• How to honor Aaron Swartz's life

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    Today is two years and a day after the suicide of Aaron Swartz.

    Aaron was one of my closest friends. That night was the worst of my life.

    In the weeks and months that followed, many of his friends and family — and many people that never knew him personally — asked themselves and each other the same question: what's the best way to honor Aaron's death?

    Was it to reform the archaic laws (including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, passed in the 80s during the hysteria around the fictional film War Games) that had been used to prosecute him? Was it to make academic research available freely to the public? Was it reforming the criminal justice system as a whole, and academia, and the political system?

    Yes, yes, and yes — all of the above. But also something more than that — something personal: what I and others concluded was that the best way we could honor Aaron's life and death was in the way we lived our own lives.

    In short, by living to make the biggest difference we could. By staying focused on the big questions — and never letting ourselves grow satisfied that we had all the right answers or were doing enough.

    Aaron left a guide for how to do this, both in his own writing and in how he led his life.

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