Two days back, Jonathan Eisen wrote a remarkable commentary that we recommend to all our readers.
Today is not an easy day for me.
I pause today to think about a person in my life.
This person was not Aaron Swartz, though I am thinking of him today too. The person I refer to was my father. On this day, February 7, 1987, my father Howard J. Eisen took his own life. I was a freshman in college then. Enjoying life on my own at Harvard. Exploring the world of new friends, academic pursuits, and the usual college antics. And then it all exploded. The details are a bit of a blur and most are not really important for what I write about here. But suffice it to say I was devastated.
Please read the rest at Tree of Life blog. As you can guess from the above snippet, it is not for light reading.
Both Jonathan and Mike Eisen are very creative scientists, and this place is too small to go over all their scientific accomplishments. We already featured Jonathan Eisen’s blog many times, but we also have very high respect for Mike Eisen for reasons unrelated to science. It is because when we wrote an unfavorable commentary about him and posted the link in his blog, he did not delete the link to make himself look good. Everyone can handle praise, but those who can handle criticism without losing temper are worthy of utter respect.
We hope this country continues to produce talented scientists and out-of-the- box thinkers like the Eisen brothers.
Edit. Mike Eisen wrote a separate commentary on his father’s suicide in his own blog that is highly worth reading.
I dont know what happened at this meeting, but somehow my father left feeling that he was under suspicion something everyone involved knew he was not. But whatever happened, it set something off.
Both of them chose to write on this personal topic because of Aaron Schwartz’s tragedy. We understand that it is very sensitive issue, but we do disagree with Mike on one point.
The second I read about what had happened with Aaron Swartz, the parallels made me lurch. They both snapped under accusatory pressure.
Based on our understanding of what is going on in this country over the last few years, Aaron Swartz was forced to commit suicide by the Federal Government. Government prosecutors gave him other options, which were as bad as committing suicide. The situation is far worse than their dad’s case, which itself was very tragic.