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A Teacher I Never Had and Will Never Meet

DarcueidDarcueid wrote 11/09/2014 at 22:29 • 3 min read • Like

This page is for Aaron Swartz.

I'm not usually an outspoken person, I'm normally a quiet and introverted type who tries to see both sides and attempt to be neutral in most matters. Even online where the internet allows a sort of way to be someone else, which provides a degree of anonymity that acts like a buffer/shield; I am still shy to voice my thoughts. However, for today at least, I'm breaking my shell and writing this page to express my support and to honor Aaron Swartz and his ideas.

I first have to admit that I'm guilty for being an unaware and ignorant person of current events in the world for most of my life, and in a sense, everyone in the world is guilty. Some more so than others, or you could say some less so than others. Now I use the strong term: "guilty", because I have come to the realization that I have been betraying myself for along time. This betrayal is related to my moral guideline to take a neutral stance in most matters, so essentially the way I think about things; the way I live. I used to think that most of the events in the world do not affect me, so just don't even bother to think or learn about the stuff that is happening outside of the city that I live in. I used to think that even if I did take an interest in one of these events, and took a stand to try to do something about the situation it wouldn't matter because I'm just one person in a world of billions.

But today, after watching "The Internet's Own Boy" film, directed by Brian Knappenberger, I have learned something from a teacher I never had and will never meet: Aaron Swartz. He has taught me to not keep a blind eye to matters outside of my bubble, but most importantly he has taught me that one person can be heard in the ocean of billions, and that one person CAN make a difference. You CAN make the world a better place.

Whether or not I become a cyber activist, hackavist, internet activist, or all of the above is still uncertain. I can say that for at least today, I advocate freedom of information, net neutrality, and Aaron's Law. However, I also advocate privacy and security, which are two themes that are normally mutually exclusive. Usually, if you want more privacy then this hinders big brother's attempt to keep watchful eye over the people. On the other hand if you desire more security then that means hindrance on freedom and more invasion of privacy. Now if this was an ideal world where everything could be quantified easily as ones and zeros, black and white, good and evil, then I'd like to try to choose the good. But realistically, in my humble opinion, the world is all different shades ranging between good and evil. Normally, I would try to obtain a balance of each other, because one cannot exist without the other. However, a lot of the things that Aaron stood and fought for was good. And while the battle between good and evil never truly ends, I hope that somehow maybe someday I can help the world lean towards good. Help it become a more just and better place.

Aaron Swartz Lives

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