I stumbled across this documentary about Aaron Swartz, who I highly regard as not only a highly intelligent human being, but also a sincerely benevolent and kind one.
This combination is extremely rare.
If you combine high IQ and malice, the outcome is scary.
In light of all the recent events, I have been thinking about how any society can evolve and grow. All the riots we are seeing remind of me of my toddler breaking toys in frustration of being denied something – they don’t really lead to anything.
So what can actually help us grow and get better?
Aaron showed us the way to be honest. He was able to build a platform that grew, became succesful and could have easily made him very rich. Infact there were a ton of ways in which he could have gotten rich, but it just wasn’t something that was valuable to him.
Instead, his belief was that information should be free. Knowledge should be free of gatekeepers that decide who gets it, and how much to charge for it.
If you visualize society as a hierarchy, doing so would have most certainly led to a less steep pyramid.
He died on that hill, very literally.
These are the kinds of people we should find, cherish, protect and follow. A society that has access to knowledge is one that will not easily get manipulated into fear mongering over a British Scientist that modeled chaos and then ignored his own recommendations.
If we talk about the plight of minorities and the discrimination they face, the only real way that they can fight is it through knowledge.
You cannot fight fire with fire.
It only leads to more fire and then everything burns to the ground, as what we see.
What we are seeing today in the world is really a world that Aaron was trying to prevent from happening, but could not.
From amazon to google, to facebook and twitter, the flows of information in the world are becoming increasingly more and more centralized.
Given that information is basically the only thing that actually has value, it’s scary.
With centralization comes censorship.
End of argument.
Follow 1, 2 and you get 3. Once again, inevitably (based on historical precendent atleast.)
His prosecution was no accident, even though it could be interpreted as such.
We need people like him more than ever, not mindless looting and rioting if we are to evolve as a species. Without a just dissemination of knowledge, we are doomed.
Scary to think of his last moments on earth.