“I did not know Aaron Swartz, unless you count having copies of a person’s entire digital life on your forensics server as knowing him … I was the expert witness on Aaron’s side of US vs Swartz, engaged by his attorneys last year to help prepare a defense for his April trial … I cannot speak as to all of the problems that contributed to Aaron’s death, but I do strongly believe that he did not deserve the treatment he received while he was alive. It is incumbent on all of us to figure out how to create some positive change out of this unnecessary tragedy.”
– Alex Stamos, The Truth about Aaron Swartz’s “Crime”
“[Jaroslav Flegr] began to suspect that a single-celled parasite in the protozoan family [carried by house cats] was subtly manipulating his personality, causing him to behave in strange, often self-destructive ways. And if it was messing with his mind, he reasoned, it was probably doing the same to others.
“..if Flegr is right, the “latent” parasite may be quietly tweaking the connections between our neurons, changing our response to frightening situations, our trust in others, how outgoing we are, and even our preference for certain scents. And that’s not all. He also believes that the organism contributes to car crashes, suicides, and mental disorders such as schizophrenia. When you add up all the different ways it can harm us, says Flegr, “Toxoplasma might even kill as many people as malaria, or at least a million people a year.”
The “In loving memory of Ricky Garduno” at the end of Family Guy’s “Tom Tucker: The Man and His Dream” episode prompted a search for Ricky Garduno which led to this heartfelt and searching illustrated tribute to him.
“[W]hen you look at the numbers, it’s stunning how little this Republican primary electorate resembles the rest of the United States. They are much closer to the population of 1890 than of 2012.” c/o @syntheticpubes
“We just didn’t get the return on investment we needed from the Facebook market, so we shut it down pretty quickly,” Sheetz said in a telephone interview. “For us, it’s been a way we communicate with customers on deals, not a place to sell.”
The death of Gary Speed came up in the pub. Some expected a revelation as an explanation, others hoped there wasn’t a big reveal as without one people might take depression more seriously. Another commented that suicide was “selfish”.
I think suicide is far from selfish. Selfish is taking others with you. A suicide alone is someone driven to an end from which they saw no alternative. An answer they may have been considering for a long time and never felt able to discuss.
We hear friends and family say that if only they had talked to someone then they might have been saved. But it’s that lack of self that has them at that point, and the stigma we attach to suicide and depression makes it hard for people to talk. It’s for us to recognize depression as an illness, diagnose sooner, and dispel the stigma. We shouldn’t call a suicide selfish and potentially stop anyone from opening up.
No one left behind should bear the burden of feeling they weren’t there for someone, but equally we should understand that that person wasn’t turning their back on them. That person was unable to see that those backs weren’t turned.
And if you feel suicidal, know that there are people to talk to. Talk to them.
Use twitter to point out that suicide is a tragedy, and that help is always available. Link to helpline organisations such as The Samaritans, especially if you are ‘breaking’ the story http://bit.ly/aNyqFXRemind media sources monitoring trends that there are established guidelines for reporting on suicide. http://bit.ly/bEvJ7iUse hashtags to get your messages into the stream/trending about the incident. Use short key messages about suicide and/or stigma. Things like #suicide, Don’t hide it, Talk about it.
Post links about what to do if you are concerned about someone who might be suicidal, such as http://bit.ly/bjEsDS
Out of respect for the family, don’t suggest that a suicide was result of, or solution to a situation/event.
Don’t discuss the method of suicide.
Re-tweet messages from reliable sources, such as established mental health organisations.
Suicide is not a crime in the UK. People do not ‘commit suicide’; they take their own lives.