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 marcp
by marcp on Mon 14th Jan 2013 09:14 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

"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."

Very good point, indeed. But it - unfortunately, as most people - assumes, that the government is always right, that people in any government are necessarily intelligent, balanced and know what they're doing. Errr, wrong. They're usually there for the money only. Sometimes they're for the money AND their own interrest related to the so-called "power". Rarely they're there for anything else.
Cut the money they get and then cut the privilleges they get and you'll see how many of them are there for the "public good". That's a bogus crap and I simply don't buy it.

Reply Score: 3