I was only vaguely aware of Aaron Swartz's existence before he died. So that makes me feel overwhelmingly unqualified to say anything at all about his death, or about his life. But it's getting to be kind of a huge deal. And that's not why I'm writing, exactly. More like the other way around. It's a huge deal, even among thousands of people who never heard of him before he died, because he was brilliant, he was important, he was unjustly prosecuted, and he is dead. Today there have been several news stories about the fact that the prosecutor on Swartz's[1. Every other piece article I've read about him refers to him as Aaron. But, also, every other piece I've read about him was written by people who knew him personally. So it kinda feels weird to go either way on that.] case openly admitted that he pursued an absurd sentence in order to pressure him into a plea bargain with jail time, and called that "Good use of prosecutorial discretion."
So, there's a lot about this case that's pretty aggressively screwed up. It highlights a lot of things that are wrong. But reading about the stuff that Swartz did in his life highlights a lot of the ways people can fight back, too.
I guess all I really want to say is that I'm sad that he's gone. I feel like I have to say it. It seems really important.