Readersforum's Blog

January 15, 2013

Aaron Swartz, American hero

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 6:57 pm

aaron-swartzBy Tim Lee

Paul Graham, the founder of angel investing firm Y Combinator, has mentored generations of Silicon Valley whiz kids. In an essay about hackers and the role they’ve played driving technology forward, he wrote that “hackers are unruly. That is the essence of hacking. And it is also the essence of Americanness.” Those three sentences are a perfect description of one of Graham’s mentees in particular: Aaron Swartz.

Swartz was not a patient man. With immense talent and strong passions, he had a tendency to attack problems head-on, defying authority and convention if necessary. For a little more than a decade, this approach produced spectacular results. But on Friday, facing federal charges that could put him in prison for decades, Swartz took his own life. He was 26.

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