Filed under: Blogroll
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There will be a funeral on Tuesday in Chicago. Memorials in a few cities over the next two weeks: including Boston, New York, DC and SF.
Danny: He was funny
“Update: We talked. Ada cried, then we hugged, then Ada suggested we have a goodbye party, with ice-cream and sprinkles and a movie, and make a board where we could pin all our memories. We laughed at how funny he was. Aaron taught her so well.“
Tim Berners-Lee: “Aaron dead. World wanderers, we have lost a wise elder…“
James Grimmelmann: Aaron Swartz, Was 26.
Cory Doctorow: RIP Aaron Swartz.
“Uncompromising, Reckless and Delightful“
Quinn Norton: “My Aaron Swartz, whom I loved.“
“Make the world that wouldn’t have killed him, please.“
Larry Lessig: on Aaron and the prosecutor as bully.
“He was brilliant, and funny. A kid genius.
A soul, a conscience, the source of a question
I have asked myself a million times: What would Aaron think?“
Brewster Kahle: Aaron Swartz, Hero of the Open World, Dies
Chris Hayes, MSNBC: The Brilliant Mind and Righteous Heart of Aaron Swartz will be missed.
Aaron took his life yesterday. I am still finding it hard to believe.
His ongoing court case overshadows his death, so let me get that out of the way:
He was living through a two-year federal case which had only become more nightmarish since last year. (JSTOR stated it did not want a trial, and has steadily been releasing the PD articles in question and more for free public use; yet the prosecution, continuing its outrageous abuse of discretion, declined to settle and tripled their felony charges to cover up to 35 years in prison.)
Friends and family were helping him plan a campaign to spread the word about the unreasonableness and inequity of the trial. Its uncertainty was intensely stressful, even for those of us who lived only the tiniest fraction of it. As Lessig notes, the prosecutors – Stephen P. Heymann (and at times Scott L. Garland), working in Carmen M. Ortiz‘s Cybercrime unit – should be taking a long hard look in the mirror and asking themselves what they are doing with their lives.
Aaron was a dear friend, and one of the most decent men I have known. The only times I have seen him truly angry was in response to some social wrong; and he actively looked for ways to find and eliminate injustice. He always considered how to act morally – even when this meant being at odds with local social norms – and regularly paused at forks in his life to think about how to live so as to benefit society.
He kindled ideas from those nearby, and freely passed on his own. Made mistakes often and tried to learn from them, usually publicly. His transparency was a useful meterstick for me. Ages ago, when we first met, I remember him brainstorming ideas about community and wiki design with Zvi and me; about learning and unlearning, society and ideals, civics and collaboration. Once his curiosity was piqued about a subject he would pursue it until he could write about and explain it.
I spent last night with mutual friends who live now in his old apartment, in a room that was once his; remembering the many great projects he started and inspired – especially the little gems, the personal quirks and insights, the inspiring ideas that became single-purpose services, or calls to arms. (We never did start a dog-walking service for data, but the idea abides.) Rereading some of his writings, I remember the many opportunities missed for synthesis, reframing, and clarity – about how life works, and how to live it.
Everyone has idealized dreams — what would you do with an unlimited wish? — about long-term projects worth devoting one’s life to, to transform the world. Dreams cherished but rarely attempted. Aaron was the only person I felt completely comfortable sharing mine with. We had a little game: a couple times a year we would meet in a nameless cafe, and he would ask for ‘rabbinical’ advice on moral quandaries, and I would ask for ‘professional’ advice on realizing societal dreams. I don’t know that he needed my advice, but I always looked forward to his. There was usually at least one book suggestion from his endless reading list that answered an open question of mine. And no matter how grandiose the dream, he would understand, clarify, laugh, counterpoint, help tune mental models, and remind me to get to it. And we never had quite enough time.
I miss him very, very, very much. Part of my own future has gone missing too.
Somewhere, celestials are being taught to tune the cosmos.
I just finished reading about how bogus transmogrification conversion on an oscillating harmonic field of glass bells, with green gig and kerosene lamps for diversion, can be solved by beastly incarceration-concatenation. I was reminded of how much the great scienxplorers such as Watterson and others owe to this cloud of novel scientific inquiry from the ’60s and ’70s.
It makes me simultaneously want to immortalize Lem and Kandel in an eternally entangled quantum fringe, and to fire up a Trurlapaucius abstract-generator based on snarXiv code.
Filed under: %a la mod,Blogroll,chain-gang,Glory, glory, glory,popular demand
- Cap Watkins
- Duncan Davidson
- Adam Savage’s presentation
- Anil Dash : live transcription (gdoc), later broken up on his blog
Filed under: Blogroll,Glory, glory, glory,international,Seraphic
This rambling illustrated reflection on Serafini, with translations of some of the writings in the Decodex and posted from across the street from Luigi’s house, is a perfect example of why I love 5¢ense. (Throw in some of the monomania of Kane X. Faucher and you’d have a dangerous decoding machine for all of mod society.)
* Here written S.L., but no less superterrestrial
Global Voices translators speak out about why they do what they do.
Club Floyd collects collaborative IF meta-stories. via Jacqueline A. Lott Ashwell.
“The results at Fermilab in america, and CERN in switzerland,
strongly suggest we have found the Higgs particle,
the particle that gives mass to other particles.
If the decay and other interactions of this particle are as we expect,
it will be strong evidence for the so-called Standard Model of
particle physics, the theory that explains all our experiments so far.
This is an important result, and should earn Peter Higgs a Nobel Prize.
But it is a – a pity in a way, because the greatest advances in physics
have come from experiments that gave results we didn’t expect.
For this reason, I had a bet with Gordon Kane at Michigan University
that the Higgs particle wouldn’t be found.
it seems I have just lost $100.”
Filed under: %a la mod,Blogroll,chain-gang,Glory, glory, glory,indescribable,international,poetic justice,wikipedia
Today CERN and FERMILAB announced 5σ confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson , inspiring a burst of heady live coverage from the Guardian. (CERN had leaked a video about the discovery the day before, so everyone knew what was coming, and turned up for today’s Higgs seminar. All of the scientists who had worked on early versions of the theory that pointed towards such a boson also flew in the the seminar, which continues tomorrow.)
CERN has posted and archived beautiful 360-degree photos of the day, a video of the press conference (rather dull), and will soon post a recording of the day’s seminar (which was live-streamed and amazing; come back for it tomorrow).
The media as usual tries valiantly to explain things in a down-to-earth way that is both simplistic and true, but is generally failing. As with a few other recent scientific breakthroughs, I am grateful that Wikipedia offers solid explanations of the topics at hand, and through the magic of hyperlinks (which news agencies are still struggling with allows exploration of the topics in as much depth as you like.
 Note the careful, conservative trend in particle physics: the labs making the discovery are all quick to say they’ve discovered the existence of at least one new particle, which matches the profile of the Higgs boson; it could be one or more of its sibling bosons that have been discovered – supersymmetry suggests there could be 5 of them.
Over the past year, in the US, Italy and other countries, Internet communities have flexed their muscles and demonstrated their popularity and capacity for organizing public opinion, by convincing lawmakers not to pass bills that would have made life difficult for ‘Net service providers and site owners.
Recently, two US Congressmen who were important opponents of SOPA in the House and Senate, Darrell Issa and Ron Wyden, called for and then published a draft Digital Citizen’s Bill of Rights, which they opened for public annotation and comment. (Kudos for the concept and quick turnaround – that’s a more direct engagement of readers than any other political effort I’ve seen recently. But I hope they keep developing the platform, or move it to something more refactorable.)
This week a more global network of organizations that strive for open access to knowledge and the Internet have published a “Declaration of Internet Freedom“, calling for governments and institutions and people everywhere to support a similar set of principles that support what we have come to think of as a free (and adaptable) Internet. I support that effort, as do the EFF, Public Knowledge, Free Press, and the Cheezburger empire. Even if the ‘declaration’ is more a proposition of principles to uphold.
You can sign on to the declaration online.
Bethany Nowviskie on the arc and glory of digital humanities, interleaved with modern creative work.
via Jacob Rus
Filed under: Blogroll,chain-gang,fly-by-wire,international,poetic justice,Rogue content editor
Reed Elsevier’s received a scathing critique by The Street’s Jared Woodward this week, who bets heavily against its stock [RUK] :
“We regard the common stock as an implicit naked short put option because, while the upside potential from the publishing division is limited, the downside risk from any revolt by its customers (libraries), laborers (academics), or funders (governments) is not.“
Woodward incisively covers everything from the academic-run The Cost of Knowledge campaign countering the Elsevier-backed Research Works Act, the Federal Research Public Access Act proposal to enshrine Open Access as a requirement of all government funders, a similar EU mandate, the UK recruiting Jimbo to help draft a similar policy for all UK-funded research by 2014, Harvard’s faculty memo on deep and broad Open Access support, the stunning successes of PLoS One and Rockefeller University Press, and @FakeElsevier‘s tweets and blog.
@FakeElsevier is a pseudonymous academic who has been sharing satirical posts and tweets about Elsevier since February. The subject above is from one of the more popular blog posts: “Dear Elsevier Employees, With Love, From @FakeElsevier.“
Take a look at Woodward’s report: It’s an exhausting and exhilirating read.
Federal Research Public Access Act
He’s a war-weary devious gentleman spy who knows the secret of the alien invasion. She’s a vivacious mute advertising executive with an incredible destiny. They Fight Crime!