How to remember Aaron Swartz
Do not mourn Aaron Swartz. Instead, be radicalized by his example. Such was the message at a Friday evening townhall memorial for Swartz, the open access activist who killed himself January 11.
The panel included Taren Stinebricker-Kauffman, Swartz's partner for the last year and a half of his life, a period in which Swartz faced prosecution on charges that he had illegally downloaded as many as four million documents from the online academic archive JSTOR, Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, Timothy Wu, a Columbia law professor, Jennifer Lynch from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and others who had worked with Swartz and shared his values.
The panelists attacked Swartz's legacy from different angles, but their message was clear. Yes, the legal system is broken. Yes, the political system is broken. Yes, progressive change is incredibly hard. But change is still possible and small steps count.