I knew of Aaron Swartz, but not by name. Here is another technologist and activist who deserves the kind of international mourning that Steve Jobs received, but outside of a relatively small niche, nobody knows who he is, or what his activism was trying to accomplish.

I believe in skirting or even breaking laws that are unjust and or silly. Before you frown at me: how many times have you J-walked? If J-walking was made into a felony with excessive penalties, do you really think people would stop doing it? (I believe that people would have an obligation to start doing it, in that case, in order to visibly assert their non-consent to that ridiculous law.)

One of the hallmarks of a police state is that it becomes impossible to live without breaking some law or another, giving the police ample pretext to silence dissent without actually having to have any laws forbidding dissent.

Enough of that...

Will Swartz's death do anything to stop the ridiculously harsh sentences demanded for certain types of cyber "crime"? What's the solution? No fucking idea.

In the meantime, I salute a fallen hero.

(The crime he was charged with involved the free distribution of JSTOR articles. JSTOR is involved with the the whole academic journal thing that +Jan Moren posts about occasionally.)

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