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The inspiring heroism of Aaron Swartz

The inspiring heroism of Aaron Swartz
(updated below)Aaron Swartz, the computer programmer and internet freedom activist, committed suicide on Friday in New York at the age of 26. As the incredibly moving remembrances from his friends such as Cory Doctorow and Larry Lessig attest, he was unquestionably brilliant but also - like most everyone - a complex human being plagued by demons and flaws. For many reasons, I don't believe in whitewashing someone's life or beatifying them upon death. But, to me, much of Swartz's tragically short life was filled with acts that are genuinely and, in the most literal and noble sense, heroic. I think that's really worth thinking about today. At the age of 14, Swartz played a key role in developing the RSS software that is still widely used to enable people to manage what they read on the internet. But rather obviously, Swartz had little interest in devoting his life to his own material enrichment, despite how easy it would have been for him. Suicide is an incredibly complicated phenomenon. Related:  Aaron Swartz - #Pdftribute

En hommage à Aaron Swartz Une vague d’émotion sans précédente s’est emparée du Web (que j’ai l’habitude de lire) après la récente tragique disparition d’Aaron Swartz à l’âge de 26 ans. Il faut dire qu’il en avait fait des choses en une pourtant si courte période ! Nous avons décidé de lui rendre hommage en traduisant collectivement l’un des articles de son blog où il évoque son parcours et ses nombreux projets. Cet article a été initialement écrit en 2007. Comment dégoter un boulot comme le mien How to Get a Job Like Mine Aaron Swartz - 18 août 2008 - Blog personnel(Traduction : ga3lig, clementd, Amic, tth, bld, KoS, Havok Novak, a_r_n_a_u_d_b, jpcw + anonymous) L’écrivain américain Kurt Vonnegut avait l’habitude de toujours nommer ses interventions « Comment obtenir un travail comme le mien » pour parler ensuite de ce que bon lui semblait. Comment ai-je réussi à dégotter ce job ? En revanche, quand j’ai débuté, j’étais un très jeune gamin coincé dans une petite ville au milieu de la campagne. Étape 1 : apprendre

Those big bank settlements you've been reading about come with some hefty tax breaks—for the banks Remember that historic settlement with Bank of America this past summer? Attorney General Eric Holder and Associate Attorney General Tony West announced today that the Department of Justice has reached a $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America Corporation – the largest civil settlement with a single entity in American history... It was a big deal at the time for BOA since they had clearly defrauded the American public, contributing in no small fashion to our epic financial crisis. Turns out it's an even bigger deal than you think. Because settlements can be deducted from tax liabilities, for nearly every dollar a bank or lender has pledged to pay in cash or pony up in other ways—such as through buying back soured mortgage-backed securities, extending cheaper loans or forgiving failed loans held by struggling homeowners—up to 35 cents will find its way back into bank coffers, a reflection of the 35 percent federal corporate tax rate. [bold my emphasis]

Researchers begin posting article PDFs to twitter in #pdftribute to Aaron Swartz « Neuroconscience Yesterday, as I was completing my morning coffee and internet ritual, @le_feufollet broke the sad news to me of Aaron Swartz’s death. Aaron was a leader online, a brilliant coder and developer, and sadly a casualty in the fight for freedom of information. He was essential in the development of two tools I use every day (RSS and Reddit), and though his guerilla attempt to upload all papers on JSTOR was perhaps unstrategic, it was certainly noble enough in cause. Before his death Aaron was facing nearly 35 years in prison for his role in the JSTOR debacle, an insane penalty for attempting to share information. We don’t know why Aaron chose to take his life, but when @la_feufollet and I tried to brainstorm a tribute to him, my first thought was a guerilla PDF uploading campaign in honor of his fight for open access. My posts on reddit are usually ignored, so I went about my business and assumed it was the last i’d hear of it. Like this: Like Loading...

10 Wonderful Things About America That Drive Right-Wingers Nuts Religious right groups and their political allies talk a good line about respecting American values, but much would change if they had their way. They seek not to restore our country to some Golden Age (that never existed anyway) but to recreate it – in their own fundamentalist image. An America rebuilt along religious right lines would be a very different place. 1. And those religious right claims that separation of church and state is a myth? 2. Religious right activists hate science because it casts doubt on their narrow worldview – a worldview that teaches that all answers are found in a rigidly fundamentalist interpretation of an ancient religious text. 3. The idea that religions should strive to get along is dangerously close to the idea that all religions are on equal footing. 4. Ironically, there is one place where the religious right backs secular government: Muslim nations. 5. Why does the religious right distrust our founders? 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Academics share copyrighted journal articles on Twitter to honor Aaron Swartz This morning, hundreds of links to copyright-protected journal articles have appeared on Twitter in remembrance of Aaron Swartz, posted by members of the academic community. The call to the protest appears to have started on Reddit, where researcher Micah Allen said, "a fitting tribute to Aaron might be a mass protest uploading of copyright-protected research articles. Dump them on Gdocs, tweet the link. Think of the great blu-ray encoding protest but on a bigger scale for research articles." Early this morning the Anonymous Twitter account also announced its support for the action. Please share: Academics posting their papers online in tribute to Aaron Swartz using hashtag #pdftribute #ICYMI — Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) January 13, 2013 Swartz, who hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment this past Friday, had been under federal indictment since 2011. An expert witness has argued that Swartz's actions hardly called for the criminal charges brought against him. Photo credit: Quinn Norton

Some European Bloodbaths Are More Interesting Than Others On July 24, 2011, two days after Anders Breivik slaughtered 77 people, mostly teenagers, in Norway to call attention to his view that Muslim immigration was a bad thing, NBC's Meet the Press didn't mention the words "Breivik" or "Norway." Nor did CBS's Face the Nation. On ABC, This Week With Christiane Amanpour–who prided herself on her international perspective–did have 258 words on the massacre. Fast forward three-and-a-half years, after another politically motivated killing spree in Europe, this one resulting in the deaths of 20 people. PARIS TERROR ATTACK: As the French authorities dissect how these horrific acts of violence were committed in the name of Islam, Chuck Todd will ask Attorney General Eric Holder how the US government is dealing with potential home-grown terrorists in this country….PLUS: The attack on Charlie Hebdo once again highlights the vulnerability of the West to deadly terrorist attacks that can paralyze a major city. Face the Nation, January 11, 2015

Academics Are Tweeting Out PDFs of Journal Articles in Memory of Aaron Swartz The Top 5 Strangest Masturbation-Related Injuries Photo Credit: Flickr/Christian Carocca Most of us are familiar with masturbation. Probably more than most. Now we bring you the best of the worst that can happen when trying to get off. 1. I see the appeal in wanting to make love to a vacuum cleaner. Back in ‘98, a 51-year-old Long Branch resident made an urgent call to the cops claiming that someone had stabbed him in the crotch as he slept. Long Branch public safety director Louis Napoletano told the local news, “What he didn’t realize is that there’s a blade in the vacuum cleaner right under where the hose attaches that pushes the dust into the collection bag.” About a half-inch of the man’s penis was sliced off. The guy actually has a lot of company. 2. Penises can fit snugly in a lot of different places. The International Journal of Surgery Cases published a report detailing the case of a 70-year-old man admitted to the hospital with “bleeding urethral meatus,” which in layman’s terms means his pee hole was in bad shape. 3. 4. 5.