Who was Aaron Swartz?
Aaron Swartz (1986-2013) was a computer genius, dedicated to making the Internet a free and open place. He helped pioneer the Progression Change Campaign Committee, which was a group dedicated to liberal causes. Swartz wanted to dismantle gatekeeping platforms like JSTOR and Thompson Isi. Being a force to be reckoned with, Swartz specifically went after JSTOR and downloaded the academic journals. Consequently, he was indicted on multiple counts of computer and wire fraud, which would account for 35 years in a federal prison.
What did I find intriguing?
Apart from Swartz’s numerous accomplishments at a young age, another quality that amazed me was his ambition to enact change. In one of his earlier publications, the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto, he writes that “information is power, but like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves”. He was truly a genius, focused on the disruption of democratized information.
Initially, my reaction about Swartz in the documentary was similar to Spongebob’s…until it became Micheal’s.