He had his coat on.
A hero-worship of serial killers
When she called the emergency services, she was screaming so hard that at first they couldn't hear the address. In the five months that have elapsed since that day, Stinebrickner-Kauffman has thought a lot about why her boyfriend killed himself. In the immediate aftermath of his death, she found the strength to speak at his memorial service, decrying the "unfair prosecution [and] She spoke to a handful of reporters, did what she could to ensure that message spread.
Then, exhausted, she took compassionate leave from her job as executive director of SumOfUs , a global protest movement that seeks to hold corporations to account, and retreated to Australia for two months. For a while, she simply didn't want to talk any more. This is one of the first interviews she has done since returning to work.
She says now that it would be too easy to explain away Swartz's suicide by saying he was depressed.
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Her face is pale and tense, her eyes tired. Her every gesture seems to carry within it a sadness that is all the more unbearable for being contained. He didn't have an absence of human emotion… I think he was in a lot of pain. A lot of it was to do with the case. I don't think he would have killed himself if it weren't for the case, put it that way. But I also think I understand how it happened.
The biggest problem with the decision is that it's permanent. Other dumb decisions, you can usually recover from. Swartz's death prompted an outpouring of grief.
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For many in the online community, he had been both hero and pioneer: He was the poster boy for internet freedom. His ex-girlfriend, Quinn Norton, a tech journalist, was quoted in the New Yorker in March explaining the impact of Swartz's death. And then everything just got destroyed.
Aaron was so much the internet's boy, and that so much exemplified this machine crushing our hopes. A remembrance website set up in the days after his death was inundated with tributes from all over the world — many from those who had never met him. Like many, I will remember his tireless, selfless and astonishing effort to advance democracy. Like many, I will work to cherish that memory. His friend Ben Wikler says that Swartz touched so many because he possessed "a staggering capacity for empathy, sometimes a crippling capacity". His professional choices were guided by his conscience. In , he chose to spend time as an intern in the congressional offices of Democrat Alan Grayson because he wanted to learn about how government operated before he set about the business of trying to improve it.
Swartz had already compiled a report about the relation between candidates' wealth and their electoral success. During the period he spent in Grayson's office, he worked to help pass Obama's landmark healthcare reform. In , he volunteered for the Democratic national convention in the runup to the midterm elections. Unlike many social activists, who dismiss the political process as corrupt without seeking to understand what makes it so, Swartz was always seeking a deeper explanation from within the institutions he wanted to change. Policy adviser and journalist Matt Stoller, who got him the placement with Grayson, was particularly struck by that fact.
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That doesn't happen… He was a basic technocratic liberal who thought that if you worked really hard, and approached a problem with openness and curiosity, then it was possible you could make life better for people. Sometimes, this meant Swartz's standards were impossibly high. He would feel a deep sense of obligation.
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This obligation extended to a horror of imposing himself. Sometimes, this meant he acted strangely, as if he were lacking a necessary layer of protective skin. He felt uneasy dealing with taxi drivers or waiters, for instance, because he disliked the iniquitous distribution of power. He hated to feel a burden, even to his closest friends. But it also meant that he felt obliged to try and change the world. As an example of this moral imperative, Wikler cites a conversation he had with Swartz four years ago about the extent of an individual's ethical duty.
They began discussing Thomas Keneally's book Schindler's Ark , which tells the story of a German industrialist who saves the lives of more than 1, Polish Jews during the Holocaust. In the book and the subsequent film adaptation as Schindler's List , Schindler is tormented by the fact that he didn't do enough and could have sold his car to save more people. In August , Swartz sent an email to Wikler. Both want me to spend more time on my work, since that's what I find fulfilling and important.
Schindler should have sold the car: His close friend Alec Resnick saw something similar at work. Aaron Swartz was born in , two years after the US government passed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which was later used to indict him. At the age of three, he taught himself to read.
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His father, Robert, a computer consultant, remembers Swartz reading aloud a note stuck to the refrigerator in the family home in Highland Park, a wealthy suburb some 20 miles north of Chicago, much to the astonishment of his mother. The eldest of three brothers, Swartz was perpetually curious and fascinated by computers and puzzles from an early age. Pedersen was seven when he realised that Vinnie had special needs. But he always loved me more than anything else in the world.
And to this day great reward comes with it because we stuck it out together through the harder times. She's like a big sister to him and loves him like I do and that's all I ask. We came as a package really. He says that having children of his own is not an option. I chose this journey. I have to give him my full attention for the rest of my life. To bring kids into it would mean he gets second priority.
Beyond acting, he toils in his garden "all the time" and builds things, often from discarded wood he finds on the roadside. I wouldn't mind taking time out to do a carpentry course. If there's an ambition driving Pedersen, it's a card that he prefers to keep close to his chest. I want to be a person who acquires as much as I can before that happens.
I never said I want to be an actor. I just went quietly, quietly, I'm going to do this myself, so I chose the journey in my own way. No one knew about my brother until that film came out. I quietly, quietly kept it to myself. When I made the documentary people were like, 'Oh, that explains everything. Well of course I do'. He does speaking gigs for kids at schools, for carers and for prisoners, and sees unfortunate parallels between Australia's convict past and the disproportionate incarceration of indigenous youth, often for relatively petty crimes such as car-theft or shoplifting.
He says he "gets pulled up all the time by cops", though in the same breath he praises the local uniforms for looking after Vinnie, who is prone to storm off in a huff in the wake of an argument. The captaincy completes a superb week for the aggressive right hander, who is in line to make his Test debut against Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday after coach Justin Langer said he was a certainty to play. Smith is currently serving a month suspension for his role in a ball tampering scandal during a test match against South Africa.
Aggressive top-order batsman Chris Lynn has also returned to the side after recovering from a shoulder injury. The first Twenty20 international is in Abu Dhabi on October 24, with the second and third games in Dubai on October 26 and
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