Sunday, 13 January 2013

Aaron Swartz

When I opened up reddit today right at the top was an article about Aaron Swartz, a co-founder (or co-owner if you really want to get technical) of reddit who took his own life on January 11. I'll be honest, I really did not know about the guy until today morning but it did leave me a bit depressed when I learnt that he was just 26 years old. From what I have read the reason for his suicide was the prospect of facing 35 -50 years in prison for downloading journals from JSTOR, a lot of which they were planning to make publicly available anyway. Also, in this statement JSTOR says that it really wasn't interested in pursuing legal action after all the data was retrieved.
So the fact that he was given such a harsh sentence is really quite a surprise.

While I think taking your own life is never a solution I can sort of understand why he did it. If I realized at the age of 26 that I had put all the grand plans I had for my future till the age of 76 I would be devastated, not to mention depressed.

Anyway, I really don't know enough about the issue to write a long, in depth article about this. We need more geniuses in the world and the loss of this one was sad. In the not too distant future there will be a day things like this will stop happening. Hopefully.

Thanks for making the internet a better place, Aaron. You will be missed.

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