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]
Nicholas Johnson, author of Big Dead Place: Inside the Strange and Menacing World of Antarctica
, committed suicide on November 28, in West Seattle
. His friend and former roommate Jason Anthony (mentioned in the acknowledgements of Big Dead Place) has written an obituary
. An obituary from the book's publisher, Feral House
. An adaptation of Big Dead Place remains in development with HBO
, 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.
NFL great Junior Seau
, who spent the majority of his career with the San Diego Chargers, with additional runs with the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead today of a self-inflicted gunshot wound
. [more inside]
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.
has died at the age of 40
. He will be remembered for his beautiful and haunting
style (and his gravity-defying hoof shoes
Friend to Isabella Blow
, Philip Treacy
, and many more; inspiration to countless. He will be missed.
Yesterday evening, Robert Enke
, goalkeeper of Germany's national soccer team, committed suicide
. At a press conference today, his wife revealed, that he had been suffering from depression for 6 years and had been in therapy
. He covered it up out of fear to lose custody of his adopted daughter and his career as a professional footballer. [more inside]
This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth. It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.
And I submit that this is what the real, no bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out. That may sound like hyperbole, or abstract nonsense. Let's get concrete. The plain fact is that you graduating seniors do not yet have any clue what "day in day out" really means. There happen to be whole, large parts of adult American life that nobody talks about in commencement speeches. One such part involves boredom, routine, and petty frustration. The parents and older folks here will know all too well what I'm talking about.
First reported by an anonymous tip to a blog
, the Los Angeles Times
has confirmed that David Foster Wallace has hung himself.
was a former concert pianist and systems analyst who suffered from an autoimmune disease similar to lupus for over 20 years. The disease left her in constant pain
and made her allergic to most pharmaceutical painkillers. Only medical marijuana brought her relief, but last spring the DEA seized her medicine. Unable to cope with the chronic pain any longer, she committed suicide
on October 18th
. [Via Andrew Sullivan.]
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.
Pam Bricker Passes -
Just as Thievery Corporation's The Cosmic Game
hits shelves, it's announced that acclaimed jazz vocalist Pam Bricker
, long-time Thievery conspirator--and probably the best guest vocalist the D.C. duo has ever had--has passed
Chung's blog post mentions, "it was most likely suicide." Are there any MeFi'ers out there who can provide more information? Confirm? Disconfirm?
NY Times Reporter Jumps to His Death:
Matt Drudge reports that New York Times
Business reporter/editor Allen Myerson jumped to death at the NY Times
building in New York City on 43rd Street this morning. Myerson was the Weekend Business Editor at the NY Times
and a member of the Business Journalism Advisory Council
. Among other things, Myerson reported on Enron. An abstract of a Myerson article that appeared in the newspaper last December says, "Enron Corp's failure is having repercussions not just on nation's energy industries, but is being felt through retailing, real estate, insurance, banking, Internet services, newspaper publishing, plastics and glass manufacturing, all of which Enron touched in its boundless appetite for risk and growth."
Gnutella pioneer dead at 25.
No details on cause of death yet.
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...