So, here’s a question I’d like to put to all you hackers out there that do all the great things that I think gnome is, gnome and the free software movement in general is something that has tought me alot about communicating and compromising with people and I think its important first to take into account some of the positive things about computing in general before I go and question it… I guess I only feel that way because I’ve invested a small handfull of the limited years of my life into computing and I dont believe in regrets – so there must be something or some reason for me to have spent all that time computing.
Well, back to the real question… “Why do we do it ?”, well here are my personal reasons for better or worse:
- Jukeboxes: I’ve been writing jukeboxes for over 6 years now, at first I was just an uneducated street kid with a talent for problem solving that took up computing as a hobby. Later I think I was attracted to the sheer ambition of it – in short, all the wrong reasons… I did it for money, for recognition from my familly & community around me… the one reward is after a long night of coffee & cigarettes I could get a moment of “Eurika !”
- Glade: Well free software is a different story – I got into contributing to free software just because I think its a great way for people to rebel, “we the people who refuse to feed the machine will make it on our own thankyou” – these dreams of mine are unfortunately not very well recieved, many free software groups are so tightly bound to huge evil moneymaking corporations that I get the feeling the difference between open source and free software is a line that is getting more and more blurry. That doesnt mean the battle is lost, but it also doesnt mean that free software is of any more practicle use to the world then proprietary software – its just software and thus is most probably a waste of time.
- Breakdance: I know I’m a pure bboy through and through because I do it purely for the love of the art – this gives me meaning in life because I can teach by example, I express myself and through my own expressions I can show people thier own true potential through myself – standing up for your own beliefs and not being scared to express them is of the highest personal value – this is the sole responsability that comes with being human; one man cant change the whole world but at least he can express his beliefs… even if it costs him his livelyhood or “prestigous reputations”.
So – I think we can all agree that Jukeboxes arent going to make the world a better place, I can tell you straight up that they’re not helping global warming – they also support record labels – which is just another means of massmarketing art – that means everyone gets to listen to one artist on thier CD player – and all the other artists starve – people hardly go to see local artists at shows, and as a further result – people dont meet one another at shows/plays/operas because now they can all have the luxury of drowning their brain on their own tv set
How about the desktop PC ? what is the desktop doing to stop global warming ? not to mention video games – i.e. the successor of what used to be the child’s imagination, what will become of our next generation as a result of our mindless obsession with these boxes hooked up to screens just plugging us into web ? (or plugging us “out of the real world”) ?
I’m writing this and posting it because I’m sitting here at my workplace trying to figure out what kind of moral justifications I have for being at this job, I do indeed feel guilty for sitting here and doing absolutely nothing usefull/helpfull to the world, so what will I do ? can you convince me that there is some point to computing ?