Aaron Swartz is dead
The internet is a weird thing in some respects. I did not know Aaron but I understand who he is. Above all he is very young and at 26 he Larry writes here about someone he knows.
Since his arrest in January, 2011, I have known more about the events that began this spiral than I have wanted to know. Aaron consulted me as a friend and lawyer. He shared with me what went down and why, and I worked with him to get help. When my obligations to Harvard created a conflict that made it impossible for me to continue as a lawyer, I continued as a friend. Not a good enough friend, no doubt, but nothing was going to draw that friendship into doubt.
I can only write about what I know.
People like Aaron are a result of the life we created over the last 20+ years. I feel responsible for Aaron because we created this cool, safe, plastic environment where people can be anything they want to be.
That is the internet. But that is not real life unfortunately.
I am kind of at a loss for words on this. The promise of internet creates a belief and pressure that is all consuming. What can I say. He was born in 1986, about the time I got my first PC and email address. He was a genuine product of the internet generation, and he was a believer. He was a believer in internet and the freedom that the network demands.