thank you for everything
I always remember the quote from Sir Tim Berners-Lee about his death:
> Aaron is dead. Wanderers in this crazy world, we have lost a mentor, a wise elder. Hackers for right, we are one down, we have lost one of our own. Nurturers, carers, listeners, feeders, parents all, we have lost a child. Let us all weep.
This StackOverflow question from Aaron about using rsync to download and copy lots of files is like a piece of history frozen in time.
His blog Raw Thought (http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/) details his experiences. I found his memoirs about Stanford particularly interesting. An example entry:
""" Surrounding them were groups of kids chatting. Clearly social rituals depend on communication, which is presumably used to get a sense of the kind of person the other is. In my culture (of vaguely technical people), people converse by sharing information through mutually-beneficial discussion and debate, but the teenager's system is altogether different and wholly alien to me.
I have little firsthand experience, but I have developed an initial theory of how things work. The protocol begins by sharing basic personal information to establish identity, then moves to the humorous recitation of cultural information. (Humorous may be too strong a word; the key point is that there's a lot of laughing.) This is the beginning of a loop. The two parties exchange information, allowing them to get a better sense of each other. If the clearer picture is disliked, the party breaks the loop and disassociates. Otherwise, more personal knowledge is shared as the parties get to know each other better. Discussion moves from cultural issues, to societal ones, to gossip, to personal matters, to deep intimate issues, presumably shared with close lovers or friends. """ ― http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/001421
I wanted an Aaron Swartz t-shirt so I made these graphics:
For dark fabric: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6fL4G1FVF-AdHhCdVU4UHhCNk0...
For medium shade fabric: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6fL4G1FVF-AblFNYlBrWTJmems...
(Even though these look dark against a white background, it works best if the gray shadow part is darker than the fabric color: dark example: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1RY9wtKNtDzKdZKF-eAa_vYNCXU...)
Source Inkscape SVG: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6fL4G1FVF-AbHB3ZW9CZWNDVmc...
Based on a photo by Sage Ross (CC BY-SA) ragesoss.com/blog/2013/07/12/the-use-aaron-swartz-photographs/
I printed one on zazzle.com on a dark t-shirt but it seems I can't share the design without becoming some kind of t-shirt vendor and take a royalty which I don't care to do. If you want one, you will have to upload the image yourself.
Still the Federal Prosecutors are just as aggressive as before this event. We had the Supreme Court having to get involved in the Virginia Governor case where he and his wife were prosecuted. He set up meetings for a donor and those meetings got the person zero money or business. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_v._United_States Personal Note: My friend is a mayor and is under Federal Prosecution. He was wired for 2 years by two people, one of which made $500,000 in three years and didn't declare it to the IRS. He earned his money by illegal political means. My friend has hundreds of hours on tape and thousands of documents and after lawyers and people going through them there is nothing there. He has stated his innocents since day one and there is zero direct evidence yet trial starts in a few weeks. Federal Prosecutor has released statements and quotes of the recordings that were one sided and actually if they just let the quote go for one more sentence it would show that my friend actually told everyone to stop doing anything to anyone. The person being wired actually said that the mayor has never done anything wrong so we have to set him up and the FBI informant actually sent out illegal texts and emails to a possible campaign donor. My friend confronted him on tape and told him to cut it out and to stop this or else they would all go to jail. US Court System is unbalanced and it will sentence possibly innocent people multiple times higher sentences over people caught red handed and plea bargain. It is better to lie and admit guilt than to fight for your innocence.
We barely crossed paths, but in the couple of interactions we had he changed my engineering for the better.
In particular, he demanded that all features have measurable success criteria and if they didn't happen he pulled the feature from the code base.
Simple and elegant way of keeping your code base small and focused. The real miracle there was he got the customer to agree and held them to it. I still don't know how he did that.
"The way Aaron always thought is that programming is magic, right? You can accomplish these things that normal humans can't, by being able to program. So, if you had magical powers, would you use them for good, or to make you mountains of cash?" 
I feel this conflict also here on HN. When a point is made why a technology or development is bad because of it's political impact on our society, always there is the response that you gotta have profit. When for so many people profit is more important than what is right, then negativity towards that is not only understandable, but an ethical imperative.
We have powers we never had before. We transform this world, we shift power and open new possibilites. We must not let profit and money steer it, for this is much too important.
The masses meander around, wiping over shining tablets, consuming what gatekeepers let them see, using the magic they have in their hands only in golden jails their platforms force them in. We must never accept that, and fight it every day.
 around 24:00 of The Internet's Own Boy - The Story of Aaron Swartz
On a request from a friend who thought it might be handy to have the domain ready but registered outside of the states, I owned freeaaronsw.com for a while with the intention of using it for a campaign against the prosecution later on.
The "oh, fuck, we're already too late" sensation I had when I saw his death announced stays with me to this day.
Rest in peace you beautiful beautiful heart.
I would like to recommend the documentary "The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron" for everyone to watch.
It would be nice to see reddit have some sort of memorial. Sadly, I think the "new" reddit finds his memory a bit uncomfortable.
Here is a list of the books he read and enjoyed the most from 2006 to 2011.
Very illuminating to see how wide his interests were.
People like Aaron Swartz represent the future of humanity. The people that attacked him represent the dark past.
He was one of us, on this very site, and then he wasn't.
I was doing some research today on the topic of RSS and stumbled upon his name. I remembered seeing his name before but did not remember who he was. Now seeing this pop up -- what an uncanny amount of coincidence. He seems like an incredible influential person with a story that must not be forgotten.
One of his posts - "Believe you can change"  - has helped me a lot with motivation issues. Thank you indeed.
I was thinking about him the other day funnily enough. I was thinking about Reddit and the contribution that has made to modern social discourse, and how it has elucidated the discussion on freedom of speech, the perceived kind versus the legal, constitutional kind. I feel sad that he came to the end that he did, and that he didn't get to see the course of the fiery debate he kicked off. Hard to believe it's been five years.
Thanks for the feelz :(
I made a script to compile all his blog posts to .mobi ebook if anyone interested, just in case his site goes down.
Sad day for the tech community.
And two weeks ago was the second aniversary of Ian Murdock's death. Time flies.
In today's age of dramatic economic and political inequality, it does not matter how talented you are or how hard you work. American meritocracy is a sham and Swartz's death is the proof.
We love you Aaron.
Never forget how prominent HN members treated him during his last call for help to this forum. Aaron was a special person and we are all diminished by his passing.
He did not fit our world and it was primarily a failing of the world that he did not.
Any memorial to Aaron should include the name of the federal attorney whose prosecution for copying journal articles was so overzealous that Aaron saw suicide as his best option.
He shouldn't be subjected to a witch hunt or mob justice, but he should be placed in context (and in search results) for history (and the public) to judge: Stephen P. Heymann.
I find it disappointing that the front page of Reddit isn't flooded with Aaron Swartz posts.
Part of being an adult is accepting things that you wish weren't true; Also one must not binge watch Noam Chomsky on youtube - makes you subconsciously virtue signal a lot and in rare cases (like Aaron) if you end up becoming a failed dogooder, you get depressed and want to die.