Professor Lawrence Lessig in his blog writes:

Aaron had literally done nothing in his life “to make money.” He was fortunate Reddit turned out as it did, but from his work building the RSS standard, to his work architecting Creative Commons, to his work liberating public records, to his work building a free public library, to his work supporting Change Congress/FixCongressFirst/Rootstrikers, and then Demand Progress, Aaron was always and only working for (at least his conception of) the public good. He was brilliant, and funny. A kid genius. A soul, a conscience, the source of a question I have asked myself a million times: What would Aaron think? That person is gone today, driven to the edge by what a decent society would only call bullying. I get wrong. But I also get proportionality. And if you don’t get both, you don’t deserve to have the power of the United States government behind you.

What does I get wrong and But I also get proportionality mean in this context?

2 Answers 2


To get something is to understand it:

get : 13. (transitive, informal) To understand (often used as get it).
Yeah, I get it, it's just not funny.
I don't get what you mean by "fun". This place sucks!

So he understands that what Aaron did was wrong, but he feels that the treatment Aaron received was not proportional to the crime or how others with similar convictions were treated.


The meaning of get here is "to understand*.

The structure of the clause could be clearer if wrong had been italicised.

I get wrong.

Because he's said above that if the allegations against Aaron were true, then he had done something wrong.

In "I get wrong", then the use of wrong here is to refer to that previously addressed argument, and say that it is a concept that he understands (likewise proportionality in the next statement).

Note, you don't have to italicise like I did above, and Professor Lessig's use was still correct, but you can italicise it, and perhaps it'll be easier to get the meaning. (Same sense of "get" here).

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