Readersforum's Blog

January 31, 2013

Remembering Aaron Swartz: David Foster Wallace on the Meaning of Life

 Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz

By Maria Popova

This past weekend, I attended the heartbreaking memorial for open-access activist Aaron Swartz, who for the past two years had been relentlessly and unscrupulously prosecuted for making academic journal articles freely available online and who had taken his own life a week prior. A speaker at the service read a piece by one of Aaron’s personal heroes, David Foster Wallace — an excerpt from Wallace’s famous Kenyon College commencement address, the only public talk he ever gave on his views of life, which was eventually adapted into a slim book titled This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life.

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