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[liberationtech] Tragic News: Aaron Swartz commits suicide

Matthew Finkel matthew.finkel at
Sat Jan 19 20:56:13 PST 2013

I wrote the below message a few days ago and was (and still am) extremely
hesitant to send it. But subsequently I've written a G+ post[1] (because I
don't have a blog and don't know what else to do right this minute) so I thought
I might as well share. I apologize if any of this is inappropriate/off-topic for
this list.


Hi everyone,

I'm new to the community and even more recently joined this list. I
never had the privilege of meeting nor did I know about Aaron but
from only reading the articles and blog posts that those who knew Aaron
have written over the last few days, I can't find words to express how
sorry I am that he lost his war. I've learned that he was brilliant, a
fighter, on a constant quest of learning, and driven to change what
he knew was unjust.

His accomplishments are extraordinary, he is nothing short of an
inspiration. The internet and world has lost a protector, but even more
so I understand a dear friend has been taken from many people and to
them and Aaron's family I give my most sincere condolences because
there's nothing that compares to the hurt that results from losing a
loved one.

On Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 06:49:47AM -0500, Griffin Boyce wrote:
> Hey all,
>   It's hard to write about one's own experience with depression and suicide
> in the wake of someone's passing.  Not just for the intense feelings
> involved, but also no one wants to direct attention away from the person
> who has died.
<!-- Snip -->
>   In the end, I did not kill myself (spoiler alert). So what changed? Well,
<!-- Snip -->
> Busy is not the new happy.  At times it felt like a death march, but for me
> it felt like the alternative was death -- and we all deserve better than
> that.


I know sharing ones deepest feelings is one of the hardest things to do,
especially with those who you are closest. I can't imagine the
pain/emptiness you endured but thank you for being strong enough to save
yourself and thank you for sharing some details about your fight
publically (and for the spoiler), for those who may not be as strong. I hope
others are able to learn from your experience and decisions because one of
the greatest realizations I've recently had is that when you have friends you
are never alone, and even at your lowest point there are other people who
feel just like you.

Busy is not the new happy, nor was it the old happy, but I've found it
to be a way to maintain sanity (some of it anyway), thankfully I never
teetered on the edge of such a devastating cliff, as you described. No one
should have to face that choice. Everyone does deserve better than that.

And not only do they deserve better, but there is so much more a
community has to offer. The support the community provides a cause can
and should also be provided to those within the community that need
it, no matter if it's asked for or not.

Cheers to a better tomorrow today.

All the best,

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