[Editor’s Note: Coder and activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide Jan. 11, 2013 in New York. He was 26 years old. See Wired’s early coverage for details.]
When a great baseball or basketball player leaves the game they retire his or her number. That means the jersey hangs from the ceiling, or there’s a plaque at the stadium, and no player on the team ever wears that number again.
On the web, retiring a number would mean the website is permanently registered, and the content is preserved so it lasts as long as the web does. That means the contents of aaronsw.com will be there forever. It will never become a porn site, or a landing page, or whatever.
Right now there is no way to do this. Isn’t that strange. We could fix it if we want. The internet is just software. It would be a small but worthwhile hack and could set a precedent for future memorials.
Something to think about!