Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Remembering Aaron Swartz

Today I'm going to talk about an unsung hero that you probably don't know of, Aaron Swartz.  You might not know who he is, but you probably owe him a lot more than you think.  Aaron was the inventor of the RSS format, and involved in the founding of Reddit.  He pretty much single handedly stopped the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would have profoundly changed the way we view the web by granting the US government powers to do whatever they want by taking down websites which were merely being accused of copyright.  If this bill came to pass, I can just take down your website by simply accusing you of copyright, and poof, adios to your website.  It's a big win for freedom.  Yours and mine.  In 2011 he was arrested for allegedly illegally accessing labs at MIT and charged with breaking the Computer Fraud and Abuse act, a law passed in 1984 because the US government became paranoid after watching the War Games movie (with Matthew Broderick).  In 2013 he committed suicide and died at the age of 26.  A life cut too short.  He has done more in his life than what many people combined have done in their lifetimes.  It' a real tragedy for everyone that such a bright mind is gone.  I've never met him before, but anyone who defends freedom is a hero to humanity.  If you're reading this you probably take freedom for granted, and let me tell you you, you don't know what freedom is until you've lost it.

Aaron Swartz documentary

What is SOPA?

"It's not enough to live in the world as it is.  You should always be questioning."

RIP Aaron Swartz (November 8, 1986 - January 11, 2013)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.