Looking for articles to write today online for GodDiscussion, I was shocked to find the news that Reddit c0-founder Aaron Swartz had died at 26. We here at GodDiscussion would like to extend our condolences to Schwartz' Reddit family and his personal family and reflect upon his achievements and what he most likely didn't realize what he has done for GodDiscussion. He was on the edge of life, not having fully lived his, and there is something poignant and sad when a young person dies before his time; but with the life Swartz had, he really changed and touched a lot of people for the good, with Reddit, and through his anti-Internet censorship activism. Swartz was brilliant. The Tech at MIT lists just a few of his accomplishments:
The accomplished Swartz co-authored the now widely-used RSS 1.0 specification at age 14, was one of the three co-owners of the popular social news site Reddit, and completed a fellowship at Harvard’s Ethics Center Lab on Institutional Corruption. In 2010, he founded DemandProgress.org, a “campaign against the Internet censorship bills SOPA/PIPA.”
Aaron was also a speaker at the Harvard Berkman Center Lunch Series in 2007, where his topic was "The Open Library." He was tech lead for the project, making millions of books available online to the public, and relaunched using ADA specifications utilizing the DAISY Digital Talking book making millions of books available to the print disabled.
How did Aaron Swartz affect GodDiscussion? As one of three co-founders of Reddit, he unknowingly helped a tiny little blog about the religious national discourse grow its readership and generate healthy dialogue about ideas that in our society generate so much division. Knowing his work against SOPA/PIPA, encouraging open discourse definitely is something Aaron Swartz was about, and it is what Reddit does every day. We thank him, the founders of Reddit, and the Reddit community for loving us, hating us, upvoting us, and downvoting us. Because the free exchange of ideas is really what America is all about. It seems fitting to let Shakespeare have the last word about this brilliant young man.
When he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
that all the world will be in love with the night
and pay no attention to the garish sun. (from Romeo and Juliet),