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).
Chelsea Manning's insightful review, written from prison, is a must-read:
The most powerful and idea-provoking section — contained in new material introduced by this book — is a lengthy multi-part essay on the way the U.S. Congress works. He carefully, yet humorously, analyzes every single step of our profitable, gridlocked, an intractable political process.
I feel like the world abandoned Aaron in his time of need. I feel like the world — myself included — took Aaron for granted. He intelligently and thoughtfully challenged everything and everyone: software companies, corporations, multimedia conglomerates, governments, and even modern school systems! Yet, in his final challenge — we only stood on the sidelines and rooted for him, waiting for him to win again. Instead, he lost. Then, we lost.
If Aaron had lived even a few decades longer, he really have could have changed the world, far surpassing the ways in which he already has. All is not lost though. With a little faith and a little luck, we still can.
So… what are we going to do?
Remembering Aaron Swartz [Chelsea Manning/Medium]