I was reminded of the importance of January 11 as the sad marker of the world’s loss of Aaron Swartz… I
If you do not know much about Aaron, get thee to Wikipedia and read up or put Netflix aside and watch The Internet’s Own Boy.
I spotted this post in Mastodon (the place I’d bet Aaron would be active in)
And worth listing out from this the 10 ways to celebrate/honor Aaron Swartz, things that can and should be done on any day
10 ways to celebrate Aaron Swartz, who died #OTD in 2013:
-Subscribe to an RSS feed
-Start something online
-Make your online thing RSS friendly
-Learn to write / format in Markdown
-Publish something using a Creative Commons license
-Make a FOI / FOIA request
-Edit a Wikipedia article
-Map your neighborhood on OpenStreetMap
-Read an Open Access paper
-Check in with someone to see how they’re doing
Humans are still the dopest thing about the #OpenWeb. Cherish them and all they leave behind.
How many can you do / have done recently?
I have to add a memory back to the early 2000s when I was investigating the use of RSS feeds in an old repository project at the Maricopa Community Colleges, largely informed by RSS for Educators shared by @Downes
In my research I came across the RSS 1.0 spec and more writings by someone named Aaron Swartz, whom I imagined to be some middle age programer, not a 14 year old technogenius. I never knew how young he was for at least another decade.
From what I’ve learnt, Aaron’s principles were entirely admirable, and his motivations considered and pure. Sadly, his treatment by monied power brokers and their pet representatives in the government acted with huge dishonour, and we - the world - lost a worthy empathic visionary long before he’d done his best work (even though he’d done far more than most even at such a tender age). It’s always heartbreaking to consider what might’ve been if the ‘establishment’ wasn’t so capricious and ruthless.