Source files and build scripts for my personal website
git clone
Download | Log | Files | Refs | README (3318B)

      1 # Aaron Swartz
      3 [Aaron Swartz]( passed away
      4 ten years ago, at the age of 26. During his short life he contributed
      5 to multiple projects, including
      6 [Creative Commons](,
      7 [RSS](,
      8 [Markdown]( and
      9 [reddit](
     11 If you are interested in learning more about Aaron's life,
     12 you can watch the biographical documentary
     13 [*The Internet's Own Boy*](,
     14 which is freely available online. You can also still access
     15 [Aaron's website]( and read
     16 [his old blog posts](
     18 I don't want to write a long post about Aaron's life.
     19 Instead, I'll take this chance to talk about
     20 [Open Access](, which was
     21 one of Aaron's main battles as an activist. I'll try to be concise
     22 and go straight to the point.
     24 A word of warning: even though I pledged not to write "political" posts
     25 in this blog, I do have a strong opinion on this subject, and I won't
     26 try to hide it.
     28 ## Open access
     30 Most academic journals make scientific articles available at very high
     31 prices, making them practically unaccessible for people who are not
     32 affiliated with a university in a wealthy country. To make things worse,
     33 the people involved in producing these articles - the scientists who
     34 write them and those who review them - do not get any revenue from this.
     36 This system made sense before the Internet, when distributing journals
     37 actually required some effort. The only reasons academics rely on it
     38 nowadays are prestige and having their work reviewed. The latter is a
     39 necessary step for science, and not many peer-reviewed journals offer
     40 open access.
     42 I believe the existence of academic journals that do not offer open access
     43 is unacceptable in the present day. As Aaron Swartz wrote in his 2008
     44 [*Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto*](./goam.txt), sharing knowledge is
     45 a moral imperative. I do stand by this principle.
     47 The *Manifesto* may have had little practical
     48 consequnces, but it has probably inspired
     49 [Alexandra Elbakyan](
     50 to create [Sci-Hub]( in 2011.
     51 Sci-Hub is an online repository that gives free access to millions
     52 of research papers. This is of course illegal in most countries, but
     53 for many people it is the only way to access this material. For legal
     54 reasons the website is forced to change domain from time to time, but
     55 it is currently accessible at [](
     57 Thanks to the Internet we could all have easy access to an incredible
     58 amount of knowledge, but some of it is still locked behind a paywall.
     59 I am hopeful this will change, and the people who fought against this
     60 system will be remembered as heroes, not criminals. But the path to get
     61 there is still long.
     63 ## Eulogy
     66 *Aaron is dead.*
     68 *Wanderers in this crazy world,*  
     69 *we have lost a mentor, a wise elder.*
     71 *Hackers for right, we are one down,*  
     72 *we have lost one of our own.*
     74 *Nurtures, careers, listeners, feeders,*  
     75 *parents all,*  
     76 *we have lost a child.*
     78 *Let us all weep.*
     80  -- [Tim Berners-Lee](