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Aaron Swartz’s Blog Post

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If your company just got bought for several million dollars by one of the biggest publishing companies in the U.S., and you moved from your cramped bedroom office or whatever to the luxurious San Francisco offices of the legendary Wired magazine, what would you do?

If you’re Aaron Swartz – whose social-bookmarking site Reddit just got bought by Conde Nast – you would write a blog post complaining about the soulless, grey office with the crapped-up corporate laptops and the traffic noise.

Aaron’s post is quite the litany of grief, from the white noise and the unhelpful IT department to the inability to get anything done. As I was reading it, I found myself ping-ponging back and forth – from sympathizing with someone who is clearly a creative and frustrated individual who is now part of a large, corporate machine, to wanting to shake him by the throat and shout: “Dude, your company got bought and you live in San Francisco, for chrissake! Grow up!”

At one point, he complains that to escape from his soul-crushing day he has to go bike-riding and stay out until 3 partying. Yeah, I’m all choked up. It’s interesting to read the comments on Aaron’s post (which has no doubt pleased his new corporate masters to no end). Some are definitely sympathetic, and advise him to get headphones, work at home and so on – or quit and start another company. Others are of the “grow up” variety.

One guy says his post sounds like a letter home from camp, in which the camper complains about everything from his bunkmates to the food. But my favourite comment appears to be from Steve Huffman, co-founder of Reddit, who says simply “Speak for yourself, man.”

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Mathew Ingram is a
technology writer and blogger for the Globe and Mail, a national
newspaper based in Toronto, and also writes about the Web and media at
www.mathewingram.com/work and www.mathewingram.com/media.

Aaron Swartz’s Blog Post
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