Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Jan 2012 19:12 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Late last year, president Obama signed a law that makes it possible to indefinitely detain terrorist suspects without any form of trial or due process. Peaceful protesters in Occupy movements all over the world have been labelled as terrorists by the authorities. Initiatives like SOPA promote diligent monitoring of communication channels. Thirty years ago, when Richard Stallman launched the GNU project, and during the three decades that followed, his sometimes extreme views and peculiar antics were ridiculed and disregarded as paranoia - but here we are, 2012, and his once paranoid what-ifs have become reality.
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stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

You are exactly right.

BUT, the issue is that over time the knowledge will be lost and thus the war over who owns your data/software.

I'm not saying using Linux/android is inherently harder than windows/IOS because it isn't. What I'm saying is that people aren't bothering to learn about what and why they use software because it's not required anymore.

There are going to be a lot of kids who will be growing up right now with tablets and phones who will possibly never even use a computer at school or at home. I work for a few private schools who's goal is to replace the current student laptop program with personal devices by 2014.

With highly specialised and highly compartmentalised devices, there is no incentive to learn anything other than how to open and consume your favourite things.

That's the crux of the whole issue here, by hiding restriction and control behind ease of use we are forgetting about maintaining the same levels of freedom along the way.

Skills and knowledge are lost on the general population as they become more specialised, it's been happening forever. But as computers become a bigger part of our lives each year, this isn't a skill that should be left to specialists.

Reply Parent Score: 6

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

stabbyjones,

"I work for a few private schools who's goal is to replace the current student laptop program with personal devices by 2014."

I've always been wary of the proliferation of closed devices, but I've never really thought about this angle before. If kids get pushed away from open computers in favor of closed and much less powerful tablets at school (whatever the actual motivation), then we may be discouraging them from joining the open software community and benefiting from it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

"I'm not saying using Linux/android is inherently harder than windows/IOS because it isn't."

This was the one thought I agreed with: Linux is harder.

"With highly specialised and highly compartmentalised devices, there is no incentive to learn anything other than how to open and consume your favourite things."

Disagree. This is an overly pessimistic view that open advocates cling to. Difficulty doesn't inspire my curiosity. Nor does being exposed to the guts; sometimes a closed box is more inspiring than an open one. Inspiration and curiosity are innate to humanity.

This is also a putdown: it's not that easy or closed just enables consumption. Easy and closed can foster creativity in any number of ways, including promoting programming.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

jared_wilkes,

"sometimes a closed box is more inspiring than an open one. Inspiration and curiosity are innate to humanity."

"This is also a putdown: it's not that easy or closed just enables consumption. Easy and closed can foster creativity in any number of ways, including promoting programming."

There are a number of ways closed software is promoted, but this is a new one by me. Closed boxes inspire humanity? Closed fosters creativity and promotes programming? Wow...Talk about being a contrarian.

Reply Parent Score: 2