01.12.13

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Techrights Thanks Aaron Swartz

Posted in Site News at 12:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Aaron Swartz

Summary: Aaron Swartz, a man of ethics, is no longer with us

MR. Aaron Swartz, a man of ethics, is no longer with us. What a tragic loss for the world. Here is Wikipedia‘s summary of Aaron’s contributions, which themeselves make a massive — arguably lifetime-worth — contributions worthy of high praises and a special tribute.

“Swartz’s father worked in the computer industry, and from a young age Aaron was interested in computing, frequently studying computers, the Internet and Internet culture. At the age of 14 Swartz co-authored RSS 1.0 Specification. He later attended Stanford University, however he left after one year of studying, stating “I didn’t find it a very intellectual atmosphere, since most of the other kids seemed profoundly unconcerned with their studies.” Instead he founded the software company Infogami, a startup that was funded by Y Combinator’s first Summer Founders Program.

“Through the Y Combinator program, Swartz found himself working on the Reddit website. Initially finding it difficult to make money from the project, the site later gained in popularity, with millions of users visiting it each month. In late 2006, after months of negotiations, Reddit was sold to CondéNet, owners of Wired magazine.[3] Swartz moved with his company to San Francisco to work on Wired, but grew unhappy with the set-up[3] and in January, 2007, he was asked to resign from his position. Swartz described himself as being ill and suffering from a constant depressed mood throughout 2007. In September, 2007, Swartz joined with Simon Carstensen and launched Jottit. In 2010–2011 he was a fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

“Swartz was also the creator of the web.py web application framework, and co-founded Demand Progress, a progressive advocacy group that organizes people via email and other media for “contacting Congress and other leaders, funding pressure tactics, and spreading the word” about targeted issues”

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2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm

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    He left while the JSTOR case was still running. From what I understood, MIT and JSTOR had dropped their end of the case and it was the feds pursuing it.

  2. Guest Editorial Team said,

    January 12, 2013 at 4:47 pm

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    Lawrence Lessig and Cory Doctorow have expressed their personal grief and outrage at the loss of this man both knew and worked with. Lessig is angry at the FBI’s over the top malice and blames them for what happened

    this government needs to answer is why it was so necessary that Aaron Swartz be labeled a “felon.” For in the 18 months of negotiations, that was what he was not willing to accept, and so that was the reason he was facing a million dollar trial in April — his wealth bled dry, yet unable to appeal openly to us for the financial help he needed to fund his defense, at least without risking the ire of a district court judge. And so as wrong and misguided and fucking sad as this is, I get how the prospect of this fight, defenseless, made it make sense to this brilliant but troubled boy to end it.

    Doctorow’s article is a wonderful recap of Aaron’s activism and why there’s much more to be done.

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