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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