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)
The Entrepreneurship & Intellectual Property Law Clinic was partly inspired by the death of Aaron Swartz, who was hounded by federal prosecutors with MIT’s complicity.
Senators Mark Kirk [R-IL] and Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY] announced a bill that increases the maximum jail time for “obtaining information from a protected computer without authorization” — which covers anything you do that violates the BS Terms of Service we all break all day long.
Aaron Swartz found out the hard way that you can’t expect justice from the Department of Justice: what should the next Aaron Swartz do when facing decades in prison for information activism?
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