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Does anyone know anything about user Edwin Ashworth? A somewhat exigent and at times infuriating stickler for standards, I find myself missing his droll comments. He's been “missing” since July.

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    One of his last comments (here) was about being found to be missing. Coincidence? – JJJ Oct 28 '18 at 21:36
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    @JJJ ... that's creepy. Of course, it's coincidence. – Mari-Lou A Oct 28 '18 at 21:38
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    He’s been inactive for long periods of time before, and finally always came back. I really don’t miss him but he will eventually turn up again also this time. – user240918 Oct 29 '18 at 8:16
  • @user240918 it's nearly four months... – Mari-Lou A Oct 29 '18 at 8:22
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    Sad that users should downvote someone's concern about a fellow member. What does that tell us and visitors about this community? – Mari-Lou A Oct 30 '18 at 5:28
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    @Mari-LouA +13 -2 tells us that they are in the minority, and that the community cares about its long-standing members going missing. – Lawrence Oct 31 '18 at 9:10
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    I wouldn't say you were a stickler for standards, Mari-Lou. But Edwin is. – TimLymington Nov 2 '18 at 9:59
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    @TimLymington I meant him of course. But I see how it could be misinterpreted. Thank you for nit-picking and making sure standards are kept high :P – Mari-Lou A Nov 2 '18 at 11:26
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    @Mari-LouA: It tells us that this site is behaving as it always has. EL&U seems to partake of a mixture of broad collegiality seasoned with acute dyspepsia. – Robusto Nov 2 '18 at 19:16
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    @ab2 Haha! I’ll take it. Always wanted to be a bad boy, stealing hearts and riding Harleys. – Dan Bron Nov 3 '18 at 3:46
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    I suppose we wouldn’t be expecting any more definitive responses unless Edwin returns, but I just wanted to drop you a note saying, “Good on you for asking”. – Lawrence Nov 7 '18 at 14:50
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    This kind of question should be asked in the chat room(s). – AmE speaker Nov 11 '18 at 16:41
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    @Knotell why? Are you offended? Do you think chat is more private? – Mari-Lou A Nov 11 '18 at 16:46
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    FWIW...I did a search in the obits of the Oldham Times, Funeral-Notices.co.UK, (the other rags in the area are less user-friendly), and I got nothing. So...I am thinking now it was a personal decision to leave off contributing for a while. I hope this helps put your mind at ease. – Cascabel Jan 22 at 14:47
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    He's back :-) – choster May 21 at 14:24
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There are tools to check on this. Here's a click as of this morning.

Edwin Ashworth in the flesh, 2019-05-21

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    A few of us have already welcomed him back since his return on 17th (I think). Hooray for Edwin! – Mari-Lou A May 21 at 15:38
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It's likely that anyone who knows would say nothing out of a respect for user privacy. Unless we hear from him personally, I think this is the answer to your question.

(From this perspective, when you ask if the two downvotes on the question show lack of concern, actually the opposite might be true.)

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    Oh, so they were telling me to mind my own business. Possible.... I suppose they could even be justified thinking that. But I would only like to know if he is well. I hope he is. – Mari-Lou A Nov 2 '18 at 21:54
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    @Mari-LouA It was a kind gesture on your part, and I doubt there is anybody who would disagree with that. – MetaEd Nov 2 '18 at 22:43
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    Downvoting this question out of concern for user privacy is perverse. First, because a genuine concern when a user disappears is natural and collegial. Ignoring a prolonged absence of a prominent user is callous. Second, because, if true, it implies that the reason is an unhappy one. So, I think the downvoters are downvoting simply because they can, not for any admirable reason. – ab2 Nov 2 '18 at 23:35
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    @ab2 on the other hand, from a realpolitik perspective, seeing that all (prominent) users will cease at some point (assuming the site continues to be), it's not really feasible to voice concern for every user's disappearance. On the other hand, there is precedent of users situation being communicated through meta when the news is known, e.g. on Christianity.SE. So I guess there's an argument on both cases, asking / answering respectfully and distancing oneself as explained in this answer. – JJJ Nov 4 '18 at 1:22
  • @JJJ You have a point. But in the 3.5 years I have been a user here, I remember only one permanent unexplained disappearance or retirement. Possibly there were others, and I didn't know users well enough to realize they had gone. So I don't think we are at the point yet where a long absence must be shrugged off . Perhaps a good model is the Class Notes section of a university magazine, where people write in notes about themselves -- or don't. – ab2 Nov 4 '18 at 1:44
  • @ab2 isn't that what the bio in your profile is already for? Anyway, could be fun to have a meta post where everyone can answer a bit about themselves and others can comment on it. Just saying it could be, like a bonding exercise. Also, if a user edits their answer it comes back up, so it would be bumped every once in a while. – JJJ Nov 4 '18 at 1:47
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    @JJJ Science Fiction and Fantasy asked people on their Meta to write a few sentences on how they got started on the SFF site -- a delayed birth announcement, so to speak. – ab2 Nov 4 '18 at 1:51
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    @JJJ "…it's not really feasible to voice concern for every user's disappearance…" do you know how many users have got off the radar since I joined? Kosmonaut for one thing. This is the first–and probably the last time–I have plucked the courage (yes, sometimes it has to be plucked!) to ask members if they have any news of a respected and esteemed member. – Mari-Lou A Nov 4 '18 at 9:07
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    @Mari-LouA and like many other ELU members I support your concern. From time to time it's good to look back and see who we miss and why, but we mustn't only look back (and you can make that statement for people and many other nostalgic things). In this case, you shouldn't view my comments as disagreeing with your position. In case of my comments on the new design, you may and they are, but I think that's fine. ;) – JJJ Nov 4 '18 at 9:41
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    Meta Ed, you didn't answer the original question. You instead provided an explanation, or a justification, for the few downvotes. So, because I think you do know something, is Edwin going to come back? – Mari-Lou A Nov 4 '18 at 12:52
  • @Mari-LouA I answered your question, and added a related comment about the downvotes. Sorry I did not make this distinction clear. I've edited. – MetaEd Nov 5 '18 at 15:17
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    What if he is dead? Would users in the know still keep us in the dark? Is he dead? – AmE speaker Nov 11 '18 at 16:40
  • @Knotell I don't know -- or even suspect -- anything. There isn't any point in discussing this further, until someone has new information. – MetaEd Nov 12 '18 at 20:06
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    I was actually hoping someone would say that Edwin had enough of EL&U and was taking a sabbatical. Or that he was recovering from a bad case of flu or pneumonia, or he had to tend to personal family affairs, something like that. Nothing macabre. – Mari-Lou A Nov 21 '18 at 9:59
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    He's back! I am so so pleased, I'd still be happy even if he downvoted my answers. I wouldn't care in the least. Edwin is well. – Mari-Lou A May 17 at 11:18

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