The Candle that Burns Twice as Bright...

Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing:

My friend Aaron Swartz committed suicide yesterday, Jan 11. He was 26. I got woken up with the news about an hour ago. I'm still digesting it -- I suspect I'll be digesting it for a long time -- but I thought it was important to put something public up so that we could talk about it. Aaron was a public guy.

I'm heartbroken by this news. Aaron was a brilliant guy who changed the world. At 14, he cocreated RSS cowrote the RSS 1.0 specification, and went on to help create Reddit. I use both every day. Despite his problems with depression, I can't help but wonder if his harassment by the authorities wasn't a contributing factor to his suicide.

As someone who has struggled with depression and who was nearly driven to suicide by the combination of that and authoritarian harassment, this news strikes a chord.

I've been wonderfully blessed lately. Just yesterday, I officially became a staff writer for TidBITS. I'm married to a wonderful woman. I've been thinking a lot lately about how none of this would have happened if I had killed myself.

In my adult life, I've had some awful times and awful failures. But I am so glad I kept going. Because if you're dead, you have no more options, no new opportunities, no chance to redeem or reinvent yourself.

Life is a journey. Don't sell yourself short. The final destination may be wonderful, or it may be awful, but you owe it to yourself to find out.

If you pray, please think of Aaron as you do so.