The Rhetoric of Presentation: The Death of Aaron Swartz

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In addition to my previous post about MIT’s involvement and questions concerning Swartz’ case, I am including several articles that I found worthy of investigating. The following information depicts Aaron as yet another human interest piece…a tragic, lost soul who committed suicide after a long and heart wrenching investigation that did not looking promising. Using Media Master Marshall McLuhan’s Theories of Media Control, we are left with a series of political, social, and cultural questions that we must probe in order to rise above the phantasmagoria of the media.

A series of accounts in reference to the historical moments that led up to Aaron Swartz suicide and free culture movement:

Cowritten by Swartz himself, read the Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto (2008)

(March 2013)

NY Times Coverage of Aaron’s Life & Death: A Questionable Narrative

Rolling Stone Magazine’s Coverage of Aaron’s Life & Death: A Tragedy

The Atlantic Wire Coverage of Aaron’s Life & Death: The Unknowable Truth

Injustice for New Media Activist: Aaron Swartz


Newsworthy indeed… after an extended hiatus, I am finally enthralled enough to engage in dialogue on the free culture movement that began not long ago.

For those familiar with the death of Aaron Swartz, and his previous involvement with “illegally” accessing and downloading thousands of JSTOR academic articles to the public domain, his sudden death and the months leading up to it are full of both mystery and tragedy. JSTOR did not press charges against Swartz for releasing information. That much is true. So who is to blame? Was he targeted by federal authorities? To what extend should his actions been punishable? What role did MIT play in his arrests and prosecution & even his suicide?

The supposed “neutrality” of MIT in this case is upsetting…is this the money talking? What does the 180 page report on MIT’s involvement really suggest?  What does Aaron’s death say about the rhetoric of news presentation? So many questions have gone unanswered. I feel a sense of duty to his free cultural movement, and to the Millennial Generation– we need to inform others about this suggestively abusive case. I know where I stand as a new media & free culture activist; I am under the impression that I have much to learn about the history behind this case, but I am still certain that as a member of the digital age, we are all entitled to share information. I am fulfilling that purpose.

“In an open letter, the M.I.T. president, L. Rafael Reif, applauded the “careful account” that he said set “the record straight by dispelling widely circulated myths.” The report, he said, “makes clear that M.I.T. did not ‘target’ Aaron Swartz, we did not seek federal prosecution, punishment or jail time, and we did not oppose a plea bargain.” -NY Times

As unclear as everything may seem, it is imperative that we decide what is right….each of us have as much power as Aaron once did..

What do you believe?

NY Times Full-Article

180 page MIT Report:



Probing: What Are Media? A Tribute To MM

what are media?

do they feed our criteria

do they sleep in their electronic stations

do they fulfill our digital infatuations

do they make up their own abbreviations

world wide web is the www

television is the tv

a performance within a performance

extending our senses

amputating our perceptive fences

pervasive, invasive, superabrasive

what are media?

capitalist propaganda

the devil wears prada

selling our sexual drive

media are the dull knives

that anesthetize and organize

our digital dominate lives

cutting into our senses

to numb the criticism

to invite the narcosis

and hypnotize the humanism

leaving us to our devices

those lonely vices

what are media?

mind-fi enhances wi-fi

it retrieves social interaction

and obsolesces normal conversation

dissects daily dialogue

reverses the tribal man:

he is the cosmic man

in the global village

lost in translation

drowned by the vortex

of the digital gods

and the new media lords

weakened and softened by the strength and roughness of the new era.

he is addicted to the galaxy that imposes this new literacy of media.

one that was written in 1963–


Writing From The Body


Writing From The Body

Fusing three elements:
The Body
Neutrality (gender and b&w)
Photography as extension of man

What is Media’s Mediocrity?

Photo Credits: (from top left) Pablo Salvado– SUA art gallery 2010-2011, D’Lo–queer hindu hip hop artist, lips/eyes street art piece in Buenos Aires– me, Tumblr photograph


Digital Manifesto: I Believe


Here is our spin on Valerie Solanas’ SCUM [Society for Cutting Up Men] Manifesto…we chose to incorporate several themes within her work, including: extermination of man, man as selfish, man as a machine ect… The thematic song playing with the GIF (graphics interchange format) is called “I Believe” and is performed by Lou Reed.