A Mighty Mind

Tonight, Lew Aronson passed after teaching us all how to fight cancer for the past 9 years.

Lew was ornery, never at a loss for words and the smartest, most diligent and cleverest fiber optic engineers that I knew in my 30 years in the field.  He was Finisar’s chief scientist for most of that time and he only gives up the post by his passing.  He was still contributing a good part of this year.  We will not find another like him and we will all miss him.

I met his family this afternoon when I stopped by to visit with him briefly.  They are all scientists and engineers.  Each one is very bright and capable in their own right.  Families like that give one another gifts that compound.

My favorite story about Lew was when we were working on a very early 10 Gb/s SFP style module.  He knew that the connector we used in the 1-2 Gb/s SFP were not quite right in terms of impedance.  Rather than wait, Lew took an xacto knife and began systematically trimming leads, circuit traces and such to fix the impedance of the circuit in real time.  He was able to do it and as it happened the eye pattern continued to sharpen.  Later he connected with connector manufactures and explained how to improve the device so it could be mass produced.  (I suspect he received some of his mechanical cleverness from his Dad who is also a mechanical engineer.)

Lew was one of a kind and he will be missed by many at Finisar, by Finisar’s customers and even our competitors who knew him from his tireless work on the international standards bodies.

I suspect that as Lew makes this transition his skills working with light will be in even higher demand where his journey takes him now.

— Frank

Posted in Essays, Personal Stories

Peace and Joy and Power

As I previously posted, the Internet abounds with articles passing all that they say off as truth but where when you dig into them they are less than truthful.

In the last week I found one more that struck me as so ridiculous and again it was shown not to be true.  It is about a prison that supposedly was build near Chicago or somewhere in the USA or in the UK.  And in the end the prison was real but it was in the country of Austria.  Here is a link to read if you like.

But what has me thinking more is why would someone begin to circulate such a fabrication?

And in the end, I concluded that someone was afraid so very much about having their ideas rejected that the were willing to use untruths to try and discredit those who they disagree with.  So they use an article about a prison, which shows people behind bars but otherwise in a situation that does not seem reasonable to someone they want to influence and then the begin to build the fabrication.

Always trying to keep the writing and pictures close enough that someone doing a little checking might be fooled into believing it is true.

That has been the road to failed countries and civilizations almost every time.  As we believe some things that are not true, then we can become lazy or trusting and begin to believe others.  And soon we are just listening to what seems right or what we wish was true.

Abraham Lincoln said –

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.

So is it truthful to put out an email that claims somethings that are true and things that are not true?  Is that the way we faithfully engage one another in strengthening our country, improving our world and understanding one another’s differences better?

Lincoln would be ashamed of us today.  And he was the pincushion for so many arrows during his time in office from exactly the same level of thought.

We need to commit to using the power new publishing medium – the Internet – with wisdom and integrity.  Nothing less will really advance us as humans.

Posted in Essays