Aaron Swartz, a True Hero of Our Generation
The importance of this article
When I was young my teacher showed us the case of Aaron Swartz and how he was trying to make the world a better place for us to live in, by truly believing in the freedom of information, which was unfortunately his downfall.
This article is to celebrate the life of a true hero that left us at a very young age and to thank him for all the sacrifices he made.
His true inspiration
“Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. What people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.”
“It has been said over the years that a single spark of light can counterattack all of the darkness and injustice that pledges our world and that is why those lights are being hunted by the worst of humanity” (Iga, 2019)
Aaron Swartz was was an American computer programmer , entrepreneur, writer, political organizer, and Internet hacktivist. He was born in November 8, 1986, in Chicago. He taught himself how to read at the age of 3 and showed an affinity towards computers later on, when he was 12 he created Info Network, a user generated encyclopedia which landed Swartz in the finals for ArsDigita prize.
Swartz next steps were co-authoring news aggregator RSS 1.0 and move to San Francisco to write code for Creative Commons (a public domain watchdog group) and then headed to California to study sociology at Stanford University. He used to download law review articles from the Westlaw database and used the data to write an important paper of the connection between research funders and biased results.
Also around this time, Swartz’s new project, Infogami, merged with Reddit.com, making Swartz a co-founder of the company.
Felony charges and the M.I.T.
Swartz decided to take PACER, a system that can download court documents. Through an algorithm he wrote, Swartz downloaded 19,865,160 pages of text from the database. Although his true intention was never determined, his family and friends believed it was to upload those documents to the internet so the people could read them without any monetary charge or restriction.
A Tragic and unjustified death
It was well known that Swartz was passing through a hard moment in his life at that moment and by January of 2013 he was in a deep depression. On the night of January 11 his friends found him dead,hanging by a belt in his Crown Heights, Brooklyn, apartment.b
Aaron Swartz (who was one of the most creative minds of the millennial generation and a true inspiration for all the activists around the globe) was a bright light in one of the darkest times humanity has been through, someone who truly saw all of the injustices the system was doing by violating the most human rights and denying the freedom of information that was supposed to be free, he wanted to make the world a better place and at the end it was the world who finally killed him, a true hero that sacrificed a lot for the human race who was payed with possible jail time and a massive rejection around the globe. At the end the world was not prepared for him and his truly remarkable ideas that would change the human history forever.
The actions that the government of the now ex-president Barack Obama took during that time were unreasonable at best and a violation of our very morality that contributes in making us what we are today, I am disappointed and worried that these greedy and ignorant people are now the leaders that will have an impact in our future generations and lives, we must seek the light of knowledge and the wisdom that comes with it, to raise up like brothers and sisters working for a better tomorrow rather than the present in which we are living in today and finally break free from all of the injustices that pledge the core of the governments.
Steve Jobs once said “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” (Jobs, 2005) This phrase encapsulates the actions of Aaron Swartz and his true intentions and inspirations, he wanted to change the world for it to be a better place for people to live in, his approach was a human one which at the end just tried to help and develop the future. Someone who didn’t want to make profits or to become famous, he just seeked freedom and knowledge for everyone to have, in my opinion he was a remarkable human being and a true hero with a pure purpose. Even if Aaron Swartz is not longer with us his legacy will continue to live and his actions and the sacrifice he made will have a greater impact in our future than those who seek to destroy it.