The Internet’s Own Boy

John Naughton is right — ‘The Internet’s Own Boy’ on Storyville at the moment is very good. I knew some of the Aaron Swartz story but still learned a lot. He was a technical genius helping to create RSS, Reddit and the technology behind Creative Commons. The way he saw it, programming was a super power:

“If you had magical powers, would you use them for good or to make you mountains of cash?”

But he was also deeply political and clashed with any form of authority that he saw as unjust or illogical. Swartz was trying to make the system better but was eventually threatened and hounded by that system until he broke. The documentary leaves you with a horrible realisation that a large part of government and law enforcement is still based on fear of the unknown, which is something we all need to resist.

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