Author and NYU professor Clay Shirky writes
about one of the imperatives he believes the death of Aaron Swartz should bring to life: "We need to take care of the people in our community who are depressed," he writes.
Suicide is not hard to understand, not intellectually anyway. It is, as Jeff Atwood says, the ultimate in ragequitting. But for most of us, it is hard to understand emotionally.
For a variety of reasons, I’ve spent a lot of time with people at risk of suicide, and so have become an amateur scholar of that choice. When I first started reading about it, I thought of it as the last stop on a road of stress and upset — when things get bad, people suffer, and when they get really bad, they take their own lives.
And what I learned was that this view is wrong. Suicide is no more a heightened reaction to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune than depression is just being extra sad. Most of us won’t kill ourselves, no matter how bad things get. The common thread among people who commit suicide is that they are suicidal.
Read more: Remembering Aaron by taking care of each other (Clay Shirky blog)
Securedrop is a robust, secure, anonymous system for whistleblowers to convey documents to news organizations, created by Aaron Swartz and taken up by the Freedom of the Press Foundation after his death.
“Against School” is a previously unpublished Aaron Swartz essay about the centuries of word-perfect complaints about the US public school system, which have led to mass-scale, sneak privatization of the public system.
Today is the third anniversary of Aaron Swartz’s death, and it was marked by the publication of an anthology of Aaron’s writing, The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz with an introduction by Lawrence Lessig (I wrote an introduction to one of the sections).
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