A Chat with Aaron Swartz

You may remember Aaron from when he was 12 or 13, and won a computer programming award (Wikipedia) from Philip Greenspun. Or you may have followed his weblog (archives) wherein he chronicled his arrival at Stanford, and the subsequent disillusionment and dropping out. Or maybe you knew he was a regular contributor to Wikipedia. Or you may have heard when Y Combinator funded his company, which then merged with another Y Combinator company, forming Reddit, which sold to Conde Nast (aftermath). Or, then, you might remember how working at an office sucked, so he went to Europe, returned home and was fired.
In any case, this IM chat interview captures a young man who is smart, idealistic, painfully shy, humanist, and not following the cultural programming paradigm. I wish for thousands more like him to continue to shape the world, in all fields of endeavor. People often look up to folks who are older; here’s someone to look up to who’s younger.