Aaron Swartz Quotes

“Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. What people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“People shouldn’t be forced to categorize themselves as “gay,” “straight,” or “bi.” People are just people. Maybe you’re mostly attracted to men. Maybe you’re mostly attracted to women. Maybe you’re attracted to everyone. These are historical claims — not future predictions. If we truly want to expand the scope of human freedom, we should encourage people to date who they want; not just provide more categorical boxes for them to slot themselves into. A man who has mostly dated men should be just as welcome to date women as a woman who’s mostly dated men.

So that’s why I’m not gay. I hook up with people. I enjoy it. Sometimes they’re men, sometimes they’re women. I don’t see why it needs to be any more complicated than that.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“Creativity comes from applying things you learn in other fields to the field you work in.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“I think deeply about things and want others to do likewise. I work for ideas and learn from people. I don’t like excluding people. I’m a perfectionist, but I won’t let that get in the way of publication. Except for education and entertainment, I’m not going to waste my time on things that won’t have an impact. I try to be friends with everyone, but I hate it when you don’t take me seriously. I don’t hold grudges, it’s not productive, but I learn from my experience. I want to make the world a better place.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“Think deeply about things. Don’t just go along because that’s the way things are or that’s what your friends say. Consider the effects, consider the alternatives, but most importantly, just think.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“Before I went to college I read two books. I read a book “Moral Mazes” by Robert Jackall which is a study of how corporations work, and it’s actually a fascinating book, this sociologist, he just picks a corporation at random and just goes and studies the middle managers, not the people who do any of the grunt work and not the big decision makers, just the people whose job is to make sure that things day to day get done, and he shows how even though they’re all perfectly reasonable people, perfectly nice people you’d be happy to meet any of them, all the things that they were accomplishing were just incredibly evil. So you have these people in this average corporation, they were making decisions to blow out their worker’s eardrums in the factory, to poison the lakes and the lagoons nearby, to make these products that are filled with toxic chemicals that poisoned their customers, not because any of them were bad people and wanted to kill their workers and their neighbourhood and their customers, but just because that was the logic of the situation they were in.

Another book I read was a book “Understanding Power” by Noam Chomsky which kind of took the same sort of analysis but applied it to wider society which you know we’re in a situation where it may be filled with perfectly good people but they’re in these structures that cause them to continually do evil, to invade countries, to bomb people, to take money from poor people and give it to rich people, to do all these things that are wrong. These books really opened my eyes about just how bad the society we were living in really is.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“Growing up, I slowly had this process of realizing that all the things around me that people had told me were just the natural way things were, the way things always would be, they weren’t natural at all. They were things that could be changed, and they were things that, more importantly, were wrong and should change, and once I realized that, there was really no going back.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“a piece of knowledge, unlike a piece of physical property, can be shared by large groups of people without making anybody poorer.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

“Real education is about genuine understanding and the ability to figure things out on your own; not about making sure every 7th grader has memorized all the facts some bureaucrats have put in the 7th grade curriculum.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. What people say intelligence just boils down to curiosity.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“You only get to see your own perspective. And even our mistakes make sense from our perspective — we see all of the context, everything that led up to it. It all makes sense because we saw it happen. When we screw up, it’s for a reason. When other people screw up, it’s because they’re screwups.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“The scary thing is that the more open our markets get, the faster people can move their money around and the more trading is based on this kind of speculation instead of serious analysis. And that’s scary because—recall—the whole point of the stock market is to decide the crucial question of what we, as a society, should build for the future. As Keynes says, “When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“Transparency can be a powerful thing, but not in isolation. So, let’s stop passing the buck by saying our job is just to get the data out there and it’s other people’s job to figure out how to use it. Let’s decide that our job is to fight for good in the world. I’d love to see all these amazing resources go to work on that.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

“Indeed, school was so important that the mill owners quickly decided to make it mandatory. “No language of ours can convey too strongly our sense of the dangers which wait us from [those who] are not and have never been members of our public schools,” warned the Lowell School Committee. Universal schooling is “our surest safety against internal commotions.”‡”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“The indoctrination centers (notably schools) weren’t doing their job properly and so a back-to-basics approach with more rote memorization of meaningless facts and less critical thinking and intellectual development was needed. This was mainly done under the guise of “accountability,” for both students and teachers.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“In other words, instead of providing a place for a group of like-minded people to come together, magazines provide a sampling of what a group of like-minded people might say in such an instance so that you can pretend you’re part of them.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“The director J. D. Walsh says good stories should be like the poster for Transformers. There’s a huge evil robot on the left side of the poster and a huge, big army on the right side of the poster. And in the middle, at the bottom, there’s just a small family trapped in the middle. Big stories need human stakes.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“Think deeply about things.
Don’t just go along because that’s the way things are or that’s what your friends say.
Consider the effects, consider the alternatives, but most importantly, just think.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

“All censorship should be deplored.”
― Aaron Swartz

 

 

“There is no justice in following unjust laws.”
― Aaron Swartz

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