Aaron Swartz was an incredible guy. He was constantly successful in making me feel completely inadequate — which is generally a pretty hard thing to do — and I can claim more success in my life than I would otherwise have had thanks to Aaron’s influence.
The world is worse off without him. My best to all his friends and family.
As a result of Aaron’s passing, I am going to change my recent practice of doing many things on Facebook only. Before, I would also have ensured that my content was made available in places that weren’t Facebook, because I felt that the freedom that other platforms offered me — as well as long term stability — were important. Of late, I have not stuck to that ideal — but the fact that I haven’t is a regression from a belief that I have always had, that sharing things only in walled gardens hurts everyone.
I think this is the kind of thing that I would have frowned upon in myself a decade ago, and there is no less reason now that it should upset me. Sharing information only in a single closed platform is bad for everyone. It’s time to go back to sticking to those principles, and making my information as free as it can be. (There are practical limits to anything, but “I’m a lazy bum” isn’t a good enough excuse.)