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Education Government The Courts

'Dangerously Naive' Aaron Swartz 'Destroyed Himself' 362

theodp writes "In July, MIT drew criticism after issuing a report clearing itself in the suicide of Aaron Swartz. So, one wonders what Swartz supporters will make of The Lessons of Aaron Swartz, an MIT Technology Review op-edish piece penned by MIT EE/CS prof Hal Abelson, who chaired the review panel. Calling Swartz 'dangerously naïve about the reality of exercising that power [of technology], to the extent that he destroyed himself' (others say prosecutorial overreach destroyed him), Abelson questions 'whether the people who mentored Swartz and helped him achieve such brilliance and power had a responsibility to cultivate not only his technical excellence and his passion as an advocate but also, as my grandmother would have called it, seykhel-a wonderful Yiddish word that means a combination of intelligence and common sense.'"
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'Dangerously Naive' Aaron Swartz 'Destroyed Himself'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 05, 2013 @12:20PM (#45044819)

    It seems that "using power responsibly" usually means subordinating oneself to the whims of politicans and bureaucrats;

    It's funny if you open this thread for the first time, all I see are posts that support Swartz. I don't see any expanded posts that support Professor Abelson.

    There are two reasons for this:

    1) many of Slashdot's moderators have spent a fair chunk of time illegally downloading MP3 files, software, and textbooks, so they are sympathetic to what Swartz did

    2) on "religious" issues such as this, the mods want to turn Slashdot into an advocacy site, so they want opposing viewpoints to be buried. I have this picture in my mind of mods doing the same thing I described, scanning the entire page and making sure that all the posts that are rated 4 or 5 support the "good guys/right thinking" POV. If not, the mods go back to work.

    On #1, that's the way things came about. OK.

    However, I think #2 is an abomination, the opposite of what a forum (or an academic journal, for that matter) is supposed to be about. Political Correctness at its worst, and yes mods, I'm talking about you.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson