Aaron Swartz: The Boy Who Could Change the World (2016, The New Press) 4 stars

Perhaps at some point putting things on the front page of the New York Times guaranteed that they would be fixed, but that day is long past. The pipeline of leak to investigation to revelation to report to reform has broken down. Technologists can't depend on journalists to use their stuff; journalists can't depend on political activists to fix the problems they uncover.

Change doesn't come from thousands of people, all going their separate ways. Change requires bringing people together to work ona common goal. That’s hard for technologists to do by themselves.

But if they do take that as their goal, they can apply all their talent and ingenuity to the problem. They can measure their success by the number of lives that have been improved by the changes they fought for, rather than the number of people who have visited their website. They can learn which technologies actually make a difference and which ones are merely indulgences. And they can iterate, improve, and scale.

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.

The Boy Who Could Change the World by  (Page 73)