SEARCH

Enter your search query in the box above ^, or use the forum search tool.

You are not logged in.

#1 2013-01-13 13:17:33

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

Very sad news.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21001452

If you've done something stupid and naughty and are about to go to prison, don't kill yourself. Here's why:

If you're an atheist, this is it. There's nothing afterwards. No incorporeal entity to float about and feel relieved no longer to be bound by the physical laws of reality. No nothing.

If you're religious, your religion prohibits you from killing yourself. If you do, you go to Hell, Hades, Gehenna or some equally unpleasant place. Loony cults don't count and Islam only allows you to do it for religious reasons, not for being frightened.

Will you be utterly miserable in prison? Will you develop mental health problems? Will you be met with violence and sometimes even violence of a sexual nature?

Possibly.

I cannot say as I've never been there.

My spidey-sense tells me you might but that it probably depends on the prison and how big and ugly you are.

However, even if you're unlucky and all of that does happen to you, consider this:

In 2, 4, 8, 25 years' time, you will get to smell the fresh air again and walk into the supermarket of your choice and buy the cheap lager of your choice and sit on the park bench of your choice and growl at passers-by as much or as little as you like. That is the worse case scenario but even that has to be better than placing yourself on the wrong side of the topsoil.

Like all words ending in -cide, suicide is conceptually if not legally a form of murder. Do you imagine that ending your life will be easy or straightforward? Are you really capable of a level of violence against yourself that you wouldn't dream of inflicting on someone else? Do you think your body will any more willfully and painlessly give up its existence than if someone else tried to kill you?

Your brain may be capable of silly irrational ideas like terminating its own existence but the rest of your body isn't. Your skin, flesh and bones want to live and will do everything in their power to stay alive until either they lose the fight or the brain gets bored and wants another cigarette or fizzy drink.

Your family and friends will grieve if you die at your own hand exactly as if you had been murdered. Plus they might even feel guilty and somehow responsible and you could do permanent damage to their lives with difficult questions that they can never answer because you took the answers with you to the grave.

You see, that's the ironic thing about killing yourself. It makes all the people who hate you really happy and all the people who actually care about you really miserable.

Don't let the bastards win.

Seriously, don't do it.

No matter how bad life gets, it is always better than the alternative. Every day above ground is a good day, as Mel Bernstein said to Tony Montana in Scarface.

That doesn't mean that every day is filled with happiness. It simply means that the basic criterion for quality in life is not to be dead.

Penniless and on the streets? You get to breathe exactly the same sweet air as the rich guy who just walked by you pretending to ignore both you and your dog-eared paper cup on the ground. He just drinks a better brand of gin and gets a better class of kiss than you do. That's all.

It's really not worth killing yourself over.

The Serbian ambassador in Brussels committed suicide recently and he was almost certainly not poor. Rich and powerful people can be unhappy, believe it or not.

Or was he suicided?

And don't get caught up like Aaron Swartz or Richard Stallman in fighting the good fight against corporate liars and cheats. It's really not worth it. Although Richard Stallman is thankfully still alive, who do you think is having more fun right now? Him or Linus Torvalds?

Look, the world is essentially a racket. The aim is to get paid and get laid and to keep throwing life's threatening letters in the bin until one day the Grim Repoman comes to your door to collect. That's it.

If you're getting paid and getting laid, don't upset the apple-cart.

If you're not getting paid or not getting laid, work out how to. Don't try to break the racket.

No one will thank you for it and they might even come after you with a baseball bat. I'm speaking from experience here.

There is a good fight to be fought but you'll enjoy it a lot more - as with boxing - if someone else takes the punches.

Think of all the people who've made money out of the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh. Yet Van Gogh himself had a miserable existence as a penniless, struggling artist. He knew nothing of his own posthumous fame and saw none of the money his work generated after his death. I think he sold just one painting in his entire lifetime. To his mum. We are undeniably all the better for his sacrifice but the point is: he was not.

You see the truth is, as Bruce Springsteen sang in the song Atlantic City: Down here, it's just winners and losers and don't get caught on the wrong side of that line.

Of course, if you have a terminal illness and life for you is simply suffering and nothing else, I won't judge you if you feel you really can't take it any more.

I had an abscess last year and at the time I prayed to humanity's entire catalogue of deities for some form of speedy death.

Thankfully my prayers went unanswered.

Aaron Swartz was not so fortunate.

His suicide, like the death of any person by his own hand, particularly a person as young as 26 years old, is an immeasurably sad conclusion to a life that should have gone on for much longer.

Although I never knew him, my thoughts go out to all those who did and who loved him as they now begin their painful adjustment to a world in which Aaron no longer exists and where, even if there is one, the afterlife almost certainly does not hold visiting hours.

Last edited by intoCB (2013-01-13 21:48:07)

Offline

Be excellent to each other!

#2 2013-01-13 13:59:36

schwim
#! Die Hard
From: Interweb's #1 Devotee
Registered: 2012-10-11
Posts: 1,031
Website

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

Some people simply take life too seriously.

Although I'm unable to feel any compassion for him, in situations like this, I always feel terrible for the family that have to live with his decision.  As a dad, I can't imagine the guilt I would feel and constant wondering if I could have done something.

Offline

#3 2013-01-13 21:45:41

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

Well, it's true they are surely suffering right now, which is not good and not something I imagine he would have wanted. It must be a terrible thing to survive your own children.

However, I don't really know how I'd feel about facing the next 35 years in jail, so I won't judge him. I just felt compelled to write something after reading that a 26 year old had taken his own life, which is not right under any circumstances.

Offline

#4 2013-01-13 22:01:43

schwim
#! Die Hard
From: Interweb's #1 Devotee
Registered: 2012-10-11
Posts: 1,031
Website

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

intoCB wrote:

However, I don't really know how I'd feel about facing the next 35 years in jail, so I won't judge him.

<!--tongue in cheek-->
If only there had been some choices he could have made that would have kept him from being in that position.
<!--tongue removed-->

He made choices in life with the knowledge of the repercussions he would face.  In my estimation, his suicide  means he either wasn't smart enough to think that far ahead(we can assume this to not be true as he was a genius), he thought he was smarter than everyone else and wouldn't get caught or he simply didn't consider life to be very valuable.

If anything had occurred to that forced him along his course, I would be the first in line to pour a 40 for him.  As it stands however, it was completely in his control from start to finish.

You are absolutely correct that it's not right for someone's life to end at the age of 26.  Since he is solely responsible for the situation, I'd be more likely to feel anger towards him for what he's put his family and friends through than compassion for him.

Offline

#5 2013-01-13 22:31:30

mobilediesel
#! Member
Registered: 2010-08-19
Posts: 73

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

...

Last edited by mobilediesel (2013-01-13 22:49:04)

Offline

#6 2013-01-13 22:42:16

saneks
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2009-10-01
Posts: 1,020

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

i read about the case the first time and I am shocked that the authorities decided to persue the case, altough the institution that was owning the articles and was harmed by copying these articles did cancel the thing.. as I understand he copied tons of scientific articles to upload them for all to read.

if you think about spending more time in jail than you have lived until now.. this would just creep me out. I think every person is responsible for their life, and can do whatever he or she wants to do with it. It is sad a young guy like him chose that option, but it his his choice. he must have been afraid. As I read he was depressivesince years so life might have had not too much value for him anyway. may he rest in peace.

I agree that he should  think about what this might do to his relatives. But in the end it is his life. Having a misarable life imprisoned will affect your family as well. He surely thought about all that and took his decision.


eee701 user & other lap/desktops

Offline

#7 2013-01-13 22:44:18

schwim
#! Die Hard
From: Interweb's #1 Devotee
Registered: 2012-10-11
Posts: 1,031
Website

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

mobilediesel wrote:

As for showing anger toward someone for ending their own life or thinking they were somehow "selfish" for doing so is some of the most ignorant bullshit that I've ever seen. Only a truly tortured mind will resort to ending its own existance because it will do *anything* to end the torture.

Assuming the comment is directed towards me: I never called him selfish or said I felt anger.  I stated that if I had any emotional investment in his life(like his family), I'd be more likely to feel anger than compassion.

Kim Dotcom faces the same life and had a much rougher road getting to that point.  Instead of offing himself, he immediately began drafting plans for a new business model.  You call him tortured, I call him weak.  Tomato, potato, I guess.

Last edited by schwim (2013-01-13 22:48:02)

Offline

#8 2013-01-13 23:22:58

Vegetarian Spelling Unit
#! Member
Registered: 2011-08-27
Posts: 85

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

We all have our weaknesses. It's called being human.

Offline

#9 2013-01-13 23:25:00

schwim
#! Die Hard
From: Interweb's #1 Devotee
Registered: 2012-10-11
Posts: 1,031
Website

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

Vegetarian Spelling Unit wrote:

We all have our weaknesses. It's called being human.

I concur completely.  I can't pass a turtle on the road without stopping, regardless of the traffic and I am completely unable to stop myself from eating too many desserts.

Four brownies today.   

I'm incredibly ashamed.

Offline

#10 2013-01-13 23:29:20

Vegetarian Spelling Unit
#! Member
Registered: 2011-08-27
Posts: 85

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

There's no need to feel ashamed. You're fallible just like the rest of us.

Offline

#11 2013-01-14 00:00:40

el_koraco
#!/loony/bun
From: inside Ed
Registered: 2011-07-25
Posts: 4,749

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

schwim wrote:

You call him tortured, I call him weak.  Tomato, potato, I guess.

That's because you have zero knowledge or experience with suicide, you're just doing the macho thing. Do some research at least. You know, type suicide in wikipedia or something.

Offline

#12 2013-01-14 00:06:39

zalew
#! Junkie
From: Warsaw, .PL
Registered: 2012-03-28
Posts: 374

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

>> Look, the world is essentially a racket. The aim is to get paid and get laid and to keep throwing life's threatening letters in the bin until one day the Grim Repoman comes to your door to collect. That's it.

nice one.

there is enough said on the net about aaron's case, but kinda on topic, when it comes to facing a long sentence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8elKC-DLS8

Offline

#13 2013-01-14 08:56:14

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

No I think Schwim is right in one sense. It's possible Aaron Swartz simply took on a bigger opponent than he could handle and couldn't cope with where he ended up.

David and Goliath teaches us that David should always take on Goliath. Well, in the real world Goliath usually wins. Don't pick battles you can't win or for which you can't cope with the consequences if you lose. And you are responsible for this.

I took on middle management at a company I worked at. What I was saying was in line with what higher up was saying - but had long since lost any interest in - and was official and was for the common good. However, I underestimated my opponents abilities and the extent to which they didn't want their wrongdoing to be exposed/stopped and I ended up completely isolated and eventually kicked out. Just for pointing out official policy and being careful to always be able to prove what I was saying. No one stood by my side and many people even turned against me. Were they at fault? I certainly thought so. However, I am also at fault for taking on a battle I couldn't win. When you choose to do something, you need to look down the road and see where it takes you. You cannot cope with everything. So try to avoid ending up with things you can't cope with.

Bravery is a quality admired in a man. Foolhardiness is not.

Last edited by intoCB (2013-01-14 08:56:44)

Offline

#14 2013-01-14 11:47:30

gutterslob
#! Resident Bum
Registered: 2009-11-03
Posts: 3,207

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

Not going to take sides here. All I want to say is;

1. Deepest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.
He was obviously a brilliant lad that contributed a great deal to how many of us interact with the world today.

2. I hope those lawyers that continued with the case (even after JSTOR dropped charges) suffer.
Not because I think they're directly responsible, but because I just like the idea of lawyers suffering in general.

3. It's good that MIT is launching an internal investigation, but that's kind of like telling people using condoms after they get pregnant.


Point & Squirt

Offline

#15 2013-01-14 16:19:28

schwim
#! Die Hard
From: Interweb's #1 Devotee
Registered: 2012-10-11
Posts: 1,031
Website

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

gutterslob wrote:

2. I hope those lawyers that continued with the case (even after JSTOR dropped charges) suffer.
Not because I think they're directly responsible, but because I just like the idea of lawyers suffering in general.

Here, here!

Offline

#16 2013-01-14 16:27:45

snowpine
#!-a-roo
Registered: 2008-11-24
Posts: 2,984

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

Wow. Disgusting. sad

Last edited by snowpine (2013-01-15 00:23:45)


/hugged

Offline

#17 2013-01-14 17:36:04

Digit
#! Die Hard
From: the internet
Registered: 2009-05-26
Posts: 1,083
Website

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

as i've said several other places around the net... this should be a call to action. 

every hacker/cracker/hacktivist with the technical capability, should make it their number1 priority, to liberate those articles from jstor (and elsevier i add too, and anyone else like that).

i know this is on shakey legal ground, but it's on firm ethical ground.   frankly, it's a highly dubious practice the likes of jstor are involved in.  an utterly disgusting racket, exploiting both the authors and the public, who have effectively already payed for the articles.   and worse... it holds back the collective knowledge of the world.   all to line the pockets of a few.

so i unreservedly am spreading this call to action... it's beyond my capabilities, so i say to those who are capable, it's time to put a stop to this pay-wall that's creating a new "dark ages" for us in the information age.

everyone who can, whether a member of anon and the like or not, please, liberate the jstor database, let aaron's death not be in vain.

Last edited by Digit (2013-01-14 17:36:58)

Offline

#18 2013-01-14 17:54:13

storge
Member
Registered: 2012-12-20
Posts: 17

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

The Criminal Charges Against Aaron Swartz (Part 1: The Law)
That Volokh post alters my thinking about Aaron Swartz somewhat, and not just because of the writer´s conclusion, but because I had not read the complaint against him or the lengths he went to--rather boldly--try to copy all that JSTOR content. He didn´t do it at Harvard, where it might have been easier for him--but more scandalous if he was caught. So I see this interesting picture in my head of a guy who made the decision to do this, boldly, yet secretly, and yet not so secretly or boldly. He comes off as naive to me, as if he wanted to get caught, to push the issue--and that´s fine--MLK did it, protestors do it all the time. But it does change the picture I see about a brilliant depressed guy and how the system was leaning on him. Consider what RMS said today:

RMS wrote:

Having a tendency for depression does not mean one is impervious to reality. The reality of the US attack against him surely contributed to how depressed he felt.

So we have reason to think the US government drove Swartz to it. This was not murder; the US did not aim to kill him, only to ruin his life on behalf of the copyright industry. But it probably did kill him.

source RMS RSS

I think that says a lot; as much about the system as about Aaron Swartz. I never met him, know only a little about him, and what I do know leaves me impressed and ultimately frustrated, both with him and with the system he was righteously pissed at.

requiescat in pace, Aaron Swartz


scary times are never dull.

Offline

#19 2013-01-14 18:16:00

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

Well I would caution anyone to think very carefully about what they were doing before deciding to fight any cause.

It has been increasingly common in some circles to think of our governments as Mafias etc. Let's say purely for the sake of argument that the US or the British, the Russian governments etc. are like the Mafia. This may or may not be true. Would you take on the real Mafia and not expect to end up inside the column of a brand new public building?

If you are prepared to do it and to take the consequences, you should do what you think is right. But fast forward to it all going wrong and put yourself in a room in Brooklyn shaking with the knowledge that your world has suddenly grown a lot smaller and darker and that you may well spend the next 35 years behind bars. What's your back-up plan?

Last edited by intoCB (2013-01-14 21:54:55)

Offline

#20 2013-01-14 18:18:07

kbmonkey
#! Die Hard
From: South Africa
Registered: 2011-01-14
Posts: 879
Website

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

It is very sad to lose a fellow geek, our sincerest condolences to the bereaved.

May Aaron Swartz R.I.P. in that giant bit pool in the universe.

On a personal note, suicidal tendencies is a very, very subjective and personal choice, albeit seemingly irrational. By no means am I supporting or condemning it, rather I accept it as a morbid reality that defies explanation, even to those of us who lived through it.

Offline

#21 2013-01-15 00:09:40

dura
Bloated Gimp
From: interzone
Registered: 2012-09-15
Posts: 2,108

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

I elect to rename this thread 'Stop Thinking Suicidally, Dummy! A Rational and Insensitive Defeatest Perspective'.

Last edited by dura (2013-01-15 00:17:28)

Offline

#22 2013-01-15 08:11:50

machinebacon
#! unstable
From: China
Registered: 2009-07-02
Posts: 6,826
Website

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

RIP Aaron  neutral
They call you weak, I call you brave.
@kbmonkey +1


Sweaty lads picking up the soap | I love the new "Ignore user" button

Offline

#23 2013-01-15 10:36:27

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

dura wrote:

I elect to rename this thread 'Stop Thinking Suicidally, Dummy! A Rational and Insensitive Defeatest Perspective'.

I didn't call anyone weak. I thought he shouldn't have done it. My concern was to reach anyone in that situation who might be tempted to do the same thing.

It's not defeatist. People should fight battles. Just not all people should fight all battles.

Anyway, if anyone's looking for a noble cause, how about depriving your mother of the experience of watching you disappear into a hole in the ground before she does?

Last edited by intoCB (2013-01-15 11:08:25)

Offline

#24 2013-01-15 10:51:23

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

Look, you're not weak if you kill yourself. You simply shouldn't do it. You'll hurt those who care about you and you won't get to alleviate any pain.

You should fight but if you bite off more than you can chew, don't be surprised that you can't digest it all. Bravery is necessary. Everything you have in this world is because either you, your parents or your grandparents or someone else fought for it. However, people are also necessary in the world.

Again this is not a judgment of Aaron. I didn't know him and I only became familiar with some details of the case in the last few days. His parents are proud of him and that's good enough for me.

Offline

Be excellent to each other!

#25 2013-01-15 11:38:21

cchhrriiss121212
#! Junkie
Registered: 2010-03-26
Posts: 357

Re: Thoughts on the death of hacktivist Aaron Swartz

@intoCB
I think the problem is you are trying to give logical arguments against suicide, which are all valid of course. But the problem is that depression does not work like that, you cannot argue your way out of it, it's an extremely intense emotional state.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB

Copyright © 2012 CrunchBang Linux.
Proudly powered by Debian. Hosted by Linode.
Debian is a registered trademark of Software in the Public Interest, Inc.
Server: acrobat

Debian Logo