The Speculist: Michael Sargent 1969-2009


Live to see it.

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Michael Sargent 1969-2009

MikeSargent.JPGIt is with great sorrow that I pass on the news that our dear friend and co-blogger Michael Sargent was killed in an automobile accident yesterday. The Colorado Springs Gazette reports:

Michael Sargent made "the future" his hobby. A science buff with a penchant for computers, the 39-year-old Colorado Springs man blogged for The Speculist, a Web site that explores how emerging technology and trends might change the world. Its motto: "Live to see it."

Sargent won't get to.

He was killed after a speeding pickup ran a red light and slammed into his car at Marksheffel Road and Constitution Avenue late Thursday. The computer technician, who was heading to his northern Colorado Springs home after work at Schriever Air Force Base, was pronounced dead at the hospital. He was wearing a seatbelt, but his 2002 Saturn coupe was broadsided on the driver's side.

Mike had a broad spectrum of interests and a sense of humor that could sneak up on you. He wrote on this site about robotics, artificial intelligence, energy, transportation, space travel (one of his favorite topics) and why in Spain it rains more often on the weekend than during the week. He cohosted FastForward Radio a couple of times, which was something I encouraged him to do more often. He agreed that podcasting was the perfect medium for The Speculist seeing as he, Stephen, and I all had faces "made for radio."

In his brief autobiography at the Speculist home page, he wrote:

The perspective Michael brings to the Speculist is born out of his roots in a small community with a relatively short history. Social networks on the Front Range tend to be smaller and flatter than they might be in other places. The number of relationships between one's self and certain socially- and historically- important figures is small. As examples, in his brief lifetime, Michael has personally met the all-around rodeo cowboy of 1906, multiple Governors, Soviet Cosmonaut Gherman Titov, and presidential candidate Gary Hart among others. All of this serves as justification to his personal belief that individuals, and the exchange of ideas among them, are the most fundamental influence on the direction and rate of technological and cultural change. Each individual has the capacity, and indeed the responsibility, to be aware of potential changes on the horizon, to evaluate them against personal preferences and values, and to exert their own influence on the process of either bringing these changes to pass or preventing others from doing so.

That responsibility was one that Mike took seriously, and the web community of futurists and technology enthusiasts will be poorer for his absence. He will be sorely missed.

Our deepest condolences to Peggy, to Mike's family, and to his many friends.

UPDATE: In lieu of flowers, Peggy Sargent has asked that donations be sent to the American Heart Association.


I have to disagree with The Colorado Spring Gazette on one small point. He was one of the few people I've ever met who found the whole world fascinating. So he got to "live to see it" everyday. And his enthusiasm was contagious.

We are thankful for the short time we had with Michael. Sheralyn and I send our sincere condolences.

I am so sorry to learn of this tragedy, and glad that, as Stephen said, he lived to see it every day. The present is important and exciting because it is becoming the future.

My sympathies to his family and to all of you. That's very sad news.

My thoughts and prayers are with you guys tonight, and with Michael Sargent and his family.

This is so sad. He deserved to live to see the Singularity.

All the more reason why people should wear helmets while they drive. I know it looks silly, but the vast majority of automobile deaths and serious injuries have to do with the head and neck. Serious injuries include getting bits of glass in your eyes and face.

Racecar drivers wear helmets. A thin, light, helmet with a wide, transparent visor would greatly reduce the 40,000 deaths and 2 million injuries from car crashes in America each year.

I am so sorry to learn of this tragedy, and glad that, as Stephen said, he lived to see it every day. The present is important and exciting because it is becoming the future.

I'm so sorry to hear this news.

I agree with everyone.

Including helmets while driving, though it sounds like it wouldn't have helped much in this case.

Mein gött! 40?
He had hundreds of years to live!

I'm so very sorry. My condolences to his family and friends.

40. Wow. Love and condolences to the family.
Finally, at the end, what is there between the beginning and the end years but our karmic load, however it plays out?
I will share the families sadness tonight, and hold a prayer quietly in my heart.


I'm one of Mike's brothers-in-law. He has often steered me toward Speculist, and I enjoyed "nerdling" with him. I am encouraged by everyone's outpouring of support here. We will miss him dearly. Let us hope that the better future Speculist envisions will someday come to pass.


Imagine what could have been, had he had another twenty or thirty more years.

I'm so very sorry guys.

I read this truly terrific blog all the time, and though I rarely comment, I must make an exception in this case! You see, my family and friends don't really share my unbridled passion for all that the future of technology offers the world. However, since discovering this place (and a few others like it) I am able to get my daily fix of optimism, enthusiasm and, in a way, sense of belonging to a worldwide community that shares my interests and my hopes. ...I think that's important.

In that way and others The Speculist provides a great service to those of us with our eye on tomorrow, and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

I will miss Michael's contributions here, and my thoughts are with his family and friends. I know that together we can create the future he dreamed of.

There are not enough positive people in the world and we just lost a great one. Micheal's contributions to a future that is "getting better all the time" will not be forgotten.

I'm an occasional visitor at this site but happen to be in Colorado Springs not far from where this horrible event happened. I read about it in my hotel room and 'The Speculist' jumped out.

It always sad when someone who dreams so large meets an early end.

I am so sorry to hear about Michael. My condolences to his family, his friends and his faithful readers. He will be missed.

I am very saddened to learn of this and I offer my condolences to Mr. Sargent's family and friends. I'm proud to say that I've been touched by his curiousity, enthusiasm, and vision of better possibilities. He leaves a fine legacy.

I was shocked to hear the news tonight on your radio show. My deepest sympathy to you all and to his family.

I'm so sorry to hear that. It reminds us about how fragile our biological existence is. It can end any time. So I hope we remember to appreciate every moment we're alive and live to our greatest capacity. It's good that he was here with us.

This is his wife, Peggy, posting this.

Mike's love for the future abounded in our household. He was always looking for new technologies that would make life easier and that might help people - especially those with serious medical conditions.

His intellect was astounding, although he rarely credited himself with how truly smart he was.

He was my highschool sweetheart, the love of my life, and a very unique and valuable soul - I was greatly blessed to have been chosen by him to share his life, which ended way too soon.

I would like everyone to know that fortunately for me, Mike and I always expressed our love to each other every time we parted company and whenever we spoke through the day. We were rarely angry with one another and resolved disputes quickly. For this foresight, I am very relieved. I can honestly say that I will never regret the last day we had together, for it was about perfect and definitely harmonious.

Our 18th anniversary and his 40th birthday would have been celebrated this June. I am devastated that he and I won't have the opportunity to share more memories together.

Our families, friends, colleagues, and everyone we knew are crushed. If Mike and I can impart one thing for everyone to remember - tell those you love how you feel often; you don't know what tomorrow will bring, good or bad.

Thank you for all the support - I'll be looking to my future with everyone that we befriended through the years and with both Mike's family and mine. I don't know what will be around the corner, but I do know that the future will present interesting new sciences and solutions that Mike would have loved.

I grew up in Cheyenne but have long since moved eastward. I was just beginning to reacquaint myself with many people that I knew in my youth when I happened upon this news. I was both stunned and saddened. Even though it has been two decades, I would have liked to say at least a quick hello from the distant past. I offer my condolences to his family.

I was stunned by the news of Mike's death. Though I haven't seen him high school, I remember him as very intelligent, and ever inquisitive, and as a good friend. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family.

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