Aaron Swartz died about three years ago on January 11, 2013. He was 26 years old and lived a short but remarkable life — he was a programmer, hacktivist, writer and entrepreneur. He helped develop RSS, Creative Commons and also was a co-founder of Reddit among many other accomplishments. His lasting legacy really his is activism around copyright law and his belief that information should be free. He died by suicide while under federal indictment for data theft, for downloading a large amount of academic journals from JSTOR.
Episode #17 features Justin Peters who recently wrote a book on Aaron titled "The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet." We talk about Aaron, his ideas and the person behind the news headlines.
Justin Peters is a correspondent for Slate and a contributing editor at the Columbia Journalism Review. He has written for The New York Times, the Washington Monthly, Travel + Leisure, and many other publications. His essay on Peter Fleming's book Brazilian Adventure was anthologized in Second Read: Writers Look Back at Classic Works of Reportage. He divides his time between Boston and New York.
Visit Justin’s website at freejustinpeters.com and follow him on Twitter @justintrevett. He will be reading at Politics and Prose in Washington, DC at 7 PM on Tuesday, January 26, and then at WorkBar in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Thursday, January 28.
His book on Aaron is available now in your local bookstore and on Amazon.