Last morning, I got message from a friend on Whatsapp. “Aaron Swartz committed suicide?” I was like “Are you kidding me? We met on Wed. and he said see you tomorrow when I got off the train!”. To confirm this, I texted Brian and googled Aaron’s full name. Wikipedia says “Aaron H. Swartz (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013)”. But I still could not believe it, I grabbed my computer, found twitter timeline and HN news has been flooded by RIP Aaron and memorial blogs this whole morning. I read some of them and suddenly realized: yes, this skinny white smart guy is dead.
I don’t know Aaron much in person, although I’ve seen him almost everyday in the past four months. It doesn’t like a guy worked with you, it’s more like an icon in your office who had been loved and admired by people all over the world. However, it’s very delightful to listen or read his words. Aaron had a great sense on phrasing sentense with humor, I follow him on twitter and subscribe his blog. I read about his life and thoughts, his anger and frustration, of course a lot of profound inspirations.
Last time I spoke to him was on the train back from an event with others. We six were talking about buying nonprofits and shutting them down, about building a robot to punch people in faces when they break build, about should or should not believe in science, about one insightful webmaster should buy all the DNSs with any possible variance , for example, purpose.org, purpose.com, purpose.net, purpose.*. We stopped the DNS topic after a bit, but Aaron himself was still entertainted by this joke, “doulbe-purpose, multipurpose..” Somehow, he was a complete adult and forever kid at the same time.
I got lucky to work with him, in general. He had a lot of friends who are campaigners gave us numerous help. I really appreciate him and his massive impact on the community who want to make the world better and better.
R.I.P Aaron.We miss you.