Among the hacker-sphere this past week, there has been an uproar concerning the suicide of one of the Progenitors of the Internet, Aaron Swartz. This brilliant entrepreneur who was responsible for RSS 1.0 and is considered as a co-founder of Reddit, committed suicide on 11 January 2013 amid an ongoing investigation surrounding a theft of data from JSTOR (an online repository of academic journals).
Many other people have written more, priviliged, detailed, and informed commentary about the case, the surroundings, the impact, and the man that was Aaron Swartz. I encourage you to read the remembrances on the memorial blog and read more on both the case and the circumstances which led to his death in general.
Aaron was a hacktivist and friend of many in our community. He contributed to Creative Commons; created the web.py framework; and more recently, became a data liberator, first with PACER and then with scholarly articles from JSTOR, both of which got him into trouble with the law. Aaron’s Demand Progress project helped stop SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act in the US, which threatened to have far reaching unintended consequences.1
Aaron Swartz committed suicide on Jan. 11, 2013, but his work on making the world a better place should not die with him. Join the internet in understanding his work and contributing to keep his memory and projects alive.
- A running tally of articles concerning this event can be found at BoingBoing.
- There is a global network of hackerspaces hosting a distributed hack-a-thon in his memory, being coordinated in a Google Doc located here.
- Laughing Squid has a write up on the life and death of @aaronsw, which is still being updated.
- Aaron was a tireless supporter of the open internet and an old-school hacker. To honor his memory and his contributions to technical community, Aaron’s family and friends wanted to provide a way to share their memories.”2 A repository has been set up on GitHub to share these things, located here.
1 – http://hacknight.in/hasgeek/aaronsw-memorial
2 – http://boingboing.net/2013/01/14/github-repository-for-aaron-sw.html