Aaron Swartz, American hero – from washington post ..


Aaron Swartz, American hero – from washington post ..

I found the below very interesting ..

1) It is no accident that Silicon Valley is in America, and not France, or Germany, or England, or Japan,” Graham wrote. “In those countries, people color inside the lines.” The article is accompanied by a picture of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, prior to the founding of Apple, experimenting with a “blue box,” a device that tricks the phone system into allowing free phone calls. Wozniak says he once used a blue box to call the Pope.

2) Graham reports that while working on the Manhattan Project, the physicist Richard Feynman made a hobby of cracking military safes. Graham said that there was something very American about the fact that American officials didn’t throw Feynman in jail for his antics. “It’s hard to imagine the authorities having a sense of humor about such things over in Germany at that time,” he noted wryly.

3) I worry that Swartz’s prosecution is a sign that America is gradually losing the sense of humor that has made it the home of the world’s innovators and misfits. A generation ago, we hailed Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg as a hero. Today, our government throws the book at whistleblowers for leaking much less consequential information.

4) Our nation’s growing humorlessness won’t just mean that insubordinate idealists like Swartz lose their freedom or their lives. As our culture becomes steadily less accepting of people with Swartz’s irreverant attitude toward authority, we’ll all be poorer as a result. Revolutionary new technologies and ideas don’t come from people with a reverence for following the rules. They come from iconoclasts like Jobs, Wozniak, and Swartz. It’s a bad idea to lock them up and throw away the key.