Aaron Swartz

Books are totally useless unless you take their advice. If you just keep reading them, thinking “that’s so insightful! that changes everything,” but never actually doing anything different, then pretty quickly the feeling will wear off and you’ll start searching for another book to fill the void.

Books are totally useless unless you take their advice. If you just keep reading them, thinking “that’s so insightful! that changes everything,” but never actually … Read More

But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations. Want to read the papers featuring the most famous results of the sciences? You’ll need to send enormous amounts to publishers like Reed Elsevier.

But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in … Read More

Reality is painful — it’s so much easier to keep doing stuff you know you’re good at or else to pick something so hard there’s no point at which it’s obvious you’re failing — but it’s impossible to get better without confronting it.

Reality is painful — it’s so much easier to keep doing stuff you know you’re good at or else to pick something so hard there’s … Read More

What is “this drive”? It’s the tendency to not simply accept things as they are but to want to think about them, to understand them. To not be content to simply feel sad but to ask what sadness means. To not just get a bus pass but to think about the economic reasons getting a bus pass makes sense. I call this tendency the intellectual.

What is “this drive”? It’s the tendency to not simply accept things as they are but to want to think about them, to understand them. … Read More

But all of this action goes on in the dark, hidden underground. It’s called stealing or piracy, as if sharing a wealth of knowledge were the moral equivalent of plundering a ship and murdering its crew. But sharing isn’t immoral – it’s a moral imperative. Only those blinded by greed would refuse to let a friend make a copy.

But all of this action goes on in the dark, hidden underground. It’s called stealing or piracy, as if sharing a wealth of knowledge were … Read More

We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that’s out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks… With enough of us, around the world, we’ll not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge – we’ll make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?

We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that’s out … Read More