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The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz

by Aaron SWARTZ

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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872278,497 (3.9)12
"In his too-short life, Aaron Swartz reshaped the Internet, questioned our assumptions about intellectual property, and touched all of us in ways that we may not even realize. His tragic suicide in 2013 at the age of twenty-six after being aggressively prosecuted for copyright infringement shocked the nation and the world. Here for the first time in print is revealed the quintessential Aaron Swartz: besides being a technical genius and a passionate activist, he was also an insightful, compelling, and cutting essayist. With a technical understanding of the Internet and of intellectual property law surpassing that of many seasoned professionals, he wrote thoughtfully and humorously about intellectual property, copyright, and the architecture of the Internet. He wrote as well about unexpected topics such as pop culture, politics both electoral and idealistic, dieting, and lifehacking. Including three in-depth and previously unpublished essays about education, governance, and cities,The Boy Who Could Change the World contains the life's work of one of the most original minds of our time"--… (more)
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Showing 2 of 2
Some stuff feels dated, most of it was pretty interesting. It's definitely a shame that he didn't get to develop his thoughts more.

Here's some of what I got out of the book:
- a sense that other computer people care about good things without being total techno-utopians
- a lot of Swartz's influences seem like they'd be good reading - sometimes it feels like his thoughts are not quite as well-developed as whatever inspired them, if that makes sense
- the idea/distinction between measuring one's legacy by what the world would have been like without one's existence. This biases against competing to do the same Big Thing that lots of other people are trying to do, and instead trying to change the world in a way that only you would have. Not sure how much I agree with this but it's an interesting way to think about things. (Not sure, even, if I want to have a Legacy.)
( )
  haagen_daz | Jun 6, 2019 |
A collection of essays and blog posts, many unfinished, from the late great Aaron Schwartz. Each entry is introduced and placed in some sort of context. Should be of interest to anyone who appreciates the internet. ( )
  Quasifesto | Jan 4, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
SWARTZ, Aaronprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
BORTOLOTTI, Marie-Mathildesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
LESSIG, Lawrencesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
SZIDON, Amarantesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"In his too-short life, Aaron Swartz reshaped the Internet, questioned our assumptions about intellectual property, and touched all of us in ways that we may not even realize. His tragic suicide in 2013 at the age of twenty-six after being aggressively prosecuted for copyright infringement shocked the nation and the world. Here for the first time in print is revealed the quintessential Aaron Swartz: besides being a technical genius and a passionate activist, he was also an insightful, compelling, and cutting essayist. With a technical understanding of the Internet and of intellectual property law surpassing that of many seasoned professionals, he wrote thoughtfully and humorously about intellectual property, copyright, and the architecture of the Internet. He wrote as well about unexpected topics such as pop culture, politics both electoral and idealistic, dieting, and lifehacking. Including three in-depth and previously unpublished essays about education, governance, and cities,The Boy Who Could Change the World contains the life's work of one of the most original minds of our time"--

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