Aaron Swartz :: Simple Tragic of a Bright Man or a Twist?


Aaron Swartz was a bright young American teenager who was gifted in handling technology who established himself a singular force by connecting worlds of technology and activism. He was also involved in developing lots of new technology such as RSS and Reddit. Not only that, he successfully led a campaign to Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Overall, he was successful; a millionaire, a competent leader, and an outstanding man with gifted brightness in technology at such a young age.

However, not long after spread of his fame, he was found hanging in his Brooklyn apartment. Websites such as Rolling Stone describes that “he was killed because he was forced into playing a game he could not win.” Many publications have said that his death was due to MIT JSTOR instance and relentless stress and mental unstability. However, there is more into Aaron’s death than simply the MIT JSTOR instance; something far more complicated that gave Aaron no way out, but the choice of death. 

Any intellectual information is valid and therefore holds its value as asset, however if unnecessary sacrifices have to be made in order to enforce IP (Intellectual Property) law, the U.S IP law is not serving its purpose properly. Rather, it is creating a bloody fight over intellectual property rights between institutions, which the aftermath of the fight is most likely targetted toward students and faculty.

Alpers, B. (2013, Jan 28). Aaron swartz, intellectual property, and the humanities. Retrieved from http://s-usih.org/2013/01/aaron-swartz-
Amsden, D. (2013, Feb 28). The brilliant life and tragic death of aaron swartz. Retrieved from http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/the-brilliant-life-and-tragic-death-of-aaron-swartz-20130215


Do you know who’s watching you___ o_0 ??

Being a Korean, I consider my social security number as top private information because social security number is required in order for a Korean to create an account in any Korean online websites. It is not only the key to create, but also find lost passwords or ID in the future. I also believe that any types of card that goes into wallet contain private pieces of information; for example all of credit card numbers, cvs numbers, serial numbers of point cards can be considered private because they hold potential financial values, which belongs to an individual. Last but not least, all passwords and IDs are private pieces of information because they are the key to information or an authority which is signed to an individual.

If private information is freely given away through social media and reviewed by the government or corporations, private information can be violated the without a permission of its authorized individual. When every pieces of information is an asset, it puts the government and corporations on the upper hand to begin with. Also, personal information can be manipulated by other users and this may lead to corrupted and unfair society.

Twitter vs Instagram

Through the development of internet and the spread of its availability, lots of social media sites and apps such as Twitter and Instagram were developed. These means of social network contribute not only in everyday communication, but also in advertisement, entertainment, and most importantly, world news. When world news occurs, one of the first places where news gets posted is SNSs. For example, when there was a terrorist attack in 2011 Mumbai, the very first source that notified me on this event was Facebook, and then Twitter. Unfortunately, news channels came live about an hour later. Like this, SNS plays a significant role in getting the world news through.

As far as Twitter is concerned about conveying the world news through, message gets spread through re-twitting system within a short amount of time; however, the 140 word limitation makes it difficult for the message to be elaborated on. Also, attaching an image to twit post is possible; therefore message can be more comprehensible. As compared to Twitter, Instagram has no or very less word documenting functions. In other words, users of Instagram communicate solely through images. Images can convey simple messages with more impressions than which words can provide. However, sole image isn’t enough to convey accurate messages; there is a possibility of miscommunication and miscomprehension. If I was shown a picture of Mumbai terrorist attack without having knowledge about the event (image provided), I could have misunderstood and thought that there was simply fire on a building in a random place. Like this Twitter and Instagram have both pros and cons when it comes to conveying world news.