Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz_Wikipedia_Sage Ross

Aaron Swartz (1986-2013). Photo by Sage Ross. Source: Wikipedia.

I came across news of him while surfing Towleroad earlier. I have never heard of him before; I’m not internet-savvy or up-to-date with the news and issues in that world. I did come across Reddit a few times. Aaron Swartz was one of its founders, and he passed away from suicide last Friday the 11th. He was 26. That’s incredibly sad.

In an article about him CNN calls him an internet prodigy and activist. Of all the good things he was, I think Aaron was also a gifted writer. The article included these words he wrote which really struck me:

There is a moment, immediately before life becomes no longer worth living, when the world appears to slow down and all its myriad details suddenly become brightly, achingly apparent.

That was painful to read. I had to stop for a while because it hit home too hard. I could connect to those words, or at least I think I do in my own way. I had felt that way in moments of utter desolation, and there were some over the years.

And those words were just the first sentence, the opening to a story he posted six years ago on his site 18th January 2007, titled A Moment Before Dying. So he was, what, only 20 when he wrote that piece?

Oh my God, what was the poor boy going through as such a young man to already be so acquainted with such pain. To write about it so well, so vividly?

The CNN article has another link to another of his post called Sick, which included his thoughts on depression. I’ll have to read that another day. I also definitely want to go back to his weblog. I only had quick glances here and there and already I caught so many fascinating thoughts and observations I want to go back to for a full proper read.

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2 thoughts on “Aaron Swartz

  1. So he was basically telling people he was suicidal for six years. Suicide rates are rising among young people, often due to bullying.
    Aaron seems classically endogonously depressed though. So very sad. It is often the brilliant, kind ones, that chose this.
    Still the highest rates of suicide are in people aged 65 and over which is more understandable.
    When a young person like Aaron does this, it is doubly sad.
    Thank you for this important post. People need more knowledge of this issue.
    Bottom line. If Aaron really wanted to die for six years there really would be no way of stopping him. Hopefully he was on anti-depressants which work for most people but not all.
    If he didn’t receive psyciatric care/medication for his depression than his suicide would most likely have been preventable.
    In any case you are right. SAD.

  2. Wow, thanks for all this information, Cindy. It’s eye-opening. It didn’t occur to me that older people in that age group are generally in the highest rates, but yes thinking about it, it somehow is more understandable, as terribly sad as that is. Thank you again.

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