Aaron and I

I'm shocked to hear Aaron Swartz took his life. I honestly I hope it's a sick joke.

I had the pleasure to read / follow Aaron's output over the years. My earliest email exchange I can find is from 2005 where he replied to a bug I filed on rss2email. A really decent piece of software I've recently started using again.

Then when Aaron released web.py which I thought was brilliant and timely. I offered to package it for Debian and we worked a little closer for a year or two. Although I'm ~8 years older than him, I was learning from him. I really liked his minimalistic style and he influenced me.

I went off the Python language altogether a year or two later and I think he must have done well being a co-founder of Reddit et al, which I think was at least initially based upon webpy. We met for the photo when I passing through San Francisco back in 2007 and I honestly feel like I've had my picture taken with a famous person.

Of course I was alarmed when I heard he was getting indicted. I have no idea why he killed himself. I'm assuming he suffered from depression. I'm not afraid to say depression affects me too, though thankfully not seriously.

So if you are reading this and feel down, you are not alone. My best advice is to travel. Don't be afraid to ask people abroad like me for help! :)

Update: This is pretty damning for Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office and MIT. Very sad.