Aaron Swartz 1986-2013
Today, we lost a great mind to suicide, goddamn it. Who knows why. I just wanted to hear him speak and keep speaking so I went to YouTube. This was a good man—watch him express himself and you can tell. He had a good heart and expected the best of the world.
I never met Aaron, but he was one of my first Internet heroes—one of the first bloggers I read when I realized that people make the Internet and some of them have elegant and beautiful voices. Today, I’m sad.
Here are some nice words of advice from Aaron in 2007:
- Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. I think a lot of what people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.
- Say yes to everything. I have a lot of trouble saying no, to an pathological degree — whether to projects or to interviews or to friends. As a result, I attempt a lot and even if most of it fails, I’ve still done something.
- Assume nobody else has any idea what they’re doing either. A lot of people refuse to try something because they feel they don’t know enough about it or they assume other people must have already tried everything they could have thought of. Well, few people really have any idea how to do things right and even fewer are to try new things, so usually if you give your best shot at something you’ll do pretty well.
Aaron, thank you for all you’ve done for the world.