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March 6, 2013
latimes:

Aaron Swartz’s memory lives on 
This week, the New Yorker joined up with a number of outlets who have tried to understand the now-famous Internet activist and pioneer, a group that includes, Slate, New York magazine, Rolling Stone, the Atlantic and your very own L.A. Times.
From journalist Matt Pearce, who has been covering Swartz since his death:

Swartz was, put simply, a lot of things to very many people, and his death amid the federal criminal prosecution accusing him of improperly downloading millions of academic articles has inspired a flourishing of stories, blog posts, memorials and profiles erected in tribute — or condemnation — for the hacktivist’s most controversial exploit.

What do you think Swartz’s lasting legacy will be?
Photo: Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

The really sad part about this is that he did all these great things while he was still alive, and it took his death to force everyone to notice. Why does it always seem to happen like that? (Also, don’t forget The New Republic’s take, which was one of the best of the bunch.)

latimes:

Aaron Swartz’s memory lives on

This week, the New Yorker joined up with a number of outlets who have tried to understand the now-famous Internet activist and pioneer, a group that includes, Slate, New York magazine, Rolling Stone, the Atlantic and your very own L.A. Times.

From journalist Matt Pearce, who has been covering Swartz since his death:

Swartz was, put simply, a lot of things to very many people, and his death amid the federal criminal prosecution accusing him of improperly downloading millions of academic articles has inspired a flourishing of stories, blog posts, memorials and profiles erected in tribute — or condemnation — for the hacktivist’s most controversial exploit.

What do you think Swartz’s lasting legacy will be?

Photo: Mary Altaffer / Associated Press

The really sad part about this is that he did all these great things while he was still alive, and it took his death to force everyone to notice. Why does it always seem to happen like that? (Also, don’t forget The New Republic’s take, which was one of the best of the bunch.)

14:07 // 1 year ago
February 25, 2013
From the New Republic’s cover story on Aaron Swartz:

Other hackers have killed themselves, too. Before there was Aaron Swartz, there was Ilya Zhitomirskiy, a 22-year-old founder of the social-network site Diaspora*, frequently described as the “anti-Facebook” because it gives users control over their personal data rather than packaging it for advertisers. Before Ilya, there was Len Sassaman, a brilliant cryptographer who helped make Internet communications anonymous, especially when governments or powerful corporations might want to nose in on them. Before Sassaman, there was Christopher Lightfoot, who was revered for his daring, Swartz-style bulk downloads of British government data. And before Lightfoot, there was Gene Kan, who made a name for himself in the peer-to-peer movement—the technology used to swap music and video files outside the reach of their copyright holders.
The particulars of each case were different, of course. Like Swartz, Sassaman had the occasional run-in with the government over his online exploits. Kan seemed to briefly make his peace with the powers-that-be by going to work for Sun Microsystems, the Silicon Valley giant. And, in any case, who can really say why anyone might take that tragic, irreversible step? But all in their own way came across as highly concentrated distillations of computer hacker culture: precocious, technically brilliant, bracingly idealistic. All were prone to disillusionment when reality fell short of their vision for it.

The piece ends on a tough question — whether we should put such child prodigies on a pedestal. “We want people doing this work, of course—in many cases, we need them doing it,” Noam Scheiber writes. "It’s just far from clear that we want them doing it before they can drive a car or buy a beer. In Aaron Swartz’s case, too many adults refused to see that a child isn’t a messiah or even a leader of men, however brilliant he may be. A child is just a child." Thoughts? Agree/disagree?

From the New Republic’s cover story on Aaron Swartz:

Other hackers have killed themselves, too. Before there was Aaron Swartz, there was Ilya Zhitomirskiy, a 22-year-old founder of the social-network site Diaspora*, frequently described as the “anti-Facebook” because it gives users control over their personal data rather than packaging it for advertisers. Before Ilya, there was Len Sassaman, a brilliant cryptographer who helped make Internet communications anonymous, especially when governments or powerful corporations might want to nose in on them. Before Sassaman, there was Christopher Lightfoot, who was revered for his daring, Swartz-style bulk downloads of British government data. And before Lightfoot, there was Gene Kan, who made a name for himself in the peer-to-peer movement—the technology used to swap music and video files outside the reach of their copyright holders.

The particulars of each case were different, of course. Like Swartz, Sassaman had the occasional run-in with the government over his online exploits. Kan seemed to briefly make his peace with the powers-that-be by going to work for Sun Microsystems, the Silicon Valley giant. And, in any case, who can really say why anyone might take that tragic, irreversible step? But all in their own way came across as highly concentrated distillations of computer hacker culture: precocious, technically brilliant, bracingly idealistic. All were prone to disillusionment when reality fell short of their vision for it.

The piece ends on a tough question — whether we should put such child prodigies on a pedestal. “We want people doing this work, of course—in many cases, we need them doing it,” Noam Scheiber writes"It’s just far from clear that we want them doing it before they can drive a car or buy a beer. In Aaron Swartz’s case, too many adults refused to see that a child isn’t a messiah or even a leader of men, however brilliant he may be. A child is just a child." Thoughts? Agree/disagree?

11:10 // 1 year ago
January 17, 2013
fastcompany:

Carmen Ortiz has released a statement regarding the death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz.

What’s your take on this? Ortiz, BTW, was the lead prosecutor in Swartz’s case.

fastcompany:

Carmen Ortiz has released a statement regarding the death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz.

What’s your take on this? Ortiz, BTW, was the lead prosecutor in Swartz’s case.

8:21 // 1 year ago
January 14, 2013

Days of reflecting

lessig:

There’s no work that can be done today, save the work to talking about this story. I’m doing a bunch of interviews. Bravo to @DemocracyNow for spending an hour today on this. Here’s my bit: 

Imagine this has to be so tough for anyone to handle. Kudos to Lessig for being willing to share in such a tough time.

11:25 // 1 year ago
January 13, 2013
16:38 // 1 year ago