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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RE: sad
by UltraZelda64 on Sun 13th Jan 2013 00:07 UTC in reply to "sad"
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

I never even heard of him, but...

JSTOR dropped charges, but the US government pursued the case anyway, demanding fifty years in jail.

Is 50 years of imprisonment not worthy of just saying "f*** life?" He would either die in prison, or be released mentally f**ked with nothing much to live for in his few remaining years. There are no inner demons here... just a corrupt, highly demonizing country. If there are demons, they're outside--running the government.

Seems like a perfectly fitting reaction to such a f**ked up judgment to me. Justice system, my ass. That's the reality of this country... and I know countless people who defend it, saying something along the lines of, "well if you don't do anything wrong..." People love to neatly sidestep the issues that of what is really right or wrong vs. what is just legally wrong, and never put two seconds into questioning whether the person in the courtroom really deserved the sentence the state or country gives him/her.

Edited 2013-01-13 00:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 15

RE[2]: sad
by moondevil on Sun 13th Jan 2013 12:11 in reply to "RE: sad"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

What I don't understand is why just not escape to other country instead?

Would it be worse that doing what he did?

I cannot judge, just raising questions that only he could answer.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: sad
by adkilla on Sun 13th Jan 2013 13:37 in reply to "RE[2]: sad"
adkilla Member since:
2005-07-07

Not everyone has the money or the connections to make that happen. The moment you are wanted by the authorities for an alleged crime, how do you expect to get on board a plane to escape? Even if you made it, how many countries out there in the world aren't US friendly that you could escape to?

How is 50 years of prison reasonable over alleged theft of academic journals? To allow such BS in the first place is just unfathomable.

Edited 2013-01-13 13:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: sad
by sbenitezb on Mon 14th Jan 2013 17:18 in reply to "RE: sad"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

I would have gutted those lawyers before commiting suicide.

Reply Parent Score: 2