Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 12th Jan 2013 20:25 UTC
In the News "Computer activist Aaron H. Swartz committed suicide in New York City yesterday, Jan. 11, according to his uncle, Michael Wolf, in a comment to The Tech. Swartz was 26." Swartz was one of three co-creators of Reddit, worked on the RSS 1.0 specification at age 14, and so many other things. Swartz faced decades in prison for downloading a collection of JSTOR scientific articles. JSTOR dropped charges, but the US government pursued the case anyway, demanding fifty years in jail. Lawrence Lessig, one of his close friends: "Aaron had literally done nothing in his life 'to make money'. He was fortunate Reddit turned out as it did, but from his work building the RSS standard, to his work architecting Creative Commons, to his work liberating public records, to his work building a free public library, to his work supporting Change Congress/FixCongressFirst/Rootstrikers, and then Demand Progress, Aaron was always and only working for (at least his conception of) the public good. He was brilliant, and funny. A kid genius. A soul, a conscience, the source of a question I have asked myself a million times: What would Aaron think? That person is gone today, driven to the edge by what a decent society would only call bullying. I get wrong. But I also get proportionality. And if you don't get both, you don't deserve to have the power of the United States government behind you." Our sincere condolences to his family and friends. We've just lost one of the good guys.
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Comment by jared_wilkes
by jared_wilkes on Sat 12th Jan 2013 22:19 UTC
jared_wilkes
Member since:
2011-04-25

The little I know of Aaron I would imagine that a federal prosecution would be the least depressing thing in his life.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by jared_wilkes
by Valhalla on Sat 12th Jan 2013 23:00 in reply to "Comment by jared_wilkes"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

The little I know of Aaron I would imagine that a federal prosecution would be the least depressing thing in his life.

The least depressing???

Reply Parent Score: 2

jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Yes. There is some hyperbole to that, but if you knew him at all and know depression personally... attributing his suicide to the prosecution is akin to blaming video games for gun violence -- detracting from the real issue and using a bogeyman to push your own agenda.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by jared_wilkes
by deathshadow on Sat 12th Jan 2013 23:51 in reply to "Comment by jared_wilkes"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

Agreed -- those of us who followed freedom's progress and his blog know he was on the edge long before the whole JSTOR idiocy... and like many people with depression he thrived under adversity and challenge; most people with clinical depression only run for the razors when ignored...

... which is why suicide is most always a cry for attention.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by jared_wilkes
by JAlexoid on Sun 13th Jan 2013 16:20 in reply to "RE: Comment by jared_wilkes"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

A what now?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by jared_wilkes
by Morgan on Sun 13th Jan 2013 23:26 in reply to "RE: Comment by jared_wilkes"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

... which is why suicide is most always a cry for attention.


Except when it's not. My little brother took his own life in a very violent and definite way just over seven years ago. We had no idea he was depressed, and while he was a very outgoing person, he certainly didn't do it seeking attention. After all, how would he be able to enjoy that attention (negative as it would have been) unless he survived? We think perhaps it was that he was in over his head with something deadly serious and saw no other way out, but we'll never really know.

I think you are confusing people who attempt to hurt themselves using less dangerous measures such as cutting or overdosing with truly suicidal people. Those former are the attention seekers. The ones who succeed, often violently, are running away from something much bigger than themselves. It may be a real or imagined monster, but either way they have lost all hope for going on with life.

Reply Parent Score: 6