Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz is dead. He committed suicide yesterday, and the world has lost someone it shouldn’t have lost.

I didn’t know Aaron that well. We’ve spent some time together, and we work for the same company. I was hoping to one day actually be able to work on a project with him.

Aaron was a one of the people fighting on the forefront for Internet freedom and openness. His successes with PACER and SOPA, his work with JSTOR, DemandProgress and VictoryKit are all inspirations.

And here is the problem. In the words of Tim Berners-Lee: “we have lost a mentor, a wise elder”. There are too few like him. This is the time to step up and be part of the fight. The world is under constant attack. There are forces in the US that are a threat to every person on this planet. And the only way to stop it is for us to be more engaged.

I know I haven’t. But I will.

2 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Gestures like this one push us to react. I am sorry for you loss.

    February 15th, 2013

  2. lllllxlllll

    A year later I know….Yes, be more engaged. Sadly, I’m a 35 year old that works in IT that only knew of Aaron too late. The recent story where his father shared his story broke my heart.

    The guy created RSS. There is not one honest BBS or web 1.0 person that doesnt understand how amazing that was. He literally sat there like so many of us and asked, do we have to visit a page to know if its changed? Do people realize how unmanageable that was? RSS was magic to me.

    I was always cynical about IT during the web 1.0 days, and work in IT because it was the only way to earn a living. I know “engagement” or resistance are just buzzwords on a screen, but I’m not sure what to do anymore.

    What is the internet used to be a fun question to answer. Now I’m not sure

    a control machine for flesh?
    a way to helping wealthy people make their money move?
    the destruction of labor?

    I want nothing to do with it, or will at least stop pretending that it is the invention we think it is.

    Thanks for your work.

    January 12th, 2014

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