Cary Lu

David Brittan[hidden]@MIT.EDU

It's said that the last person who knew everything was probably Aristotle -- the implication being that human knowledge has expanded to the point where nobody can hold more than a tiny sliver of it. But Cary Lu came as close to being a latter-day Aristotle as anyone I've ever met.

When I worked with Cary at High Technology Magazine in Boston, no aspect of science or technology seemed to have escaped his notice or his complete understanding. I quickly learned that he was an expert in other areas as well -- cooking, education, films, music. The fastest way to settle any argument was to solicit Cary's well-informed opinion.

Though he appeared to know all, Cary was never a know-it-all. I was a novice editor back then, but Cary accepted my suggestions with humility. If a change I had made was foolish, he would patiently suggest a better way. I have often passed along to young editors the dictum Cary shared with me at our first editorial encounter: When in doubt, leave it alone.

Cary's 1981 Toyota Tercel hatchback, which I bought when Cary and Ellen left Boston, ran and ran. It predeceased Cary by barely a year.

My deepest sympathies and all best wishes to Ellen and the children.

David Brittan