The facts: "Aaron Swartz commits suicide": "Computer activist Aaron H. Swartz committed suicide in New York City yesterday, Jan. 11 ..."
Others can write eulogies. I'm not good at that. Forgive me for not doing a personal remembrance in this post - it's an area where my writing skills fail me. I must take refuge in a certain distance.
I've been trying to articulate why I think his death had deeper implications than intrinsic personal tragedy. Maybe it's too soon to take that up. Too political, too distracting now. I know the moment I start writing about my view that his prosecution for various felony charges in the "JSTOR" case was a key cause, I'll get a backlash. People will say, you can't know that for sure (right - that I can't prove it doesn't stop me from thinking it's true). His other problems have been mentioned in many discussions (however, combinations of factors still mean each one was a contributor). They'll be an argument that the law can't take into account such stress on a defendant (even if so, the effect is still real).
But I've read through almost all the case documents, and it felt to me like the prosecution was doing their best to make an example of him. And that was going to harm his life even if he was eventually acquitted (after a long grueling ordeal which would cost a fortune and take a huge emotional toll). It's the sort of situation where even if you win, you still lose in many ways.
Maybe I'll say more later. Or maybe there isn't any more for me to say.
RIPBy Seth Finkelstein | posted in activism | on January 12, 2013 09:02 AM (Infothought permalink)