but, more important, to live out his retirement and see the grandchildren he so cherished grow up. The balance between work and life that Mike valued and achieved is part of what makes his loss so difficult to accept. He did not wait until retirement to live, and he often cautioned me to keep life in perspective: books will wait, but children cannot. He seemed to have figured out how to find joy in life, through his scholarship, through his family and friends, through athletics and his hobbies. He was a consistent voice of reason in an environment that, at times, has tended toward unreasonableness. His work and life continue to inspire me and offer hope that a life well lived is possible in the academy. I present this book to his wife, Jean, as a token of my intellectual and personal debt. In writing a work about knowledge communities it is impossible not
doi:10.1515/9780822391043-002 fatcat:66a2fs722jd7voqkh7fuulqtoi