I wish I had the opportunity to know you before you left us. In the words of George Bernard Shaw,
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
You were one of the brightest & most unreasonable men we had. With your sad & tragic passing, it is up to us to carry on your work and do our part.
May the tears
in our collective eyes
help energize us
to clear our collective minds
to see injustice better &
to try to make progress in this world
for the limited time we have.
we have never met, but I feel deeply connected with you. I know that we shared the same spirit of freedom in which there is no guilt, no hate and no fear. I share the pain of all the people that grieve for you. we all share our grieve and the precious memories we have of you and your free spirit. you were my brother, and in my heart, you will remain my brother forever.
And last, we agreed that the existing tech landscape has barely begun to produce the kind of powerful toolkits that will result in a publicly-accountable, empirically-based representative democracy. Online activism was just one of his many projects & interests, but he was always game to take a critical view of the landscape with me. Aaron’s felt sense of social justice was massive, complex, visceral. I’ll do my best to continue to dedicate my work towards his inspiration.
- David Moore
I didn’t know Aaron. My sincere condolences go to his family and friends. What a wonderful person Aaron must have been! And what a loss his tragic death means to all people who believe that freedom shall never be taken for granted. The U.S. government’s case against Aaron will be closed. The government has lost it forever, that is for sure now and the only consolation.
- Michael from Switzerland
I didn’t know Aaron, and hadn’t heard of him til I read the article. So sad to lose a young person, who should’ve had his whole life ahead of him. He sounds like he was a fine, young man, with strong convictions. It’s sad he was pushed emotionally over the edge. I wish the government or some corporations could have found some jobs for him to do, as I’m sure they would’ve benefited from his expertise. I’m sure he was dreading being in the justice system in the past agonizing year and a half. I agree the punishment didn’t fit the “crime”, as he didn’t have any victims- some were just inconvenienced or embarrassed that they didn’t have security precautions in place. RIP, Aaron. So sorry this was the only way you saw to become totally free and find peace. As someone who normally searched and examined multiple options, you must have been bearing an unbearable load. I hope our justice system learns to use discretion in certain cases, and encourages entities to use responsible security features/precautions, to prevent abuse of their data.
- Alicia Silva
“Aaron was from the beginning a powerful combination of smart, creative, collaborative and idealistic, and was drawn to groups of developers and activists who shared his passion for what the Web could become. He joined and helped the RSS 1.0 and W3C RDF groups, and more often than not the difference in years didn’t make a difference. I’ve seen far more childishness from adults in the standards scene, than I ever saw from young Aaron.”
I have had the opportunity of meeting and working with Aaron on several occasions in my work with non profit, political organizations. He was a brilliant man and a kind and tender soul. On a couple of occasions I was able to share a beer or two with him and discuss various issues and his fervor for freedom of information would always shine through. He will be missed, not just as an advocate and force for transparency, but for his humanity and for just who he was. Rest in Peace Aaron, may you continue to inspire and hold a mark we should work to achieve.
- Mike Krejci
Aaron was truly a brilliant visionary. Not just in tech…but in the way the world should be. Kind, compassionate and caring for others more than himself, he will be missed by all who knew him and even those who only knew of him. The world will be a far different place without him…
- Robert Santellan