Just recently the suicide of a brilliant young man, co-founder of Reddit and Internet Freedom activist twenty-six year old Aaron Schwartz was in in the news. Schwartz had been indicted for downloading 4.3 million articles from MIT. He was charged with over 30 felony counts for this victimless crime by an overzealous and overly ambitious U.S. Attorney, Carmen Ortiz out to make a name for herself. His situation was further damaged by the callous attitude of the MIT administration. Ms. Ortiz is currently facing the possibility of censure or dismissal for her actions.
Now, the reality is that it is unlikely that young Aaron would have been convicted on all counts or that if he did that he would have been sentenced to a lengthy jail term. However, none of that mattered when the young man placed a rope around his neck and walked into the abyss. You see, Aaron had been suffering from severe depression for quite some time. He wrote in his blog:
‘Your face falls. Perhaps you cry. You feel worthless. You wonder whether it’s worth going on,’ he wrote. ‘Everything you think about seems bleak - the things you’ve done, the things you hope to do, the people around you.’You want to lie in bed and keep the lights off. Depressed mood is like that, only it doesn’t come for any reason and it doesn’t go for any either. Go outside and get some fresh air or cuddle with a loved one and you don’t feel any better, only more upset at being unable to feel the joy that everyone else seems to feel. Everything gets colored by the sadness.’
Aaron’s prison was not the Federal Penitentiary he faced but his own mind, his own dark night of the soul. Like all suicides he thought that his pain was unbearable and that it would be never ending. He was wrong and the world is a poorer place.
Thanks to my friend mongusa for bringing this to my attention.
☯ Samsaran ☯