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    The New Yorker | Larissa MacFarquhar | 3/3/13 | 60 min
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    The New Yorker
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    • thorgalle
      4 months ago

      Impressive article. Not only the content, also the format: the writer quoted many passages from Aaron's own blog articles and (interviews with?) his close friends/family. These were weaved together with her commentary to form a multi-faceted picture of a man with both troublesome and admirable characteristics.

      I haven't read or seen other material on Aaron yet. When I do, I feel this article will bring some healthy nuance to the table.

      He had a beautiful willingness to change his mind completely.” It is a vertiginous thing to have so much freedom—to be always self-skeptical, always testing the reasons for your beliefs, always prepared to abandon them for something better. If you can do anything you want, then every day becomes an existential problem—an empty space of possibility that has no ceiling but also no walls and no floor.

    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      5 months ago

      Excellent! Devastating! Contemplative!

      Most people, it seems, stretch the truth to make themselves seem more impressive. I, it seems, stretch the truth to make myself look worse. At CodeCon the other day, all sorts of people asked me what I was working on these days. I could have said “I’ve been put in charge of Roosevelt Labs, a center to write cool software with political implications.” Or I could have said “I’m writing a book about how the world really works.” But instead I say, “Oh, nothing, just focusing on schoolwork.” . . . The other night, when [redacted] asked me why I switched from computer science to sociology, I said it was because Computer Science was hard and I wasn’t really good at it, which really isn’t true at all. The real reason is because I want to save the world. Maybe I didn’t say that because it sounds sort of crazy. (2005)