Aaron Swartz, web technologist, has committed suicide.
First mentioned on Metafilter for his involvement in the standardization of RSS in 2001 as a ninth-grader
, most of Swartz's 26 years were devoted to leaving a lasting impact on the web. Swartz co-founded Infogami
, which merged with the internet aggregator Reddit
, and also founded the Internet activist organization Demand Progress
which fought against the SOPA/PIPA
legislation. His framework for web servers, web.py
, was first released in 2006 when Reddit switched from Lisp to Python and continues to be actively used and updated
. In a 2008 attempt to make a public version of the contents of the PACER public court records database, Swartz angered government officials
when they learned he had downloaded 20 million articles, which he subsequently made freely available
. In 2011 he was indicted for data theft
for downloading large amounts from the academic article repository JSTOR. Despite JSTOR's statement indicating "no interest in this becoming an ongoing legal matter
," the US case continued with additional charges
, to which Aaron pled innocent in September of 2012. [more inside]
Bill Brent was the publisher of the zine Black Sheets and the alternative sexuality directory The Black Book and the author of the book How To Make a Zine (recently republished in a revised edition
) as well as a lot of erotica writing. He was very active in the San Francisco Bay Area sexuality, kink, and zine scenes from the early 90s onward. Unfortunately, he committed suicide in August 2012; Liz Highleyman penned an in-depth obituary of Bill
, younger brother of Ridley Scott, is perhaps best known for directing True Romance
, but he had a long career making action films that had verve and a pulse, including an ongoing collaboration with Denzel Washington. His last film, Unstoppable
, was one of his biggest critical and commercial hits, earning him widespread praise
as the consummate mainstream Hollywood stylist. He committed suicide today at age 68.
Iraq Vet Who Advocated For Others Kills Himself
"Handsome and friendly, Clay Hunt so epitomized a vibrant Iraq veteran that he was chosen for a public service announcement reminding veterans that they aren't alone." - Clay Hunt died March 31 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The article states he had been dealing with "survivors guilt" and frustrated by a difficult disability claim process from wounds received in Iraq.
Heartbreaking news for people who care about reading. Founded in 1925,
the Virginia Quarterly Review
has become the standard-bearer for long-form narrative journalism - "the sort of articles that make readers want to become writers." "The Life and Lonely Death of Noah Pierce"
is a great example of what this kind of writing can achieve, but it's not the only one. The essential Bookslut has called the VQR "the best fucking magazine on the planet right now."
Last week Mefi's own Waldo
made the blog post we all dread having to make. His friend and boss, the VQR's genius editor Kevin Morrissey made his will, left his affairs in order, called the police to report a shooting that had not yet happened, and took his own life.
Previously on the blue.
Game developer/ perfume critic Theresa Duncan has died, and longtime companion Jeremy Blake is missing.
The art world is buzzing
about the seeming suicide-by-water of video installation artist Jeremy Blake. The perfume
blogs are fizzing with sadness over the death of Theresa Duncan, whose suicide preceded Blake's. The cops are not releasing the notes left by the late, pretty
people, but a clue might be found in the paranoiac screed
Duncan posted on her blog in May, in which Blake's ex-girlfriend, the CIA, FBI, Church of Scientology, Jeff Gannon, bloated plutocrats and many other bugbears of the psy-ops crowd
were put on Duncan's mental merry-go-round and given a real strong spin.
Gnutella pioneer dead at 25.
No details on cause of death yet.
Ex Enron Vice Chair Commits Suicide
J. Clifford Baxter was found dead in his car in a Houston suburb Firday. Texas police said the cause of death was suicide.
Feeder drummer Jon Lee found dead
"JON LEE, drummer with Welsh rock trio FEEDER, has been found dead in his MIAMI home after committing suicide."
are one of my favourite bands. In my eyes a tragic loss. What drives (apparently successful) people such as Jon to suicide? Especially since they've just had a track in UK Top 20...