Corruptissima Re Publica Plurimae Leges — Aaron Swartz

Translation: Many are the laws where the State is corrupt. Tacitus.

We’ve all heard the sad story of young Aaron Swartz who committed suicide. Surprisingly I’ve spoken to some younger folk here in Karachi and they have no idea about who he was and how much he contributed to the betterment of our society online.

He was a talented young man that stood for many ideals that we should all support. A brilliant mind. A hero. He was  a rebel, a political activist, a programmer and campaigner that wasn’t fit for corporate life.

There are countless articles on the inter webs. Read one on how the government prosecuted him and lock him up for 35 years.

I did not know Aaron, but I think about him and his courageous efforts to share with the public what he thought was our right-without having to pay for it and sadness overwhelms me. The world needs more like him and within that thought I’d just to share his memory here on my blog. For those who don’t know who he was and what he stood for let’s remember him best by some of his work.

  • Developed a new version of RSS feeds in 2014.
  • Was part of the team that launched Creative Commons.
  • Worked with Tim Berners Lee on enhancing the internet through Semantic Web.
  • Co-founded Demand Progress.
  • Authored the Guerilla Open Manifesto.
  • Obtained the complete bibliographic data for books held by the Library of Congress and posted it in the Open Library.
  • Retrieved 4.8m documents from JSTOR.
  • Countless others if you decide to read up on it.

Aaron, you’re a warm, sensitive, intelligent, passionate young man full of courage and determination. You’re my hero and you will be missed….