Monday, January 14, 2013


RIP, Aaron Swartz

Cory Doctorow and Maria Bustillos for background reading, The Mountain Goats for depression and love and fighting and creation and persecution.

19 Comments / Post A Comment


I'm glad you posted this -- it's so important.

Here's Lawrence Lessig's statement, too -- the legal expert who developed Creative Commons, and who was a mentor for Aaron Swartz:


its so depressing to me to see all the comments are years old@j


Very sad.

Out of curiosity, (and not because I think you should have used it), is there such thing as a trigger warning for suicide? This sort of thing (and mostly its commentary) really gets to me even when I'm not depressed, but I've never seen a trigger warning used.


I love the Mountain Goats, even when I'm not super sad. Thanks for posting on this dreary day.

Stacy Worst

This is a tragedy. Cory Doctorow's obit was touching, but I bristled when I got to this:

"I don't know for sure whether Aaron understood that any of us, any of his friends, would have taken a call from him at any hour of the day or night. I don't know if he understood that wherever he was, there were people who cared about him, who admired him, who would get on a plane or a bus or on a video-call and talk to him."

It's been said elsewhere better than I can say it, but as someone who was very close to a suicidal person for years and years, these words, unintentionally, hurt. When you are the exhausted, scared to death witness to that kind of pain, when those phone calls happen again and again, year after year... when ultimately they are "successful" and there is a shade of relief in that, well, I guess these words are hard to swallow.

And they are not necessarily any comfort for the suicidal person, who knows their despair has worn out its welcome and just feels further shame for that.

Rest in peace, Aaron.


@Sister Administrator Especially not any comfort for the suicidal person who does not have this kind of all-encompassing network of love and friendship. Nothing at all against the obituary but when I see people linking to it -- as I have elsewhere -- as a kind of PSA for depressed people everywhere to realize that everybody loves them and wants them to be happy, it's so upsetting. just the self-satisfied obliviousness of those who cannot imagine a depressed person, or maybe any person, who is not well-beloved by a lot of people.


@Sister Administrator @queenofbithynia Thank you both for saying this. It's really hard to get people to understand either of your points and I am so exhausted from trying to explain. It's comforting to be reminded that some people get it.


I'm in the midst of a medium-strength depression and it JUST clicked that that Mountain Goats song is not about actual vampires. fucking love that band, time to go on an MG binge I think.


@kickupdust This made me guffaw until I realized that subconsciously, I, too, thought it was about actual vampires.

Ain't nothing like an MG binge in January, amirite?


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