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What we lost

Angelo Pesce in Is true hacking dead? What we lost.:

We lost all of this, basically all. We live in a time where it’s impossible not to interface with a computer, computing is cheap and immensely powerful, yet it’s nearly impossible to understand and contribute to it.


Now, to a degree this is entirely reasonable, when something becomes commoditized it’s just another thing to be used, it loses its appeal. We buy cars and go to mechanics, right? We don’t know how to peek inside the engines anymore…

But what is striking to me is how that ideology is completely lost as well, replaced with one that prioritizes theoretical freedoms over actual ones.

We replaced the Commodore 64, which was entirely closed, proprietary yet hackable, with a linux-based monstrosity like the Raspberry-Pi, which is mostly opensource from what I understand (on the software side of things), yet might as well just be booting Windows and the vast majority of its uses would remain identical. It’s a cheap and fun toy for programmers, sure, but it mostly (entirely?) fails at making computation more accessible, which was its original goal.

i.e. Open Source alone doesn’t mean shit, if it’s not simple at the same time.