“A Bit of the Future Was Lost with the Tragic Death of Aaron Swartz”

January 16, 2013

My latest op-ed for Forbes online is one that I wish I didn’t have to write. It’s about the recent suicide of Aaron Swartz, who co-created the RSS blog syndication specification when he was 14 (if you don’t know what that means, trust me: it means he was a prodigy) and later became instrumental in well-known online endeavors like Reddit and Creative Commons. In my op-ed, I explain how several of the issues that FIRE regularly deals with—namely, college overreactions to any challenge to the existing order—played a part in this tragedy. America can’t afford to lose any more geniuses to needless and heedless authoritarianism, on campus or beyond.