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Losing Aaron 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the sense-from-senselessness dept.
theodp writes "It's said that you can't fully understand someone until you meet their family. In Janelle Nanos's 'Losing Aaron,' you'll meet Bob Swartz, father of the late Aaron Swartz and adviser to MIT's Media Lab, and get a better understanding of how Aaron's family helped plant the seeds of his idealism. You'll also, sadly, see how MIT — the institution which Bob Swartz long felt stood for compassion and creativity, challenging authority, and pure scientific inquiry — took a self-described stance of 'neutrality' in the aggressive prosecution of his son that ended with Aaron's senseless death last January. 'Clearly I failed,' a tortured Bob Swartz acknowledges. 'There's no question, my son is dead. On the other hand, do I feel that I didn't try hard enough? Yes. Do I feel guilt about not trying hard enough? No. If you understand the distinction I'm trying to make. Could I have done more? Of course I could have done more. Because you can always do more. Did I put everything in that I possibly could? Did I work as hard pretty much as I knew how? Yes. Do I wish I did more? Yes. But I don't go home at night and say, "Well, you didn't care." Because I did. I cared about it more than anything else. And I don't go home at night and say, "I didn't try." Because I tried. Everything I could figure out. But I failed.'"
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Losing Aaron

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  • Re:Black swan (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 03, 2014 @10:33AM (#45856031)

    There are probably thousands of similar situations where young people are goaded and bullied "legally," but not ethically, into suicide. I don't know how many of those people set in motion themselves the events that eventually overwhelmed them as was the case here. He made a choice, dimly aware of the consequences to come. Or he may have read somewhere that he would be subject to dozens of years in jail and decided "Oh, they'll never do that to me."

    I feel for him and for what happened, but I also would like to see similar light shown on the lost lives of others, especially those who did not break the law but got the hammer anyway. As for MIT being the safety net of last resort, this just goes to show you that these days nobody really gives enough of a crap to come to the aid of their fellow human if it is in any way personally or organizationally inconvenient. We have pretty much become a nation of "I don't want to get involved," "I'm not political" and/or "9/11! 9/11!," the latter being the excuse for EVERYTHING no matter how nonsensical it may be.

    One thing is for certain however: In light of what happened to this adult (and the "untouchable" members of LulzSec, remember them?), the message has been made pretty clear that you risk getting the hammer if you do anything that those in power don't like. And it doesn't matter if it is excessive. Just look at the situation in Texas where a prosecutor who put a man away for 25 years on bogus procedures got NINE DAYS in jail. N-I-N-E. So, nothing at all will happen to a prosecutor who follows the rules and uses his discretion to absolutely destroy you. So, kids this is not a game. If you're gonna play on this field, be ready for war because they will bring it to your door.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 03, 2014 @10:57AM (#45856273)

    If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. He didn't behave like an intelligent adult. He behaved like a child thinking the worst he would get is dressed down and maybe a slap on the wrist.

    Perhaps that's because after JSTOR (the 'victim' in this case) had been compensated satisfactorily, a dressing down and a slap on the wrist would have been the proportionate consequence!

  • Nope (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 03, 2014 @11:09AM (#45856401)

    Tell me what Bradley Manning did wrong on an ethical basis ? He exposed brutal, cynical behaviour in a war that was clearly illegal. And then a "constitutional lawyer" turned out to be a Torture-Meister. He gave up his life for the truth and for a better world

    In my ethical framework, that amounts to Jesus. No less, no more. And I don't need the official church to see this. They are corrupt conspirators with the rich, powerful, warmaking, warmongering and Apartheid-state-runners these days.

    If your corrupt mind cannot see this truth, I really feel sorry for you. Their propaganda has sowed your eyes shut.

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