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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"Suicide"
by hackus on Tue 15th Jan 2013 01:57 UTC
hackus
Member since:
2006-06-28

Although the press has indicated that Mr. Swartz had issues with depression, I currently cannot find a single individual who thought he was depressed enough to take his life.

Perhaps if someone knows a post where he mentions nothing left to live for, etc.

So far from what I have gathered although the number of legal penalties are severe, the end result of his action didn't do any damage to anyone.

More than likely he would have got probation as he also has no prior legal record.

His legal attorney's must have known this, given the more political nature of the crime than criminal and made that clear to Swartz.

So his suicide doesn't fit the profile and until I see more serious proof of suicide, I am inclined to believe it was not a suicide.
(i.e. Haven't interviewed the coroner yet though.)

-Hack

Reply Score: 2

RE: "Suicide"
by UltraZelda64 on Tue 15th Jan 2013 02:44 in reply to ""Suicide""
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

If someone is depressed and determined enough, the absolute last thing they would ever do is admit to anyone that they plan on killing themselves.

People don't exactly spill all the beans regarding their thoughts when they're depressed. They often keep that to themselves. And for reasons you would know all too well if you've ever actually gone through it yourself.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: "Suicide"
by sparkyERTW on Tue 15th Jan 2013 14:00 in reply to ""Suicide""
sparkyERTW Member since:
2010-06-09

Although the press has indicated that Mr. Swartz had issues with depression, I currently cannot find a single individual who thought he was depressed enough to take his life.


As has been pointed out already, people with suicidal thoughts don't tend to share them, or make efforts to hide them. There's also no saying how long it takes to go from the first thought to taking action. Disbelief after suicides is common for these very reasons.

So his suicide doesn't fit the profile and until I see more serious proof of suicide, I am inclined to believe it was not a suicide.
(i.e. Haven't interviewed the coroner yet though.)


Please don't. Please don't start spreading some conspiracy theory just because his decision doesn't make sense to you. We lost a great man - the reason for which we will never truly know to its full extent - and I implore you to not help turn it in to a circus sideshow.

Edited 2013-01-15 14:01 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1