Aaron Swartz Day is today, and for the first time, there's a webcast

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/11/04/aaron-swartz-day-is-today-and.html


Aaron Swartz’s legacy is everywhere. RSS, Markdown, Creative Commons - hell, the BBS is a distillation of Swartz’s creations. Truly a wunderkind.

Today, we continue the fight for liberating knowledge.


I had a very brief, very drunk, exchange with Aaron a few years before he passed.

Something of his I read (probably here on Boing Boing) inspired me to create The Long Term Planning Committee for the Human Race.

In a single night I asked him for permission to use the handle and grabbed all the social media accounts for it. I’ve never managed to do anything worth while with it, much to my shame other than manage to get watch lists (the group was listed as one of the organizations he was part of in his FBI file. If anyone is interested in taking over the accounts I would be more than happy for them to pass into the hands of someone suitable.

I did not come to know who he was, and what he meant to the world until after his death. I am sorry to have missed out on the opportunity to have gotten to know this man better.


It’s been a great webcast so far. The three ladies in the first panel really nailed the topic of socially/ethically responsible use of algorithms, machine learning/AI trained on data sets. Now we’re getting a good overview on a collaborative platform called Pursuance, intended to facilitate grassroots, self-organization of democratic collaborations. Something they call “process democracy”, though that phrase seems a little confusing, ambiguous, and potentially politically charged (since so many conservatives are wont to react to the word “democracy”, both because of “Republicans vs. Democrats” mindset, and for the habit of noting that the US is a republic, not a democracy, due to the semantically fine differences between those words.


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