Hannah Adams marker illustration of her social network. Images uses a octopus with her image at the octopus head and the tentacles fan out and sometimes cross to show friends and their connections

Wk 11 – Home Stretch!


California State University Long Beach, College of the Arts, School of Art, Art110, Introduction to the visual arts, students creating a "Fiber Art Social Network" by adding their photos to the walls of FO4-267 (faculty office building #4, room 267) and connecting them with lines of yarn
Fiber Art Social Network


Need Help?

  1. Ask online
  2. Come to before class OH on Wed 11:30-12:30 @Robek’s / Coffee Bean umbrella tables
  3. I can go to AS-120 (AS building is next to The Beach Hut, next to The Library) after class on Wed, at 3:45 and help anyone with anything.
  4. Make an appointment to meetup another time

Points on BeachBored

All points through Week 10 are now up on BeachBored. Be sure to check your points and know where you stand! So far we’ve had 535 points possible. Here’s how many points you should have to be on track for each grade level, and how many peeps in 1p / 2:30 are currently at each grade level:

A = 481 points – 56 / 44
B = 428 points – 4 / 7
C = 374 points – 2 / 4
D = 321 points – 1 / 0
F = 320 points – 2 / 7

  • 1p GPA = 3.71
  • 2:30 GPA = 3.31


Top 5 @1pm:

  1. Hannah Adams, 634
  2. Stephanie Arciva, 609
  3. Maritess Anne Inieto, 592
  4. Joy Elizabeth Uba, 581
  5. Selena Lara, 573

Top 5 @2:30:

  1. Nathan Davalos, 679
  2. Lydia Chang, 652
  3. Yesenia Hernandez, 614
  4. Jamie Van, 609
  5. Adriana Maciel, 607

Wk 11 – This Week!

  • Art Talk Discussionat the bottom of this post
  • ActivityNone this week
  • Artist Conversation@SOA Galleries
  • Classmate Conversation@SOA Galleries

Classmate Question OTW

Recently a young artist drew singer Demi Lovato as a mermaid. This young artist is a self taught drawer who often draws his favorite artist as mythological creatures. Often times this is called fan art, now fan art is known to often times be unrealistic and not entirely accurate. Upon posting his art, it was reposted numerous times and caught the attention of the artist from another page, not his own. Miss Demi Lovato did not react exactly as he had hoped. What is you opinion on fan art? Do you think that the singer reacted in a justified manner or not (In other words, Do you agree with her conclusion or opinion?) . For more on this story here’s the link: Demi Lovato criticizes fan’s unrealistic drawing of her breasts, prompting a social media user to fire back at the ‘ungrateful’ star with a ‘body shaming’ version of the illustration

Samantha Gomez

Write next week’s Classmate Question OTW here: Classmate Question OTW

animated gif of Donald Trump doing a press interview from Janis Vernier's new online game "Make Trump Great Again"
Janis Vernier

Janis’ New Game!

Janis just created a game, Make Trump Great Again. You get to be Donald Trump’s Campaign Manager and help him answer interview questions.

Want to give Twine a try? For some EC? Make something this week and do a blog post with it by Sunday for up to 25 points of EC. Or if you really get elaborate, even more.

Janis and I will be in my office, FO4-267, from 1:00 – 1:30 to help anyone who wants to get a little help (it’s pretty easy! 😀 ) At 1:30 I’ll go down to the galleries. To turn in your ID Card you can either drop by the office, or see me at the Galleries after 1:30. If a lot of peeps are interested, we can meetup in the classroom, FA4-311, but I assume it won’t be many. BTW, FO4 is the 2-story bungalow behind FA4.

I’ll go up to the office again from 2:30 – 3:00 for more help with Twine (not sure if Janis is available then). Same deal for 2:30 ID Cards, you can swing by the office or see me at the galleries after 3:00.

Fiber Art Social Network

I posted pix from last Wednesday on Flickr

Many of you commented on the big difference between the number of “friends” you have on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc, and the often much smaller number of “real” friends you have. Some of you used this to critique social media. Some of you wondered if you should have more friends.

One important thing that we the users need to understand is that “friend” is not an accurate term to describe contacts on these platforms. Rather it is a good marketing term. A word like “contacts” is probably more accurate, but “friends” probably makes the platform seem more engaging or fun. Some of you commented that you cared about the number of “friends” you had when you were younger, but it seems not so meaningful now.

I was a little surprised that many of you didn’t seem much functional value in your Weak Ties. It might be that they’re more useful after graduation. I do think these weak tie networks whether online or F2F will prove valuable over time. I know people I only see once a year at a conference. They’re great peeps that I wouldn’t mind seeing more, but as life goes on that’s never happened. Still it’s fun to see them once a year and they do sometimes bring in completely new connections for me.

Photo of Emily Tomasello as a node on a physical Social Network Graph showing her image and with strings of yarn reaching out to other CSULB Art110 classmates in her class-network
Emily Tomasello

I used to think that the more Facebook “friends” you had, the cooler you were. However, I’ve learned that that number literally does not matter at all. The word “friends” is used a little loosely, in my opinion. I think to have 1,000 or 2,000 or 5,000 Facebook “friends” means you simply have a lot of connections. You are connected to them in some form or another. These Facebook “friends” could actually be people you are close to OR they could be complete strangers that sent you a friend request and you decided to accept for some reason! Who knows? For me, I think they are people I have met over time and either still keep in contact with or have lost touch with. But overall, I think it should be called more of a Facebook “connection” than a “friend”.

Emily Tomasello

"nodes" of a paper "social Network" mapped on a large wall. Nodes or images of Shalane Holm & Lydia Chang are shown in close up with yarn "strings" connecting them to various CSULB Art110 classmates
Shalane Holm / Lydia Chang

As anti-social as I am, seeing people with a lot of strings (7-10+) made me feel pretty sad and almost jealous. But, there isn’t much I can do about that now. (just kidding, I know I should probably go and meet people).

Lydia Chang

hand drawing of Nathan Davalos personal social network
Nathan Davalos

Since the only social media app that I have is Snapchat, I’ll have to use how many views I get on my story as an example. I average anywhere from 65-80 views on my story, which include all of my close friends, about 20 family members and the rest are past friends and people that asked for my Snapchat rather than ask for my phone number. Those “randoms” I have either never spoken to on Snapchat and only when we see each other out on the streets or I have received a response to something that I posted onto my story. I have never had any new opportunities that were brought to me by these random people that see my Snapchat stories daily.

Nathan Davalos

hand drawing of a social network at work
Stephanie Valdivia

I thought it was really interesting how we could see all the relationships connected in different ways. My personal number would be 1,000. I love forming important relationships with people and getting to know different people… I do have more “friends” on other sites such as Twitter and Instagram. With social media sites now a days, you can be friends with pretty much anyone and it won’t be questioned. Social media sites allow for communication without face to face interaction, sometimes being convenient. These “weak ties” have brought me new resources. I have found out about events and even cheap concert tickets. This activity was fun because it brought to life the relationships I had with different people. It was something new for me. In my drawing of my social network, I did it about my coworkers. The black ink means significant relationships. The black broken lines mean broken significant relationships. The pencil line means weak ties/casual relationship.

Stephanie Valdivia

hand drawing of Yesenia Hernandez' personal social network
Yesenia Hernandez

The amount of “Friends” you have on social media is not important to me. It used to be when I first joined and when I was younger. The more friends I had the cooler and better I thought I was, but now I do not care. I stopped looking at the numbers and the likes. I do not care for social media interaction, I do not even use it really. Even if I did use it more often, I would only interact with a handful of people.

Making my network of friends put into perspective the people I care most about and the relationships we have. Who I consider my family? Who my friends are? Overall who I even care for.

Yesenia Hernandez

Hannah Adams marker illustration of her social network. Images uses a octopus with her image at the octopus head and the tentacles fan out and sometimes cross to show friends and their connections
Hannah Adams

Fun project this week both in class and at home. I got to put up my little node on the wall early on in the creation of the web. I went downstairs for a bit to interview an artist for my artist conversation. It was interesting to come back and see the progression of the project, and the huge number of strings that connected me to so many other people in the class.

It was fun to see the connections as physical strings

I think these weak ties will be important when I get out more into the world.

Hannah Adams

marker drawing on paper of a person's social network
Patricia Arienne Avendano

While I have 691 Facebook friends and 463 Instagram followers, realistically, there are only 2 or 3 people that I have a close, intimate relationship with.

Patricia Arienne Avendano

students in CSULB FO4-267 (Faculty Office Building No 4, Room 267) working on a Fiber Art Social Network graph on the walls of the office
Rei Cayabyab

When we were all inside the faculty office it felt nice to finally be able to see my actual classmates not just a stranger that I see interviewing someone for an artist conversation. For some reason, despite how crowded it was, I felt delighted to be a part of the activity because we were all communicating and helping each other out. I was able to share a laugh with different individuals that I did not know were in our class.

Rei Cayabyab

hand drawing of a personal social network, marker on paper
Rei Cayabyab

Art Talk OTW

  1. 3 Million Years of Art History
  2. Joseph DeLappe
  3. Mahsa Soroudi
  4. The Mind in the Cave
  5. documentary: Bomb It
  6. Classical Greece & Rome
  7. Renaissance & Baroque
  8. 19th Century
  9. Aesthetics & Beauty and Realism & Romanticism
  10. 20th Century
  11. documentary: The Internet’s Own Boy

This week is one of our longer videos. I hope you’ll find it an engaging film. Meetup with a friend or classmate, pop some popcorn, serve your favorite drinks, and enjoy the film!

Since it’s election week in America I thought we’d watch The Internet’s Own Boy, a documentary about Aaron Swartz, how the Obama Administration has treated Internet activists, and what we want from culture, communications, and media in the 21st century.

You can watch the embedded version above. There is also a higher rez version at The Internet Archive

Interactive Art History Timeline

If you want to play with the Art History Timeline that you see me using in these talks, you can get your very own copy & the Freemind software to view, modify, or make your own, here:


110 responses to “Wk 11 – Home Stretch!”

  1. Tina Nguyen Avatar

    Tina Nguyen
    Aaron Swartz strikes me as a very interesting person. His family praised him for his intelligence stating things such as how he felt that he did not need go to class to learn geometry and that he could teach himself instead. Furthermore, they talked about how he was curious about things and even at the age of 15 he was already saying intelligent things and proved to be smarter than kids his age. Swartz did all kinds of amazing things with computers such as make RSS. He used computers as a way to make the world a better place. However, because Swartz was so intelligent and knowledgable about computers, it led to his downfall. Swartz suicided in 2013 after being charged with hacking a protected computer and obtaining information from them. The government felt that Swartz was a threat because he all kinds of information such was Westlaw documents. The government was afraid that Swartz would publish these documents and expose them. I think it was interesting how the government felt so threatened by Swartz that they had to arrest him and potentially give him jail time. It makes me wonder what the documents were and what the government is trying to hide and if there were any more documents that the government wants to hide from us. I think technology has developed so much that it could become a double-edged sword. The things we post on our social media accounts could hurt our chances of getting a job or into a college.

    1. lozano1021 Avatar

      Araceli Lozano

      Hey Tina,
      It’s definitely alarming on why the government was so afraid of those documents being published. But also the whole Pacer system that is suppose to be public information but you need a credit card in order to have access. Also what i found to be alarming was in the video at 53.38, how corrupt the law is, and how corporations fund law professor who review the laws and how i helps corporations (the example of the Exxon scandal, which every csulb business student is aware or will become aware of). I feel that he was not only a interesting and intelligent person, but a person who was genuinely concerned with public issues and wanted to fight for them in a way that he was able to, which was by being a technology activist. Not many people with his technical abilities would give up the millions of potential dollars and help better the world.

      1. Marlene Rodriguez Avatar

        Hey Tina And Araceli! I definitely agree with you guys! It’s pretty scary having to think about why the government wouldn’t want to release certain documents. This is definitely not the first time i’ve heard about our system being so corrupt and threatening to put people away in jail so that he can keep the governments secrets. It really is tragic that Aaron Swartz committed suicide but I do feel that it was wrong of him to use his intelligence to hack into a highly secure system like that. We hear everyday about systems being hacked to take credit card info, social security info, and so much more!

        1. Abigail Manuel Avatar
          Abigail Manuel

          Hey everyone! You guys make really good points about it all. I once wrote a paper about the NSA, and this made me think of it, just because it really is scary to think about all of the things that the government keeps from us AND exactly how much it knows about each one of us. It was very reminiscent of the Snowden story. It’s a sad story that Aaron Swartz’s life ended the way that it did, but I also do agree that he wasn’t really right in his actions either.

    2. Daniel Puentes Avatar

      I agree with you Tina Nguyen. It is very alarming the consistency that our government works towards hiding certain things. When we look at fellow citizens like Edward Snowden who had to flee our country in fear of prosecution. It is interesting that our government says that we can not have a transparent government when they are suppose to be working for us. We ask our government for a more transparent government, and in turn they try to prosecute someone for revealing our government for what it is. Some people say he’s a traitor and some say he is a hero. I just have a hard time understanding why it should be such a big deal for us to clearly see what our government is doing.

    3. irepbrian Avatar

      Brian Sath

      Hey Tina! I totally agree that Aaron Swartz is a very interesting person. The highlights within the video were ajust very interesting. For his to learn outside of his school on his own. The hard subjects that he was able to teach himself and furthermore sit on the committee at the age of 14 and create RSS. I totally agree that he used computers to make the world a better place. I read that someone felt as if “your knowledge should only be limited by your curiosity.” This is such an interesting concept as this is how Aaron most likely felt. He was so curious about everything and gave up his time to enhance his knowledge and help the world overall.

    4. maritessanne Avatar

      Maritess Inieto

      Hey Tina!

      Aaron did indeed seem to be very interesting. He was such a talented and intelligent kid. His family did praise his intelligence, recognizing his brilliance at such a young age. His ability to use a computer at the age of 3 was amazing, although when we look at children today, some are already able to work their way through iPhones! There were many signs that showed that Aaron was a different kid, and that he was smarter than those of his age. His dislike for going to class intrigued me as well. He decided to hit the books rather than being taught information. Wasn’t it also crazy that he made a basic version of Wikipedia at the age of 12? It was extremely saddening to hear that he committed suicide after being charged with hacking a protected computer and obtaining information. I now understand why someone had said that the government killed this young man. Such a talented man’s life was shortened at such a young age.

    5. Daniel Velazquez Avatar

      HI Tina,
      I agree with you this boy was smarter than many his age. The ability to teach himself is not an easy task. He was learning to read at a very young age and was also counting at an age most kids do not know how to. The skills he had with computers are also great many people as adults cannot do the things he was able to do at age 15. It is awful how knowing too much can hurt you.

  2. juanfvasquez Avatar

    Juan Vasquez
    Aaron Swartz was definitely intelligent child since he was able to create The Info website, which was similar to Wikipedia, at the age of 12. His intelligence allowed him to get away with learning materials without teachers or the need of schooling. He did seem to have a superiority complex though and he tended question everything because he didn’t take an answer to be true just because someone told him so. His influence in the creation of CC is not perfect but is still in use today to help with use of control over material put on the internet. He then helps in the creation of Reddit and sells it off at a young age when the site has become popular. His code that downloaded case files collected million of pages online led to him being investigated by the FBI. He was arrested after trying to download databases of educational information to share yet he was arrested by the government and was put against them as a terrorist. Later on he argues for the Internet to be the same as freedom of speech and shouldn’t be controlled by the government and I agree.

    1. duhmarkymark Avatar

      Marcelo Ceballos Jr. – 1 PM

      Hey Juan! Glad to hear you’re a proponent of having a free internet(as I think most of us are, lol). I also liked that Aaron was trying to get information out to people. First with the law and then with academic papers and journals. I think that a major road block that keeps our society from being able to fix all of these problems is that people are busy (or at least think they are busy) as well as the fact that people don’t like talking about these types of issues. I’m glad that we have been exposed to Aaron’s life and the work that he has done. Hopefully we will all be able to talk more openly about it and make issues more of a priority in our lives.

    2. moniquealcala Avatar

      Monique Alcala

      Hello Juan, I agree that he’s an incredibly young and gifted person. it is a shame to see that he decided to end his life after the FBI went after him. I believe that using the internet as a place of Freedom of Speech is a very sensitive subject. I do believe that because of how prominent the internet and social media has become that many people are expressing themselves online and are quick to post their every move on any social media platform. Because of this I believe many people have become bold due to the fact that they can speak their mind behind a computer screen and be very hurtful or post sensitive images relating to other people. There should be a limit with what you post and the content of what you’re posting about, but become of freedom of speech it’s hard to limit what is acceptable and what isn’t. I dont think the government should completely govern what is posted and put online but when it comes to extreme cases such as that above then I believe that government should have some say in it with extreme cases.

    3. lukasfue Avatar

      Lukas Fuentes

      Hello Juan. It certainly was incredible how influential Aaron was as a 13 year old. He had adults seeking his help and counsel! That’s incredible. I think his tendency to question everything is something that more people need to do actually. Most people take what they are told and just accept it and do what is asked of them. Not enough people say, “Hang on a minute, something doesn’t seem right here” and proceed to investigate the matter for themselves. This leads to a lot of problems in the world. My primary example would be genetically modified organisms. Most people are terrified of them because they don’t understand them and think they are monsters. However, GMOs have the potential to solve a lot of the worlds resource problems and much more. But, getting back on topic, I agree that Aaron trying to make the internet a place for freedom of speech was valid. I think he had the right idea when he was trying to make information free and available to everyone. Unfortunately, greedy people that can make a buck off of something that should be free will never let it go.

      1. Roxana Chavez Avatar

        Hello Lukas,

        I also certainly agree with you of how much of a influential person Aaron during his lifetime. It was also very amazing for me to see how adults were asking him to help them on there projects as well as giving them advice and also speaking in front on many people only at the age of 16. I also agree with you that his tendency to ask questions is something we should do because you are right typical we never question what we are told we simply believe everything with no deeper thought or information. For example when Aaron entered I believe it was junior high or high school he questioned why did he have to be there if he could do it on his own with his text books. I also to believe that the freedom of speech on the internet should be valid as well as information because we the people of this country need to know what is happening around us, I personally believe that. Because the government was afraid of that Aaron could grab more information that is why the government looked for any possible way to bring him to the court to have him sentenced to jail. Which was very heartbreaking because it made on of America’s brights man end his triumph life.

  3. lozano1021 Avatar

    Araceli Lozano

    Honestly i did not think that this film was as interesting as it was, it definitely reminded me not to judge a book by its cover, in this case a video by its name. I don’t even know where to begin, but it’s sad to see that the people who care about others and who want to make the world a better place seem to face the biggest obstacles. Swartz could have made millions, even billion of dollars. Also, Swartz wasn’t hacking and stealing people’s information like other hackers, yet he was treated as a criminal.The film also shows the extent that the Government will go to in order to blame someone, it was mentioned in the film how they wanted to prosecute Swartz because they wanted to make an example of him, after J-somthing and its parent company had dropped the charges. It’s sad and horrifying how the case affected Swartz so much that he ended up committing suicide because he may have thought that there was no more hope for him.

    1. Selena Lara Avatar

      Hello Araceli,
      I stand in the same position as you, I didn’t think the film was going to be interesting at all. The gloomy look and then a documentary. I definitely think it deserves a better name. He definitely did face unnecessary obstacles for someone that simply wanted to share knowledge in the world. It sucks that he had to commit suicide because he could not take it anymore. He revolutionized the internet and its disappointing that they had to use him as an example.

  4. Selena Lara Avatar

    I’m in awe of Aaron Swartz. How can so much intelligence and brilliance be in one person? How unafraid he was of life, so much that he was willing to challenge everything including the government. It’s amusing how he didn’t use his intelligence to generate enormous cash flows, when it was possible. Instead he only began to question everything and everyone. At such a young Swartz did more than I have ever truly accomplished at 21. He was indeed a legacy that questioned the government. The government is essentially supposed to serve and protect us but reality is that they might not being doing that at all. Instead they treat us like little animals that listen to their commands and only take on and learn what they want us to learn. I think Swartz’s main goal was to people the ability to learn. I do not think that he did anything illegal. The prosecution of Aaron brought me to tears. Leaving someone so intelligent in solitary confinement is almost insane. It’s like storing away an intelligence box. Aaron’s story was so inspiring it almost made me want to question my education system. Why do I have to learn the way I do? Why is the Affordable Care Act known as the revolutionary system that it is?

    1. Tina Nguyen Avatar

      Hi Selena,
      I agree with you in that the government is suppose to protect us and that they might be doing that at all. I think that is apart of human nature. We’re fickle, stupid human beings who are bound for self-destruction. Everyone wants to protect their own skin and do what is best for them, so there are bounds to be flaws in the government. I agree with you about Swart’z story, about how he was sent to confinement and letting all his intelligence go to waste. I think if the government sees someone as a threat they will want to try and decrease that person to make sure that they don’t expose the flaws of the government. The story of Swartz’s being sent to confinement reminds of the Suzanne Collins ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy in which the president of Panem tries to decrease the effect that Katniss Everdeen had in starting a revolution. Similarly, if Swartz were still around and was able to learn government secrets he might have been able to start a revolution, however, the government was able to control him.
      -Tina Nguyen

    2. johncrewsavage Avatar

      John Savage

      Hi Selena

      I too found Aaron’s pure brilliance and high intelligence to be awe inducing. The way he was looking out for the future of knowledge and the future of our country without asking for anything in return is just a testimony to how great Aaron was. His questioning of society also made me think about how we learn and about what we see as ok in our society. His words of wisdom really make you question how us as people learn and grow. Do we just think we are following our own path but we actually aren’t? Its these types of questions that are raised when you start to question everything and it makes you really think about life.

    3. amysongblog Avatar

      Amy Song

      Hi Selena! I agree with your point that the government is supposed to protect us but they might not be doing so. This film made me question our government as it exists currently. Especially after hearing Aaron’s case. The government is supposed to be for the people and by the people. However in Aaron’s case, and probably in many other cases they may not be in our best interest and could be just trying to protect themselves. I believe that in Aaron’s case, the government should not have pushed Aaron as far as they did. He didn’t harm anyone or planned to make money using the documents. But the government went after him anyways to use him as a warning to other hackers. This made me question the powerful people in our government because a lot of times you hear stories of congressmen taking money from big businesses to vote a certain way. I’m just wondering how many congressmen and how many bills that were “bought” by rich businessmen.

    4. aleahlomeli28 Avatar

      Hi Selena, I agree with you completely. It’s crazy to think that we live in a world that is full of greatness but greatness is often destroyed. You pointed out that this video had you thinking and questioning things such as the education system. It also had me questioning things such as “Why do we let the government control what we do when were suppose to live in a country that is full of freedom?” or “Why society expects so much from us and doesn’t quite see reality?” There is so many questions out in this world and we often live day by day full of curiosity.

      Aleah Lomeli

      1. alilovesart Avatar

        Hi Aleah,

        Yes! i definitely agree with you and Selena. It is indeed crazy to think that we live in a world that is full of greatness but greatness is often destroyed and to add on recreated. I indeed too had so many questions about the education system its crazy how this video got me to question literally every aspect of the education system here in the U.S how a system given so much credit could actually be nothing more then just a hoax. It got me to think that our government does maybe truly control everything we do, and has us all predestine for a certain life cycle, growing up, school, kids. Are we indeed really free? how much influence does the government have on us subconsciously? these are all questions brought to my attention ion the video.

        Ali Garawi

  5. duhmarkymark Avatar

    Marcelo Ceballos Jr. – 1PM

    Watching the enormous impact that Aaron Swartz has made on the world is both upsetting and unbelievable. I say this because it is hard to keep yourself from getting upset while watching the documentary and seeing all of the asinine policies and people in charge of society. It is also unbelievable because Aaron has an incredible story which I was unaware of before watching even though he has been part of such important decisions that effect everyone today. I really agree with Aaron’s mentality in regards to education, society, and freedoms. I feel that today’s education system in America has really become slow and become a place less about learning and discovery and more of a place to keep minors busy until they are 18 years old. With the advent of AI and virtual reality, learning could become a much faster and focused process. It could also produce a new generation of students that have access to so much knowledge presented in a personal and engaging way that school to be completed in much less time. They could focus more on exploring areas of interest that they want to learn about and not have to learn facts about everything. I think this could not only benefit society by making learning a faster process but help to make learning fun and approachable. It could also make it easier for people to learn more about themselves and the problems they want to help to fix in the world.

    As for society there is a clash between the old systems and new ideas that have come from all of the incredible advances and discoveries in technology and science. It makes sense that you have older people with a lot of life experience who are wealthy so they can focus on issues and the policy work they have to do, but the world has been changing a lot more quickly than government has and it is showing. I think having professionals and experts from different fields present in congress and senate is important because politicians don’t know everything and having experts there could really clarify issues and be a better representation of society. A panel of experts could be a better representations because seeing people as people is important, but they are also contributing their skill and working to make the world better in some capacity or another. As for freedoms, I think that the idea of freedom that people have in their head has dwindled and has not taken into account the non tangible aspects like the internet.

    All this takes major policy changes, which can be incredibly slow in government. I think realistically that things will become better over time but it will be slow unless something drastic happens. It is difficult because we are such a diverse group of people in the U.S. and people tend to see what they want to see. This keeps many from moving toward a better place both in society and in themselves. Hopefully we can see this change happen more quickly in the world, so we can all move toward having an open and prosperous society.

    1. laurajlockett Avatar

      Hi Marcelo,

      I agree with you that it is unbelievable just how blind we can be to greatness. Adam greatly impacted our internet lives and how we function yet I had never heard his name before i started watching this documentary. Its crazy how just one person can impact so much.

      Laura Lockett

    2. dschmitz137 Avatar

      Daniel Schmitz

      Hello Marcelo,

      It’s pretty crazy to learn and find out what Aaron was able to accomplish in such a relatively short time. It kind of make me feel inadequate. That on top of all the pointless, ridiculous rules and policies that lead to terrible things that could be easily prevented made me feel even worse.

      I do agree with what he says about school, and the fact that it’s basically a daycare. Could you imagine a world where parents go off to work their 9-5 job everyday while all their kids have free roam around the house and city? That’d be ridiculous.

      Yes, as technology begins to advance and the way people are educated changes and evolves, the things and concept people learn will also probably change. People may just focus on what is important to them and kind of skim through or pass over entirely the other concept they don’t really care about. I’m not sure I would call that a benefit, but it would definitely speed up the “process” of education.

      1. alilovesart Avatar

        Hello Daniel,

        Yes i definitely do agree with you it is indeed pretty crazy to learn and find out what Aaron was able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. It also lol does make me feel unworthy and incapable. Yes i do also agree with what he says about school, only to a certain point tho, although it can be classified as a daycare however my child hood experience in school was more then just that, i was put to a challenge and pressured to learn and preform. Yes i do agree with people may also just focus on what is important to them and kind of skim through or pass over the concept they dont really care about, however i dont think this is something anyone should encourage, humans should learn about many different things interested or not, it will give them an edge on so many different aspects and on so many different humans.

  6. johncrewsavage Avatar

    John Savage

    I found this documentary to be very interesting because I never really knew of Aaron Schwartz before even though I have heard of some of his projects. Aaron was a brilliant person who was trying to change the world through the web and it is such a shame that we lost such an amazing mind. To see his journey through life and the amazing accomplishments that he achieved at a young age was quite remarkable. To see a young kid who was working with people almost twice his age and contributing to the growth of the internet in the way he did all before he was old enough to drink is pretty amazing. The questions Aaron proposed about how we learn and what we are told is okay by society really grabbed my attention because I too get these kinds of thoughts. It is interesting to me to think about the why we as people do certain things in our society and act in certain ways as to not be judged or be put into a category we don’t want to be in. Aaron was truly an inspiration to many people and he will have a legacy on the internet for a very long time.

    1. Vincent Santos Avatar

      hello John
      yeah i think Aaron was a great person but to see how things ended up sucks because he was so smart and could have continued improving the internet. But not all good thing last forever, just wish it would have ended differently. To be pushed this far by the government i can only imagine the stress he went though. The media has be a huge roll in most of the world and he had a large part to do with it. I see to many people using reddit and to think Aaron and a few other people created at a very young age is amazing and makes me thing anything is possible if we have a drive/passion for what we do.

    2. Adrian Munoz Avatar

      Hello John
      I couldn’t agree more. This video is incredible, at first I thought it was going to be an hour of boring documentation of some guy, but after the video I realized it was quite the opposite. We discovered that Aaron Schwartz was an intelligent person that could’ve done many things to change the internet. Especially at a young age, which made it more fascinating. He brought of great ideas for society and also agree his legacy will live for a while.

  7. laurajlockett Avatar

    Laura Lockett

    Aaron Schwartz name has never crossed my life but I am familiar with some of his projects and work that he produced in his life. He was very intelligent and knew what he wanted. The introduction of computers to his life really changed his life at a very young age and he was already programming very very young. The amount of focus that he had at that young of an age really shows just how different he was from many other children. At 12 years old he was already creating something as amazing as a website like Wikipedia. He was already winning prizes and becoming very involved with the revolution of the internet. His life really changed the way we get information and the government knew that. He was changing the world before he could even legally drink, vote or even buy an R rated movie ticket. Although I have never heard of his name, watching this documentary really changed my outlook onto everything in our lives because everything was created by someone.

  8. lukasfue Avatar

    Lukas Fuentes

    Aaron Schwartz is a very unique individual. He was not interested in money or material things. He simply wanted to make the world a better place and I think he was doing it in a good way. Even when he sold Reddit, and no doubt made tons of money, he lived in a tiny room and wore the same clothes and didn’t own anything tawdry or unnecessary. In recent years I have come to realize that the world is run by greedy people sitting at the top of greedy corporations. Not everyone is like this thankfully, but sadly these people who are not greedy are not the people in charge. I admire people like Aaron and Tim Berners-Lee. They both had opportunities to make millions of dollars, but instead gave it all way for the greater good of people all over the world. I hope that if I am ever in such a position that I will be as selfless in my actions as these two men. I think we need more people in the world like Aaron because the world WOULD be a much better place.

    1. yonathansahle Avatar

      Yonathan Sahle

      In response to Lukas’s comment,

      Yea I can tell that Aaron is a genuinely good guy. Yea he seemed like a very humble guy and I think that this film really serves justice for Aaron’s life and for what he stood or. I too wish that I can make enough money and help around the world and help my family. I am not the type of person into materialistic things so I know that if I ever get to reach a really high salary and I make enough money for myself and for my family that I will gladly help. I have family out of the US that really would like my help so I look forward to the day that when I graduate make money for about 2 years so that I can contribute to helping my family abroad. You make a really good point in wishing there were more people in the world who lived selflessly, I wish for this.

    2. jackiesanchezart110 Avatar

      Hi Lukas

      I completely agree with your statement that Aaron Schwartz simply wanted to make the world a better place. He stood up for what he believed was right and actively tried to correct these wrongful things. It is sad to see what happens to people like Aaron. Unfortunately, history is filled with revolutionary people being shut down by those with all the power. Hopefully people will remember and continue to advance his message, because no doubt that he still had so much left to accomplish.

    3. amanateeseawarrior Avatar

      Amanda Martinez

      Hi Lukas! I have also come to realize that the world is run by greedy people which is really disappointing. I have also learned that people are also selfish and for the most part only care about issues that pertain to them. Being an environmentalist and learning how/why certain laws were made was heartbreaking. I also admire Aaron and I hope that if I am ever in such a position I will be as selfless. I feel like there should be more people in this world like him.

  9. yonathansahle Avatar

    This was an interesting film and I found Aaron Swartz to be a different thinking type of individual who can be interesting so I did some more research on him. One of his accomplishments is his involvement in the social news site Reddit. I like that his overall focus is on civic awareness and activism. I learned that he helped launch the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in 2009 to express and learn more about online activism. After learning many things about Aaron i have to say that the documentary “The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz” is a great homage to Aaron Swartz. It is crazy to see that the government persecuted him.

  10. klauduso Avatar

    Aaron Schwartz was a very intellectual person. He aimed for knowledge instead of wealth. When Aaron just wanted more knowledge and the creation of reddit helped with that. Not only did he do other things, but being a creator of where information and knowledge is shared online shows his passion. After being blamed of doing illegal acts, it’s sometimes seems pointless to hold on to hope after being blamed for something you did not do. Aaron Schwartz would’ve contributed more to our daily lives if he was alive today, but because of government wanted someone to blame for the hacks.We lost a great soul in the world of cruelties

    Tommy Duong

  11. Linda Nguyen Avatar

    This weeks video, while long, was extremely interesting to me. I grew up with the pressure and idea of intelligence being the golden ticket to a successful and happy life. I never thought that there could be something wrong with being intelligent–never thought that intelligence could act as a gift and a curse. Aaron Schwartz was a very intelligent individual who was able to learn without any instruction or help from teachers. Yet, in the end, it was his brilliance that caused his downfall as he committed suicide after being convicted for hacking into the government and obtaining information that the government feared he would share. While, illegal it is still impressive how he was able to hack into the government and it makes me wonder what he found. I feel that there are double standards in society and the government, they say that its good to aspire and be intelligent as long as it is used to the benefits of said society and government but when the intelligence isn’t, it is condemned.

  12. moniquealcala Avatar

    Monique Alcala

    It’s inspiring to see someone as young as Aaron Schwartz accomplish and create so much. It’s truly a shame that he decided to end his life because I really believe he could have created and been a part of a much more important online movement or campaigned during such a crucial election like the one coming up this week. I was interested in his involvement in the Progressive Change Campaign Committee since he was considered an internet activist. After doing some research on the “Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic party”, I read that Aaron originally planned to join the Committee in hopes of learning about effective online activism. Interestingly enough, our generation has become much more involved in politics and are using social media as an effective platform to get out important issues and to help others become “woke” or more involved in social justice issues and politics. I know I have learned a lot about social justice through websites like Twitter and Instagram, and have seen more of the people I follow speak up on issues that they care about which in turn has given me the confidence to voice my opinion and try to become more of an online activist. The media has played a huge role in the year’s election and has, in my opinion, heavily influenced which candidate the public will be voting for.

    1. Cindy Le Avatar

      Hi Monique!
      I totally agree. Especially with our generation, millennials like you or me have re-blogs, re-tweeted, or shared information with each other. Now, I’m not saying that is only the millennials that do this. It is just us in particular that have shown, as a generation, to be more politically involved. Without the internet, most of us would only see what the monopolized media is willing to show us in order to gain a leeway through our votes that are influenced by their ads and such media. Thanks to effective online activism, we get to know more about our politicians, aside from what they say or do in front of a camera and mic. I personally am grateful that I have a chance to voice my opinions.

  13. amysongblog Avatar

    Amy Song

    Before watching this documentary, I did not know who Aaron Swartz was. I didn’t even know that this happened so recently. I had heard about the government trying to “shut down the internet” but nothing more than that. I feel somewhat guilty that I didn’t know anything about this given the fact how much I rely and use the internet that Aaron fought so hard to keep open and free for everyone. Although a large portion of this documentary talks about the internet and SOPA, I find that this video also highlights the injustice of our US government. The fact that the US government pushed Aaron so far as they did is really inhumane and I think they went too far. As they said in the video, Aaron did not download the documents from JStor to sell them, he didn’t make any money or hurt anybody by doing that. But the government went so far to take him to court and charge him as a felon is really ridiculous. Adding on to that, they did this so that they could use Aaron as an example to scare other hackers. It saddens me to think of what other amazing and progressive thing Aaron could have done if he were still alive. I do believe there are a lot of changes to be made, such as changing certain outdated laws. After learning about Aaron’s story I’ve really admire all he has done. All he wanted was to make the world a better place and he sacrificed his own life for what he believed in.

  14. jackiesanchezart110 Avatar

    Jacqueline Sanchez

    I had never heard of Aaron Schwartz before watching this documentary, but I am very glad I did. Aaron was definitely such a smart and gifted person who was able able to accomplish so much in his tragically short life. Aaron shared many features that many other great minds do. Like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, both of whom dropped out Harvard University, Aaron was not interested in school because he thought it wasn’t necessary, he could learn the material all by himself if he wanted to and he simply was not interested in other subjects, he had a passion for computer programing. He accomplished many great things in this field such as aiding in the creation of RSS and Reddit. Later on in his life he became more interested in being an activist and attempting to right the things he thought were wrong. It is sad and infuriating to see what happens to people that stand up for and speak against what they think is wrong with the world. People with power will always attempt to shut down anyone who tries to make a difference. We have seen this happen so many times in history, from the protesters at Tiananmen square to Martin Luther King Jr. Hopefully people will remember Aaron Schwartz as a martyr who could have made the world a better place.

    1. Stephanie Arciva Avatar

      Stephanie Arciva
      Hi Jacqueline!
      I completely agree with how you felt about watching the movie, admiring Aaron for his intelligence as well as feeling sad for his tragedy. I most agree with your point on how infuriating it was that government had taken such action towards his hacking, which made me realize how difficult it would be to go against government if you wanted to. I feel like this documentary helped realize how much constraints we have on a technological perspective. I feel like you summed up my thoughts completely when you said “people with power will always attempt to shut down anyone who tries to make a difference.” It makes me wonder what the government is trying to hide in these secret files or perhaps in a nation we have developed today, why has it become so controversial to think something different. In Aaron’s case, I felt that he perhaps didn’t have any malicious intentions toward the government, he just wanted to inform everyone and make them feel like they should have the right to access files to the government that is meant for the people.

    2. allison cruz Avatar

      Hi! I’m also amazed by Aaron and never heard of him before this class video- but I’m glad I do know him now. He has accomplished so much when he was so young- intelligence I could only dream of! I just wish that that desire to learn and question was backed by MIT. Who knows if their voice on the issue could have changed the outcome.

    3. Nick Lemmerman Avatar
      Nick Lemmerman

      Hey Jacqueline,

      I had never heard of Aaron Swartz before this either. While I’m no genius, I find it somehow humbling when someone drops out of school because it just doesn’t work for them, and then goes on to succeed. I can only dream of being as smart as someone like Aaron and being successful in something new and innovative.

      —Nick Lemmerman

  15. Cindy Le Avatar

    Unjust laws do exist, some benefiting only a certain portion of a community or social class. The government’s job is to protect its people, made for the people by the people. Yet, it has always had this kind of restraining aspect about it that chokes money out of taxpayers. Yes, laws and taxes are used to protect us. However, when it is made with the intent to control information that the public should know, there are a lot of things we should question about both parties. Why should the government hide information that could raise awareness and lead to countermeasure towards a problem? Or will the information be so shocking that a government’s citizens could potentially overthrow the balance through protest or force? In a sense, keeping information from people is one method they used in order to keep “peace”. Knowledge is a double-edged sword. I believe that certain kinds of information can only lead to physical damage, but it is never the physical damage itself, emotional damage a more likely outcome.

  16. Stephanie Arciva Avatar

    Stephanie Arciva
    Much like my peers, I have never heard of Aaron Schwartz prior to watching this film. I admire how the film creators include the part about Aaron’s childhood because it really helps one understand his situation more. It helped me understand that Aaron was different right when he was born. I was able to understand his thinking process through understanding his childhood. I found myself appreciating Aaron for his curiosity and wanting to discover and teach others. That helped me understand Aaron’s intention to hacking into government files. I felt that he was a revolutionist and that was a huge threat to government. I feel if you placed Aaron in a future time, the extent of his persecutions would have perhaps not have been as bad considering our dive into a technological society where we are demanding to know more about government secrets. I feel like the larger implications of Aaron’s actions will reflect upon others and stirrup a revolution to give people the courage they need to stand up against government when they feel something is wrong. I feel that this is really controversial considering the developments and advancements in technology and it becomes an issue itself on how to control privacy rights on the web. A huge contribution that Aaron has made is access to free articles and I feel that becomes very important in our world today were we have a growing gap between the lower and upper social classes. If we didn’t have people like Aaron, I would be more concerned for what will become of our nation. Overall, I feel that watching this documentary has reminded me of the issues we have going on in this nation and how now more then ever it has become important to become educated on these topics.

    1. andyybui Avatar

      Hi Stephanie,

      I also didn’t hear of Aaron Swartz before watching this film, but I feel like I should have since he has made such a huge impact on society. It’s amazing how people that are so smart with good intentions get blindsided by big forces that you would believe are there to help you, like the government and FBI. Aaron could definitely have been a huge threat to the government if he was aiming to tear down the government. It was a threat regardless since he was taking files that were supposed to be paid for even though those files were public. Nonetheless, it is a shame that people come to the point in their life where they resort to taking their own life because they feel like that can not handle it anymore.

      Andy Bui

  17. Vincent Santos Avatar

    Hello, this week art discussion was very interesting to me since it deals with my major in a way, Computer Engineering. Aaron Swartz is a creative person who seen the internet as a way to connect people and knowledge from around the world. Do this at a young age is really cool to think he could have made so much money but Aaron Swartz wasnt doing it for the money he did this because this is what he really liked doing. Then when working for someone else he realized how different it was and didnt like at all. Internet activist are what make the the internet so interesting because people will post about topic that vary from humorous to seriousness. However, there are regulations that government that prevents people from doing whatever they please on the internet.

    1. kayaquarles Avatar

      Hi Vincent,
      I agree that it was cool for Aaron to want to connect the world via internet. I found it admirable that he didn’t do it for the wealth and fame but simply because he was curious and enjoyed programming. I don’t think it was right for him to take files that didn’t belong to him but who knows if he was really a threat to the government. There are two sides to every story and there is always potential for bias (especially with how information is leaked to the public). It upsets me that he resorted to taking his life instead of seeking help.

      Kaya Quarles

  18. Marlene Rodriguez Avatar

    This weeks art documentary was definitely a lot more interesting that I thought. It amazed me at how talented and intelligent the human race is. Aaron Swartz was an extremely smart person and for him to have to so many accomplishments at such a young age is something to be very proud of which his parents were. I never had heard of Aaron before this film but i had always heard about reports of people like him but other people use their intelligence not always for good reasons. Aaron continued to do what he loved but once he became a threat for the government everything turned around. It was extremely tragic that he committed suicide in the year 2013. The government threatened to do so much to him because they were afraid he would release documents that were private to the government. I found it to be sad how corrupt our government is because it honestly just makes me wonder how much they hide and how restricted we really are to certain things.

    1. Marysol Jimenez Avatar

      Hey Marlene!
      Before watching this documentary I had also never heard of Aaron Schwartz. After watching it, i was shocked at the fact that the government can go to such extent to keep him from releasing files. I agree, it is crazy how corrupt our government can be but also how much power they have. We don’t know so many things about our country because the government does not want us to. We have no idea how restricted we are and it is honestly sad to think of it. We only know what the government wants us to know.

    2. Demi Kong Avatar

      Hi Marlene! I think it is amazing that someone as smart as Aaron Swartz would not use his intelligence to gain wealth or for personal benefit that could have harmed others. He honestly seemed very genuine and humble to utilize his brilliance for the benefit of other people obtaining knowledge. I agree that with what the government did to Aaron, it does make one wonder how much they hide from the public. I do not think that there is a debate on how many aspects of our government is corrupted because of instances like this. The things that the government will do to people like Aaron because they feel threatened by him is absolutely cruel and vicious. We lost a truly great person too early that could have accomplished so much more.

  19. Roxana Chavez Avatar

    It was very interesting to learn about Aaron Schwartz as he was growing up, accomplishments he did in his lifetime as well as what lead to his tragic death which was very heart breaking to me. Seeing Aaron as a little boy in his families home videos made me think wow this little boy is only this age and is already questing and learning about so many things. Aaron was a bright boy with many questions seen in home videos. Learning about his not so interest in school was shocking to me because it is a social norm that people attend school to learn and gain more information. However Aaron did not school as that he believed that he could learning everything that was being taught to him through books by himself. Learning about a few of his creations such as Reddit and RSS which later in his life prompted him to become a activists to bring awareness about the wrongs in our world. However the government viewed that as a danger in our society which is very disappointing to think and to have in our Country. However is still in some ways the same unfortunately. It was very sad to see the way the government prosecuted him in his final years. I believe if it would of have been different he would probably still be alive today.

  20. amanateeseawarrior Avatar

    Amanda Martinez

    I have never heard of Aaron Swartz before watching this film. He was a very intelligent person who wanted to make the world a better place by making information available to everyone. He could have easily made tons of money, but that is not what he wanted. I feel like at times money clouds people’s judgement so it is great that he did not let it consume him. I think it is a shame that he was targeted to be used as an example when I personally did not really see how what he was doing was a crime. I feel like the police could have spent the money and resources elsewhere to catch people who are actually doing illegal things like using the internet to steal money from people. I really like how he was trying to make the journal articles from JSTOR easily accessible because I have actually used many articles from that journal for papers in class. If I was not a student using the Library website I would have to pay for every article I wanted to read which I found out recently when trying to read an article that I found on Google Scholar. As someone who wants to get into research it is really important to have access to journals to further research and learn from what other studies have done. It’s great that the person who came up with the test to test pancreatic cancer sooner credited Aaron because without that researches access to the JSTOR’s articles he probably may not have been able to do it.

  21. allison cruz Avatar

    I loved this video and thought it was really interesting. I even recommended it to some of my friends. It is scary to think that we live in the country that is known for freedom and yet things like Aaron’s case are going on. It is crazy to think that the government wants to keep public knowledge for themselves and give those who want access trouble along the way. It’s honestly blows my mind and I’d truely sad that someone who only wanted good and political improvement could be brought down by the world he wanted to help. His hard work and dedication to questioning and truth seeking guides those today to carry on his work in providing us the people with internet freedom. Just imagine what he would’ve been able to accomplish if not for the governments petty portrayal of him as a criminal.

    1. nhitruongg Avatar

      Nhi Truong 1pm
      Hey Allison!

      I totally agree with you. America is known for it’s freedom of speech. Yet, Pacer exists. These public documents should be public, but they are taxed. By making the documents more accessible to the people, Schwartz gets noticed by the FBI. That just boggles my mind. To think that our government is restricting content just so they can have power over the people. It really boils down to whoever has knowledge has the power. The government using the Schwartz case as “an example” is a scary thing because they are trying to deter other people from trying to do the same thing. I still do not see anything wrong with what Schwartz did. He wanted to make public documents public. For that, he was prosecuted until the end.

  22. nhitruongg Avatar

    Nhi Truong 1pm

    It’s interesting to see how Aaron Schwartz realized, at a young age, that things aren’t the way they are naturally. At that age, I remember asking my parents specific questions as to why this happened or that happened, and they would simple reply, “that’s how society is”. After that, I just accepted their answer, not questioning whether it really is the way it is. Unlike me, Schwartz questioned things. He was endlessly curious and he knew how to obtain information. One of his goals was to bring the public access to the public domain. It sounds very logical and rational, so why did he get into so much trouble for it? This opened my eyes to how corrupt our government is and how far they are willing to go to cover up something they do not want leaked. I believe this was an issue of freedom of speech and freedom of expression. The government should not and could not intervene, but they did because they were afraid.

    1. yulitorres21 Avatar

      It is a scary thought to think that even your freedom to speak against government actions can lead to such a harsh punishment. I believe that Aaron was doing society a favor of giving the information they needed to prevent government from make immediate decisions on topics we were never informed about.

    2. Carlos Villicana Avatar

      Technically one could say that he was stealing, leading to the government intervention. But the way they went after him is what I found to be wrong. He was a young guy who thought that this information (which were scholarly journals, not govt. secrets) should be available to all. He was doing it for the better of humanity and was only really negatively affecting the pockets of the people who owned the rights to the scholarly journals. I guess the fact that the FBI so harshly went after Aaron for this action that put no one’s life in danger goes to show who they prioritize. It really is scary that a person’s life could be so ruined by one thing the way that Aaron’s was going to be. Aaron was not the guy to be “made an example of,” and it’s pretty scary that they were going after him using the reasoning of needing an example to be made.

  23. aleahlomeli28 Avatar

    Watching this video made me realize a lot of things. Aaron Schwartz was a very bright person who, unfortunately, was taken down by the government at age 26. He realized that the way we live is on a basis of “natural”. However, that’s not how it is. We often find ourselves doing the things that society expects from us or what is considered to be “right.” But these things are changeable and a matter of fact, like Aaron said, should change. Aaron was truly gifted to be able to accomplish so much at such a young age. You don’t see many 13 year olds programming and coming up with brilliant ideas. It’s unfortunate that the government saw him as a threat which I think he wasn’t at all. Our government is really corrupt and instead of going after the really bad people in this world, they go after the innocent. I think our world is full of curiosity and we always find the need to question ourselves on our actions and inner thoughts and so on. Aaron did nothing wrong, all he was trying to do was teach people. The government’s fear of Aaron should not be an excuse for the reason why he committed suicide. It’s nothing they should be proud of. I really enjoyed watching this film and learning some sort of “reality”.

    Aleah Lomeli

  24. Demi Kong Avatar

    Aaron Swartz’s story is absolutely incredible. He exuded brilliance from such a young age was able to accomplish so much through his intelligence. I thought it was interesting how even though Aaron could have made loads and loads of money with his intelligence, he focused more on gaining knowledge and spreading it instead of acquiring wealth. Something I admire about Aaron is that he questioned everything. I will be honest and say that I hardly ask questions in any context and will accept things for what they are. I think people should be more like Aaron and continually ask questions until there are no more questions to ask. I do not think it is a bad thing to want to know about everything, but unfortunately it did not work out for Aaron when the government convicted him. Aaron was just acting as an activist for information to be public, but the government saw it as an act of terrorism and this eventually led to his suicide in 2013. I believe that the government was really cruel to Aaron because he did not want any monetary gain from the documents he found, he just wanted the public to be able to access this information too. I really wish that Aaron was still alive today because I feel that there is still so much for him to accomplish and that his full, absolute potential was not achieved, but I hope that he is at peace now. Now when I hear Aaron Swartz’s name, I will think of his astonishing yet tragic story and how he is an internet pioneer.

    1. jonathangirgis Avatar

      Jonathan Girgis

      It really is rare to find someone who not only is very capable intellectually, but also to have that person be one who cares about other people, which in this case would be their access to information. We need to continue to have access to the kind of information Aaron basically died for. That’s what the Constitution is for, and it should be observed. As they say, knowledge is power, and people should have that power, not the elite or 1 percenters. And to use Aaron as an ‘example’ to prevent future incidents is cruel and unfair. This man was not a criminal, yet he’s treated like one. Our government, and even our court system, needs to be fixed. But aside from that, Aaron was incredible, and a role model (at least he should be) for others.

    2. Samuel De La Cruz Avatar

      Samuel De La Cruz

      Hi Demi Kong, I also agree with you that Aaron was a bright kid and he was a great person in general. I find it amazing that instead of making millions of dollars with his ideas and intelligence he instead wanted to make the world a better place. He put everyone’s needs ahead of his own and showed it by trying to acquire as much knowledge that he could in order to share it with everyone free of charge. This is what ultimately led to his demise because large corporations want to be greedy and charge people for information that has already been paid for by the government. I just hope that his death was not in vain and people will carry his movement with as much passion as he had.

  25. Marysol Jimenez Avatar

    Before watching this documentary I had no idea who Aaron Schwartz was. After watching it I learned that he was a very intelligent person. Ever since a young age when he was given a chance to use a computer, he not only enjoyed it but he excelled in it. In his early teen years he created an amazing program kind of like Wikipedia, not many people enjoyed it for example one of his teachers, but the fact that he created it at such a young age was intriguing. Aaron then started getting more computer and technology smart creating many programs and learning how to hack and download millions of files. Unfortunately the government saw him as a threat to them and began trying to stop him. Aaron did not do anything wrong, he was only trying to spread his knowledge to others. Unfortunately he committed suicide in 2013. Aaron became threatened and pressured by the government until he could not handle it anymore. I believe it is crazy to the extent the government can go to hide so many tings from the public. Overall, i enjoyed this documentary and learned something new.

    1. Henry Pham Avatar

      It really is a shame how we persecute people who try to act on the goodness and rights of the majority. Schwartz tried to keep information free and accessible on the internet, uploading academic information that was hidden behind a paywall. One of the biggest sources of information that he made available was 2.6 million federal court document stored on a database which made the users pay for public documents. The database, PACER, charged 8 cents for every page despite not being covered by copyright. After making the information accessible, an investigation was held, although the FBI did not find any wrongdoing. He simply tried to keep information open and faced backlash from bureaucrats.

    2. Monica Lock Avatar

      Marysol, I also had no idea who Aaron Swartz was prior to watching the video. It’s crazy how much knowledge and skill he obtained at such a young age! I thought it was so disappointing how his teacher didn’t approve the idea of anyone posting their ideas onto the website. In a way, I understand why that might not be a good idea such as academic essays wouldn’t be a good example to reference Wikipedia. His teacher shouldn’t have dismissed his idea entirely. I wonder what they are thinking about it now. Anyway, I also agree how unfairly the government would go through extensive measures in order to secure information and knowledge from the public the way they did.

  26. Nick Lemmerman Avatar
    Nick Lemmerman

    Aaron’s story is both tragic and impressive. He was obviously way ahead of his time. It amazes me that a KID could come up with such awesome ideas AND go somewhere with them. I think he was “lucky,” in a sense, to have grown up when computers and the Internet were just starting to get more popular because any work and contribution to their development and betterment was important; now, anybody can learn to code, etc. but that doesn’t really benefit the world in a significant way (unless they create something new and unimagined).

    Side note, I like towards the beginning that it was mentioned he didn’t like going to school because he could easily read about the subjects on his own, as opposed to waisting his time with just some other person lecturing about it….preach.

    —Nick Lemmerman

    1. beentiredblog Avatar

      Hey, Nick. I totally agree the story overall was pretty impressive for just one person being able to do what seems like would have taken multiple people to do. I can almost compare him to Edward Snowden since both fought for the exploitation of corruption within our own societal systems and within the internet itself. Prosecutors did him dirty. I can only imagine feeling hated or targeted by so many people that I didn’t even know. It’s sad that there were even drug charges against him to bring out whatever bad character they were trying to find in him. Pretty sad stuff.

      Kayla Tafoya-Sablan

    2. adamshannah96yahoocom Avatar

      Hello Nick,
      I saw your last comment about Nick not enjoying school because he believed he could learn better on his own and I thought it was an important issue that was brought up in the video. The school system we have now is fairly rigid. With standardized tests and endless assignments, it seems like there isn’t much room for real learning, which is what school was supposed to be about. I’m planning on becoming a teacher in the future, but still I believe that there will be students who would benefit from learning at a different pace than the rest of their classmates. I’m going to try hard to foster a love of learning in my own students since I am passionate about the subject of Biology and make school more about learning, with assignments that matter. But still I know there will probably be at least a few students much more intelligent that their peers who probably won’t learn much from me. I hope in the future maybe more advanced classes can be offered at the middle and high school levels, so no student has to be held back.
      -Hannah Adams

    3. Christian Gallo Avatar
      Christian Gallo

      Hey Nick
      I agree that Aaron’s story is tragic yet impressive with all of his accomplishment at a young age. At first when I was watching the video it seemed like a happy video than it ended up turning dark with his suicide and the government constantly watching his move and accusing him of things. He also did use his time wisely to learn thing on his own instead of learning them at school.

  27. yulitorres21 Avatar

    Yuliana Torres

    Aaron Swartz is clearly a very interesting person. At a young age, Aaron showed advanced intelligence than the kids his age. Swartz did many impressive technological improvements in computers. He invented the RSS, which is short for “Really Simple Syndication”, which is a really complicated name for web feeds. However, because Swartz was so intelligent and knowledgable about computers, it led to his suicidal death in the year of 2013. Swarts was accused of hacking a locked computer. The government felt that Swartz was a threat because he knew about confidential information such was Westlaw documents. The government was afraid that Swartz would expose these documents to the public. It is a scary thought to think of the government making every move they can make to protect hidden information away from a direct democracy. This reminds me of the Edward Snowden, back in the year of 2013 as well. Edward Snowden was an American computer professional, former Central Intelligence Agency employee who had leaked classified information from the National Security Agency without prior authorization. I believe that Edward Snowden gave alarmed US citizens of a representative body government being sneaky about their operation system. Aaron Swartz and Edward Snowden were very similar, however Aaron unfortunately did not live to enhance societies technology even more than he already did.

    1. Ana Maya Avatar

      Hi Yuli!
      I think the reason the government focused so much on this case was because they saw Aaron Swartz as a threat. However, they depicted him as a criminal and accused him of several felonies. Aaron Swartz was simply fighting for the right to access such articles, which should be something that everyone should have access to. He advocated for basic rights we have as citizens. Watching this documentary reminded me of the time when I had a tumblr blog and everyone was reblogging posts that were about censoring the internet. At the time, I did not know what sort of consequences would arise if the government actually censored the internet. However, with watching this documentary, I know that Aaron was opposing the passing of this bill since that would mean so much of the things we have access to on the internet would completely vanish.

    2. Evan Burton Avatar


      Internet whistleblowers have often been at the center of debates over whether or not they were heroes. When Edward Snowden exposed the NSA in 2013, the first breaking news stories came from political groups calling him a traitor for his actions. I remember adults blindly following the news and calling Snowden a traitor, without understanding the basic components of his discovery. Snowden released documents which exposed a top secret surveillance system by the NSA, detailing the collections of cell phone and computer data from nearly every US citizen without their permission. I was surprised that Aaron Schwartz killed himself in 2013 as well, roughly 9 months before the Snowden leak. Even though he was dealing with his own criminal charges, I believe that witnessing the Snowden occurrence would have given him a second wind to fight for Internet rights. I had no knowledge of “hacktivists” or online whistleblowers until 2013, but it really opened my eyes to the deceptions that take place today within our own government.

  28. beentiredblog Avatar

    Kayla Tafoya-Sablan

    It’s pretty crazy how someone like Aaron Swartz who was not only a hacker and programmer but also someone who took a political stance in his own work. It’s really sad to think about someone who at such a young age was already ready to tackle social issues and a corrupt system. I wonder why not much of the prosecutor’s side was shown. There’s always two sides to every story but for the most part, it seems like Swartz kept a stance on doing good yet he was made to seem like some adversary of the government. It’s hard to say if I agree on whether or not copyright laws should have been more lenient and less restrictive because, I mean, if I made something, put in all this work, I’d feel betrayed by someone who would have tried to claim or copy and slightly alter what I originally had done. I’m sure he knew stealing was wrong. But I admire how Swartz ambition and willingness to make things fair. It’s sad when you think about how much was set up against him and how that may have led to his suicide. It’s a heavy weight to bare especially if you’re goal may have been a just one.

    1. nataliesantanablog Avatar

      Hey Kayla,
      I agree with you on how its so crazy and sad that someone at such a young age like Aaron was ready to tackle social issues and a corrupt system. I think Aarons story was so amazing and inspiring and then reality hits in and shows how our society is. Aaron was used to make an example of him. I also understand why you do not know whether to agree or not because if someone was trying to take credit for something that you worked so hard on, obviously you would not have liked it. But in his situation, they had dropped the charges but the government wanted to pursue the case no matter what because they wanted to prove a point. I also admire how he was so stuck on what was fair and he only wanted to do good. Knowing that he was going against a corrupt system was maybe too much for him, everything he was fighting for, he couldn’t do anything and it sucks that he had to take his own life because of how much he was going through.

      Natalie Santana

  29. jonathangirgis Avatar

    Jonathan Girgis

    Aaron Schwartz is an incredibly gifted programmer, and to lose him so early is a huge loss. In America, we have always strived to innovate, to push the boundaries of our knowledge. It is very surprising to see this kind of attitude, which Aaron clearly expressed, be instead fought against and punished. That can be a likely detriment to future innovation. Also, as someone who uses Reddit regularly, the website, to say the least, has had an impact on my life. The variety the site offers, and the different kinds of content one can access is invaluable. My main ‘subreddits’ or categories would be the filmmakers and the Askreddit subreddits. The filmmakers’ one has upvoted content which is relevant to my major/field, while the Askreddit subreddit has questions that are upvoted and quite interesting. Sure, the site has its fair share of memes and silliness, but there is usually content that is useful and even eye-opening. I know I’ve learned quite a bit from Reddit, and will continue to do so for a while. It is one of the main websites I regularly visit, and if it wasn’t for Aaron that wouldn’t be a reality.

  30. adamshannah96yahoocom Avatar

    This was a very powerful video that brought to my attention many policies and web-related facts I never knew about, or at least had never thought deeply about. I had never heard of the SOPA, though law makers attempted to enact its controversial policy just recently in my lifetime. Its was nice to see an unjust idea fought against and won in this case. But what really caught my attention was less a single bill, but more an idea that I strongly agree with: the sharing of information. I found myself more upset than I thought I would be hearing about for-profit websites charging high rates to access scholarly articles about research often paid for by grants or public funds. These sites didn’t fund the research, or put in the days to years necessary for a study to be complete. Yet here they are making a profit from this work. As a Biology student and a lover of science and all learning, I feel strongly that knowledge should not be something you are kept from because of a lack of money. Now I’m not one for saying all knowledge should be made accessible for everyone. As in, you probably shouldn’t have a site on the web that details step-by-step how to make an atomic bomb or anything just open to the public for anyone to see. My problem lies in people profiting from research they didn’t do that could really help someone. I think knowledge should only be as limited as your curiosity, which I think is how Aaron felt. I hope in the future policies will be enacted to increase our freedom, instead of restricting it, because information can be the key to a better world
    -Hannah Adams

  31. andyybui Avatar

    Andy Bui

    Wow. The art talk video this week was very interesting and hard hitting. This documentary had me engaged the whole time I was watching it. Aaron Swartz from a young age was very intelligent and his intelligence grew uncontrollably over the years. He was able to read at age three, worked on various startups at the age of twelve and thirteen. I feel that most important aspect about him was that he wanted to make the world a better place as stated in his blog. After making lots of money by selling Reddit and working with the company that purchased Reedit, he realized that he did not want to be part of that life. He much rather wanted to do actions that would better society such as allowing public access to public federal court documents. It was a shame for him to be prosecuted from downloading scientific journals and getting the attention of the FBI and the Secret Service. I feel like Aaron’s actions were blown out of proportion. The negative acts on how the government works, or how the world is run in general is really emphasized. All Aaron wanted to do was make the world a better place and not just make money.

  32. Ana Maya Avatar

    Aaron Swartz was a talented, innovating individual. At such a young age, he was already in love with learning new things, even being capable of reading earlier than most children. He was a bright man, with the strive for wanting others to want to learn like him. He was someone that was accused of malicious actions, all for downloading scholarly articles for the purpose of public accessibility. To be completely honest, I did not know about databases until I had to write my first essay in my English class last year (about privacy rights and how the government violates them). The university database offered me a vast of articles written by scholars, which in return would be used for my essay. With this being said, these articles were a great help for providing support for the claims I made on my essay. What Aaron wanted was for these articles to be accessible for everyone, not just selected universities who offered them to their students. As explained in the documentary, the government was being corrupt by allowing this to happen. I think Aaron’s death could have been prevented if the government chose to focus on actual crimes that were happening at the time. It’s a shame that this was the outcome of this case. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this documentary about Aaron Swartz.

    1. Jasmine Figueroa Avatar

      Hi Ana! I agree with what you said on how unfair it was for Aaron to have been condemned for attempting to bring academic accessibility to others, and for using his intelligence to bring forth documents that the government found may have been too dangerous for the general public to have access to. It’s unfortunate that such a brilliant mind was lost due to the secretive nature of their documents. Aaron wanted to make this world a better place but unfortunately got in the way of very powerful corporations and individuals, and this only serves as a reminder that the information we are given is only what the government chooses to have accessible to us.

    2. Melissa Rios Avatar

      Hey Ana. You came some really valid points. If weren’t for Aaron, we might not have access to academic journals. In my first semester of college, I had to use the library’s database and use a number of journals for a paper. Without really knowing it Aaron has affected our lifes. What saddens me the most is that all he wanted to do was better the world somehow with his work and although he actually accomplished that, he wasn’t alive to see it all. Aaron wasn’t able to feel that sense of accomplishment for helping others, because he was already gone. An individual that was only good to the world, was pushed to horrific extremities.

  33. Christian Gallo Avatar
    Christian Gallo

    Christian Gallo
    This video was very entertaining and i am amazed by all the accomplishments that Aaron Swartz did at such a young age. Not only was Aaron an intelligent person but he also wanted everyone to have access to articles. Aaron did nothing wrong and he also did things without any ill intent. The way the government punished him was to cruel. The most they could have done was just fine him. It was also wrong to take away his right to vote.

  34. Henry Pham Avatar

    There are many people that we take for granted or refuse to support despite their efforts to protect our society from our own government. They put themselves at risk to stand for our freedoms, only to receive backlash from the people they stand up from and the government which set the Constitution and upholds laws to protect our freedoms. Schwarts contributed so much to the development of the World Wide Web and the accessibility of information to the public. A political activist who concerned himself with the internet, he campaigned against the Stop Online Piracy Act, which would have threatened free speech and innovation. Furthermore, he downloaded public documents that were available through a paywall and made it accessible to the public without having to pay. In the end, his pursuit of keeping information free on the internet led to his arrest and trial, which was claimed by many to have been “overcharged,” meaning that they tacked on many unfair indictments which could not be proven. In the end, Schwarts committed suicide but left with us the importance of open access.

  35. kayaquarles Avatar

    Kaya Quarles

    Although documentaries tend to be on the more boring side, they have a lot of good information. I had never heard of Aaron Schwartz, so I was curious to hear what this documentary had to say. Aaron Schwartz is kind of a legend, in that he was so young in his field working with people twice his age and keeping up with then. An artist I used to listen to said something along the lines of seeing and feeling more things than even being able to buy a drink at the bar, which is the same case for Aaron. He wasn’t materialistic and was very humble, he just wanted to do something he enjoyed. Today many people base success off of wealth and assets, but I truly believe that Aaron Schwartz didn’t really care for that and I admire that. He was truly gifted and it saddens me that his knowledge is what pushed him over the edge.

    1. Andrew Nguyen Avatar
      Andrew Nguyen

      Hi Kaya!
      I also think Aaron Schwatz could be viewed as a legend. He was a young man who had a passion and knew a ton of knowledge. I liked his characteristics of being humble and caring. It is very sad how he passed because he knew so much. Thanks for sharing!
      Andrew Nguyen

    2. Bryan Aparicio Avatar

      Hey, Kaya,
      I completely agree with your perception of Aaron Swartz. I believe that he wasn’t in it for the publicity and recognition from people. He genuinely wanted to help people out to better them. Something that should arguably be available to the public ended up costing his life and it’s so disappointing. He was humble and although the outcome wasn’t as he planned, he is remembered as someone who tried to make a big difference for not only him but to everyone else too.

  36. Adrian Munoz Avatar

    Aaron Schwartz, what an interesting guy. At first, once I saw the name and time of this video I was expecting it to be a long boring documentary about some guy in politics. When it was a few minutes in I was sucked in and couldn’t keep my eyes off. Aaron is an intelligent young man who achieved many things at a young age. He truly enjoyed what he did and didn’t stop him even if the government didn’t approve. He made documents free and got in trouble for it. The government was very concerned of whether or not Aaron would leak some of the private documents the government has. Which even more establishes how corrupt the government is. In the end Aaron took his own life do to everything that was going on and thus another intelligent man lost.

  37. nataliesantanablog Avatar

    This video was incredible. I love that they began the video with home videos of Aaron. Just so amazed at how smart he was and he began at such a young age. He is one of the few kids who started doing what he loves at a young age and continued to do so throughout his unfortunately short life. Crazy, how Aaron at the age of 12 created something so similar to Wikipedia. It’s so sad to think that Aaron was only trying to do well, trying to bring public access to the public domain and that is was one the things that got him into so much trouble. This documentary has so much knowledge that I was not aware of. Something that really stunned me was the website PACER. It seems kind of like a scam and its crazy how much money they were making out of it. It’s amazing how he made connections and found out how some people were benefitting from certain things and no one ever knew about it. I think it’s ridiculous how he was being tried as a felon for downloading certain database. Facing up to 35 years in prison because of that? I think it’s unbelievable. I don’t know how he felt, knowing that the government didn’t want to drop the case only because they wanted to make an example of him. Only he knows how he felt and how much pressure he was under, so sad that he felt like he had no other choice but to take his own life.

  38. seewhychris Avatar

    I remember hearing about this case awhile back but I never gave too much thought into it or who the actual person was. Until this film I never knew the full story. Aaron Swartz was such an intelligent individual, an outcast with a special talent that only wanted to help his peers gain useful information but was instead taken down by the system and pressured to commit suicide. It just shows that we don’t really need schools or teachers to help us learn the things we are truly passionate about, Swartz is a great example. I feel that maybe it was his strong sense of rebellion that pushed him to work hard on his own craft, and with the realization of his work, he was set on making the world a better place. It makes me wonder what the government has that is so confidential that they would have to restrict it from the public. What are they plotting and is there something that Swartz was trying to warn us about? I feel like suicide wouldn’t have needed to be an option if Swartz was able to accomplish his goal, but with everything against him and him being the only one capable of causing so much havoc, he decided to end his own life.

  39. Monica Lock Avatar

    The story of Aaron Shwartz is so incredibly amazing. Prior to watching the video, I haven’t been interested in computer programming or anything related to coding at all. I love reading about kid geniuses and it was such an insightful documentary about his life from when he was younger and he used to teach his little brothers about everything he learned in school. It made me so happy how passionate he was about everything. The moment he learned something, he wanted to immediately tell anyone like his brothers or a panel of adults! He was so young and accomplished so many things and worked for many different companies including Reddit, Creative Commons, and Infogami. Like many others, I thought Aaron Shwartz was not treated fairly by the government. Although he hacked into private files, they shouldn’t have to prosecuted him to point where he committed suicide. Shwartz had such good intentions throughout his life. He just wanted to share the knowledge of the world- the exact reason why Reddit was created, so anybody could share their knowledge on specific topics with the internet world.

  40. Samuel De La Cruz Avatar

    Samuel De La Cruz

    This documentary has a very interesting insight on Aaron Swartz life and how it tragically ended. Aaron was a very bright young person that at a young age showed an understanding of computer programming and was able to help adults with internet programming. Aaron also was involved in developing reddit with his knowledge of computer and internet programming. As he got older he felt that large corporations were just keeping the rest of the world from the vast human knowledge accumulated throughout time. Aaron felt that these large corporations should not be allowed to lock up libraries of knowledge on the internet and charge large fees in order for people to view the documents. I also agree with Aaron especially since the documents and files of information have been paid for by public taxes and public government grants. It is a legal way for these large corporations to use the government to pay for the files and documents so they can lock the information on the internet and charge whatever fee they like. Like Aaron said “knowledge is power”, and with knowledge many things can be built and much power can come from knowledge.

    1. Andrew Nguyen Avatar
      Andrew Nguyen

      Hi Samuel,
      I agree that knowledge is power. I also think Aaron’s logic behind viewable documents. I believe that the internet should be a space where you could obtain things without paying high fees. I think its ironic how he took his life after coming to terms that he knew too much knowledge. Thanks for sharing.
      -Andrew Nguyen

  41. dschmitz137 Avatar

    Daniel Schmitz

    Well I want to start off by saying that documentary made me feel empty inside. Kind of. The incredible things Aaron was able to accomplish by the time he was my age makes me feel unimportant. That coupled with how his life turned out and how asinine the policies that ended up “causing” his death were made me feel even more empty. The government is supposed to be just, but as soon as there’s some kind of money to be made, people become selfish. If those federal documents are supposed to public, why do you have to pay $10 to read one of the documents? That’s ridiculous. And it stems from greed and the want for money.

    Aaron was fighting the good fight, but it got the best of him. The people on the other side pushed him too hard and now the world has lost one of the greatest minds of our generation.

    Aaron’s work kind of reminded me of the “You wouldn’t steal a car, then you shouldn’t download movies!” or whatever that anti-piracy ad is. I mean sure, yea, I wouldn’t steal a car, but stealing a downloading a copy of something are totally different. If you steal a car, you take somebody’s car. Simple as that. If you download a movie, you’re creating a copy of the car. No harm done to anyone. Hell, if you like the car enough then you can go ahead a pay full price for it after if you want to support the company that much. But that download doesn’t actually affect anyone, especially if the only “person” affected is multi-million or billion dollar company.

  42. Carlos Villicana Avatar

    I think it is truly a tragedy that a person like Aaron Swartz is gone from this Earth. I do not believe that what he did was a crime worthy of the punishments he was handed. Yes, taking all of those journals from the distributors is technically stealing, but there are worse crimes than that organizations like the FBI could be putting the resources used on Swartz towards. Swartz didn’t come off as a smug “I’m smarter than all of you” type who just wanted to cause a mess, but instead as a young person who was incredibly smart, knew he was incredibly smart, and wanted to share his abilities to help others rise above where they are. I agreed with his point that educational information should not be locked away how it is, as it can be used to help find ways to improve life (like the young man towards the end of the movie had). It is awful that Aaron felt like his life was ruined because of what the FBI had done to him, someone who was not a terrorist. An organization like them should not be wanting to “make an example of” someone like Mr. Swartz. They should be an organization that seeks to carry out justice, not carry out acts of vengeance. Aaron was absolutely right about the internet: it has been used for the best and worst possible uses. The efforts of people like Aaron to stop SOPA/PIPA and work towards a better humanity give me hope that using our resources for the best possible purpose will be the path we choose. The movie made me connnect with Aaron so much that I had an emotional reaction to his fate. I truly believe that the world would be a better place if more people were like Aaron Swartz, and if he were still on it.

  43. Jasmine Figueroa Avatar

    Aaron Swartz has proven to be an extraordinary mind from a very young age, and particularly impressed me with his creation of theinfo.org prior to the development of Wikipedia, as well as his early involvement with the creation of RSS. Eventually, Swartz’s interest moves into a more political ground, and confronting large and powerful corporations and people. He began to question the function of those that control our information sources, and most importantly, our government. The government’s disapproval of what Aaron was doing and the pending charges of computer fraud against him were in my opinion hugely unfair. The government’s fear of what could be revealed was so huge that they found that they had to imprison someone who would provide information that ideally wouldn’t have to be so shocking to the citizens they serve. Unfortunately, Aaron’s intelligence got in the way of a powerful institution which hides so much from us.

    1. Shalane Holm Avatar

      Jasmine, yes, Aaron’s downfall was his intelligence. He tried to play the game with the people who created the game. He inspired so many, and created so much.

    2. seewhychris Avatar

      I agree Jasmine, I truly wonder what would happen if Swartz continued to live. If he was able to impact our world and bring so much contribution to the internet at such a young age, I couldn’t imagine what he would be able to do in the future if he was in his prime. Sadly, he never lived long enough to do what I believe would be a revolutionary change. I guess that even if he were to live, the government would have kept him under watch and imprisonment, restricting him from being able to release any valuable information.

      1. pizzagreaterthanyou Avatar

        Hi Chris,

        I agree with what you said that even if he did live, the government would have kept him under watch and imprisonment. The government has more power and can manipulate the situation. If Swartz continued to live, his great ideas would’ve impacted our world and would’ve contributed so much to the internet.

  44. Shalane Holm Avatar

    Aaron Swartz was a young genius. He had these miraculous ideas that he was able to bring together to make communication through the Internet easier. His one flaw was thinking that he was exempt from the law, and faced time because of it. He pioneered his ideas through collaboration work. He had enough faith in himself to feel confident in dropping out of college to pursue his ideologically driven technical path. Aaron fought to be a voice for all internet users, and ended up being the sacrificial lamb so to speak to pay for his voice. We are lucky to have Reddit, which he helped create.

  45. Andrew Nguyen Avatar
    Andrew Nguyen

    Andrew Nguyen
    After watching this video and learning about Aaron Swartz I was amazed by how smart one individual could be. His family definitely talked about how smart and intelligence this man was. Although his knowledge of computers was beyond an average person, I believe that he was one of a kind. In addition, I feel that because of his knowledge he killed himself after being charged with hacking into a computer and obtaining documents. The government felt threatened by this individual and the skill he had with computers. I sometimes think the government works really hard to hide scandals and secrets about our nation and will do anything to protect things from the public. Sometimes we need to take a moment and realize how much technology has the ability to ruin our life in addition to enhancing it.

  46. Evan Burton Avatar

    Aaron Schwartz was a technological genius that reminded me very much of Edward Snowden, due to his intellect and desire to fight for freedom of information. This man disliked high school education because he believed that he could teach himself the material more thoroughly. Most people complain that their high school teachers aren’t adequate instructors, but he chose to sidestep the entire system and become a self-starter. Like Snowden, Schwartz achieved many goals at an early age. He was attending software conferences at the age of 14, while Snowden joined the CIA at 22. All of these characteristics were part of a personality that caused these people to risk their liberty for the sake of public information. Aaron Schwartz’s hacking of JSTOR and his following criminal charges probably caused his eventual suicide, but he always praised the openness of the Internet. The same attitude existed in Snowden, who was willing to face exile and prosecution for exposing the NSA surveillance program. For some reason, these gifted individuals felt the need to involve themselves in projects concerning saving the Internet. Because their lives revolved around the Internet, it may have been a need to protect a domain they considered a safe place.

  47. Melissa Rios Avatar

    This weeks art discussion, didn’t quite touch the topic of art. Instead, it touched the life of Aaron Swartz. An extremely unique person who only wanted to better the world and although he did, he wasn’t alive to be there for it. This documentary, was extremely mind blowing and interesting. I didn’t really know what to expect from a film that is called The Internet’s Own Boy, but throughout the film I only became more intrigued and fascinated by Aaron’s potential. From a very young age, his parents along with his siblings were amazed at what we was capable of doing. All of that capability lead Aaron to fulfill and accomplish a variety of things at such a young age. The document was eye opening because, it shows how manipulative the government could be. Aaron didn’t harm a single person throughout his life, yet because we wanted to prove a point and raise awareness towards something he didn’t agree upon, he was facing 35 years in prison, 11 violations and one million dollars worth of fines. I understand that what he did was illegal, but organizations that were making millions of dollars off of public records and academic journals was not right either. Aaron lived an extremely short life, he was intelligent and brave. It saddens and angers me to think how my government was basically at fault for his death.

  48. Abigail Manuel Avatar
    Abigail Manuel

    Though Aaron Swartz’s story is a tragic one, the thing that stood out to me the most in this video was the essence of it. The topic of the fact that the government will go to great lengths to keep information from the people was very reminiscent of research that I had done for my English class about the NSA. The government’s withholding information and collecting information is an illustration of the amount of power that the government has over the body of people that is America.

  49. irepbrian Avatar

    Brian Sath

    Before watching the video, I looked up Aaron Swartz. I found out a lot about him from the web and his trial and his charges. It made he seem like an individual that was a criminal, however, when I watched the movie, it portrayed him as a different individual. In my opinion, Aaron Swartz was an individual that was amazing and went above and beyond. This was shown in his academics and his curious nature. For an individual to learn how to read at the age of 3. For him to learn how to code for a Star Wars trivia game and then go on and create RSS with a committee only for them to find out that he is only 14. Along with that, he went above and beyond and learned Geometry and figured that he didn’t need a teacher to teach him. He went on to learn from books and kept enhancing his knowledge. I believe that he a pioneer in the world and he just wanted to help the community. I agree that knowledge shouldn’t be limited and that is why Aaron did what he did. Overall, I thought that this was one of the most interesting videos and biographies in general.

  50. maritessanne Avatar

    Maritess Inieto

    My attention was already grabbed when there were many voices saying many different things, and one of them being that Swartz was killed by the government. Saying such a statement is so bold. It also intrigued me when Swartz was described as unexcited to study businesses and make money, yet did just that. His brother describing that Aaron learned how to learn at a young age, already showed that this young many was intelligent from the start. Aaron Swarts began programming at a very young age, as well as teaching his brother algebra. He believed that with programming, there was always things to do. Being a 12 year-old and creating the info website was insane. He basically created a simple version of Wikipedia AS A 12 YEAR-OLD! If that doesn’t just blow your mind, I don’t know what will. At the age of 12, I was just using the computer to message friends. It peaked my interest to know that Aaron would much rather read books than go to class and get assisted learning from teachers. Personally, I am paying for my education as a college student and I am wishing that certain professors would be able to teach better because I am finding myself constantly self-learning, reading textbook after textbook. He didn’t appreciate busy work, which I agree with as well. At a very young age, Aaron Swartz already knew how to question life. I found myself not questioning anything serious until around my mid high school years. Although the downfall of his life was extremely saddening, when he commited suicide in 2013 after being charged with hacking a protected computer. So much brilliance and talent shortened his life.

  51. pizzagreaterthanyou Avatar

    Joy Uba 1pm

    I had no idea who Aaron Swartz was until this video. He was a very intelligent person and a genius growing up. At the beginning of the documentary, they said that Swartz was unexcited to study businesses and make money. His brother even described him as an intelligent child growing up and knowledgable. Swartz also started programming at a very young age, which was very intriguing. Programming is a difficult subject to learn and doing it at a young age is incredible. In regards to Swartz’s death, I read that the government killed him and portrayed it as a suicide. This is very controversial because the government does have a lot of power on anyone. It is just sad to hear the loss of a young intelligent individual who had a good intention.

  52. Bryan Aparicio Avatar

    I think it’s disappointing on what happened with Aaron Swartz. It was unfair for him because he was trying to not only better himself, but attribute to others’ learning. He was such a smart guy who just wanted better for himself instead of having limitations like society would prefer us to have. Because he wanted databases public to the people, he was punished severely by the government although his actions were anything but malice. Once again I think it was unfair treatment for someone who just wanted to make a difference, who wanted others to benefit just as much as he did off of knowledge that in the end would help everyone.

  53. Daniel Velazquez Avatar

    College students have a hard time trying to learn how to program, it is amazing how he learned how to program at only age 15. At this age he was writing his own programs of games. Knowing too much can be the cost of your freedom like it happened here. He hacked a computer with information the government did not want to release and they felt threatened by him. They chose to arrest him for what he knew. They could have taken a different approach and instead of taking him to jail given him a job creating firewalls for the government. If he was able to hack it as easy as he did anyone with the same skills as him can also hack and look at the information the government does not want anyone looking at.

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