Lessig: "A Time For Silence," for Aaron Swartz

Lawrence Lessig and Aaron Swartz (2002). Photo: Rich Gibson CC BY

"My three year old, Tess, putting her arms around my neck, holding me as tight as she possibly could, promising me 'the doctors will put him back together, papa, they will.”

Lawrence Lessig writes exactly one week after the death of his friend and collaborator Aaron Swartz.

I still dream. It is something that Darrell Issa and Zoe Lofgren are thinking along the same lines. On this anniversary of the success of the campaign to stop SOPA — a campaign which Aaron helped architect — maybe I’m right to be hopeful that even this Congress might do something. We’ll see. Maybe they’ll surprise us. Maybe.

But for now, I need to step away. I apologize for the silence. I am sorry for the replies I will not give. Aaron was wrong about very few things, but he was wrong to take his life. I have to return to mine, and to the amazingly beautiful creatures who are trying to pull me back.

I will always love you, sweet boy. Please find the peace you were seeking. And if you do, please find a way to share that too.


  1. “I thought what I’d do was, I’d pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes.”

    Hmm, I posted that one already once, how about:

    “The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins remorse from power.”

  2. As someone who has watched passive illiteracy of many trial attorneys, judges and “Big Copyright” become pointless, proactive aggression over the past 25 years, I really really really appreciate Mr. Lessig’s efforts to speak out for what is right. I know how hard a fight this is and I do understand what it is like to get that phone call and live with that pain.  Please take your time to heal, but don’t give up – freedom is still calling.

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