Like the restless Jewish prophets before you, you are an outcast in your own land. And like the prophets before you, you are trouble, Aaron, a lot of trouble.
Thank you for troubling us, Aaron. You are trouble, but very good trouble.
Socrates’ suicide, like yours, was a state-sponsored execution. And like Socrates in death, you’ve conferred an immortal obligation on the living to resist the temptation to let the rulers attach their strings, the strings that turn us from people with hearts into puppets with property.
Rest in peace, Aaron Swartz. And I promise you, I won’t. …more
This is the tale of two geniuses. One on TV. One Dead.
Portrait of a Genius (Not Piers Morgan)
In 2000, Aaron Swartz, aged 14, had just released his astonishing invention, RSS, liberating news and information, replacing the selection of the tiny minds of editors with your own wide judgment.
Around the same time, one of Piers Morgan’s stringers hacked into the phone of Sir Paul McCartney’s wife and stole some highly personal, and highly valuable, information ”“ the type of gossip used to sell Morgan’s grotty little scandal sheet, The Daily Mirror, the cornerstone of Morgan’s $20 million fortune based on tittle and titties.
Electronic burglary for profit is a crime in the UK and USA both. But Piers is serving time on prime time, on CNN.
Aaron Swartz did not get a TV show. The Robin Hood of the Information Liberation Front faced 35 years in prison for a selfless act of civil disobedience. Swartz was charged for the crime of attempting to liberate documents from JSTOR computers. JSTOR is the Goldman Sachs and Politburo of university research papers, a giant information sucker squid that hordes research and discoveries crucial to the public – the public which paid for most of the research.
(If Oxford joined JSTOR when Isaac Newton published, only a well-heeled elite would have the secret of thermodynamics. If Newton worked for Microsoft, we’d be paying a royalty for the use of gravity.)
Aaron, rather than face a life in Obama’s dungeon, chose suicide. And Piers? …more