THE ADVOCATE 573
VOL. 79 PART 4 JULY 2021
became quite concerned and decided to have a talk with Mike. A meeting
was arranged, and she described what happened: “As I walked toward Mike
and began to speak, he stopped me by extending his arm toward me. He
said, ‘Tell Rick I love him.’” Thus ended the conflict. That was the kind of
person Mike was.
Among his many attributes, Mike had a very inquisitive mind with a
keen interest in a wide range of subjects, which we often discussed over coffee.
One was the theory of singularity as espoused by the futurist Ray
Kurzweil. His theory was that a time was coming when the extent of human
knowledge would intersect with the technological advances in artificial
intelligence. When that point is reached, humankind will have created a
superhuman artificial intelligence capable of self-improvement and better
and faster performance, outperforming the capabilities of human performance.
Our discussions evolved around what the consequences would mean
for the human race.
We covered many topics, including philosophy, politics, the cosmos and
the unfolding, ever-expanding universe and the associated concept of infinity,
a number of sub-themes under the broader theme of Christianity, and
the idea or concept of virtual reality. His vision was that one day in the nottoo
distant future we would be able to travel virtually, enjoying all the
sounds and sensory impressions of a place virtually, while seated at home
enjoying a cup of coffee. We even spent one spring day watching the TED
talks livestreamed at a local theatre.
Mike was somewhat lackadaisical when it came to looking after things,
including his house. One memorable incident involving the state of his
house stands out. On one of my earlier visits to his home, I noticed a huge
tarp laying on the living room carpet with a bucket on top of it below a hole
in the ceiling. It was placed to catch water from a leaking roof whenever it
On a later visit, Mike got the bright idea that he and I could climb onto the
roof and repair the leak. So, on one hot summer late afternoon, we clambered
up, with a can of tar and a couple of sticks. We managed to smear tar
over the area where Mike was sure the leak originated. Our very unprofessional
efforts seemed to have worked, as the tarp and bucket disappeared.
Mike’s life story would be incomplete without mention of what was most
important in his life: his support and love for his family. That support and
love were without reservation. He was always there for his children in whatever
circumstances they found themselves. This extended to his siblings.
They all responded in kind. At George Derby Centre, immobile and totally
dependent on others, it was not uncommon for him to phone his brother or