In the 1980’s I discovered the Sinclair ZX81 and then the Sinclair Spectrum. Even though I was still a teenager I could immediately see the potential for using these information machines to make media and artwork (and a lot of games!).
Then the Dark Forces moved in. I was introduced to Windows 95. BAD mistake. Is it any coinidence that what is running on a computer seems to reflect what is going on in your own mind ? Of course it is’nt, if you think about it. We only install, or put up with, on our computer what we would put up with in real life. The argument about “what is better Windows or Linux?” is often referred to as a “Religious Argument”. Again, no coincidence pal !
Mark Shuttleworth, one of the leaders of the Ubuntu Linux Distribution obviously revels in bringing open source tools to individuals and struggling countries alike. This is the guy who went into space using money made in the dot com revolution. He evangelises about Open Source software.
This all may seem like some Geeky version of Paradise where we all run wild in our Linux Garden of Eden, but I think it reflects a greater process going on here. The Twentieth Century is over, but I think we’re just starting to deal with and change the entrenched attitudes and ideas that have held back the Human Race for hundreds of years. We make advanced information machines .. why not use them properly ? The same with our own minds … “be careful what software you run in your brain” as a friend said to me (actually I paraphrase him .. thankyou John Whale). Text is the code .. you read it and it programs your brain. Actually I feel uncomfortable with that.. we are not computers. I’m just talking metaphors here. But “manipulated minds are making an escape” to quote a Hip Hop track I have.
Linux, The International Space Station, you could probably insert your own list here, but my point is … don’t concentrate on the problem areas on this Planet at the moment. You’ll just get sucked in ! There is no shame or guilt in “ignoring” those situations. As people roll along with this revolution then new ways of looking at things will be naturally discovered, new perspectives… THEN that will feed back into problem areas and change them .. for the better.