Aaron Swartz

from Proverbs of Hell by John McDaid

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Aaron Swartz

Well he grew up at the keyboard
Reading newsgroups, learning code
Out on the Net where skill is freedom
And who you might be matters less than what you know
At fifteen he wrote the standard
To syndicate the web

Aaron Swartz
The internet's own boy
The internet's own boy
The internet's own boy

He helped build Creative Commons
Make court decisions free to read
He launched the movement
That brought the freedom-killing SOPA to its knees
His actions did not go unnoticed
By the DOJ and FBI


He wrote the Open Access Manifesto
Taught us to hack democracy
Founded Demand Progress
To organize online and in the streets
Battled surveillance and corruption
Stood with those who fought for change


He took on those who lock up information
Downloading journals at MIT
With a laptop in a closet
He tried to show that academic research should be free*
But they dragged him off in handcuffs
Threatened thirty years prison time


He was found in his apartment
Unrepentant to the last
Another bite of Turing's apple
Showing once again how justice serves the dead hand of the past
But he left us with the vision
Now its up to us to live the change


*As in speech, not necessarily as in beer


from Proverbs of Hell, released July 28, 2019


all rights reserved



John McDaid Portsmouth, Rhode Island

Award-winning science fiction writer, freelance journalist, folk/filk singer-songwriter.

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