10 February

Rare example of online journalism resulting in more than a few paragraphs, about the late Aaron Schwartz. A few observations after reading the piece in full.... Few individuals, if any, of his age have had a significant effect on politics, computing, and society generally--which is not to exaggerate his influence, but rather to note his position of a sort of programming/ activist prodigy. And, like many his age, so much of his life is easily accessible, both by his own choice (especially being a prolific writer online) and not (being a guinea pig for lawyers and politicians trying to figure out the law on complicated new matters). Do we see here a sign of what's to come? Wherein an individual, showing the arrogance, if not narcissism, typical of a generation falsely pronounced by many to be more collectivist-oriented than its predecessors, finds himself to be the victim of the privacy-deficient world created by the internet and our "war on terror." As we've learned from previous protest movements, those who assume that the United States is a just society that will treat them kindly when they challenge it often end up getting more attention when they suffer from the ensuing government and broader societal repression than most of our other victims, especially those foreign-born.

The Idealist: Aaron Schwartz Wanted to Save the World. Why Couldn't He Save Himself?