It’s a day of mourning as James Kim, an editor for CNET, was found dead in Oregon after 11 days stranded in the wilderness. Fortunately, his wife and two young daughters were recovered alive several days ago.
The news is particularly distressing to me as I used to visit CNET rarely, out of disdain for their sub-par reviews and overall crapiness, but that all changed when Mr. Kim came around. His writing, as well as video reviews, livened up the site as he proved to be much more interesting than other editors. He seemed to be very in touch with the customer and always addressed relevant concerns when reviewing new products. Finally, like me, he held an appreciation for the non-iPod MP3 players and treated companies who were willing to innovate (such as Archos) with respect and fairness, rather than writing them off because of inferior marketing or name-brand appeal.
It should be said that James Kim died a hero; having waited a week with no sign of impending aid and his family’s food supply nearly depleted, he ventured out in search of help. When I first heard that he was missing, I was hoping for a Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet-like survival tale, as Kim was clearly an intelligent and industrious guy. Alas, the fiction rarely lives up to the harsh reality, and hypothermia can undoubtedly prove to be far more dangerous when experienced firsthand. (Don’t make fun of my mention of Hatchet – though I read it in the third grade, it’s probably one of the most recent books I’ve read.) We should all be sympathetic for his family, as anyone who has lost a family member or spouse knows the heartache such a loss creates.