[permaculture] Software thoughts (Was: Help and conversations for possibility AND action)
jedd at progsoc.org
Sat Jan 20 22:15:44 EST 2007
Okay - I can grok the historical aspects. (Though did you know that
the WIMP (Windows, Icons, Mouse, Pull-down menus) was not invented
by Apple, but rather Xerox? The same mob that invented the photocopier
and ethernet networks, but couldn't imagine any business market for
either. From memory, Apple commenced a law suit against Microsoft,
years ago, for plagiarising their GUI environment -- up until they
were in turn sued by Xerox for exactly doing exactly the same thing.
Unsurprisingly both law suits fell through. This is relevant only
insofar as to distill the popular myth -- one that Steve Jobs is more
than happy for people to believe -- that Apple invented the 'modern
computer desktop environment'. They did not.)
But yes, as I say, I get the usability aspect - particularly back in
the mid to late 80's, PC's were pretty unpleasant things to use.
I see that gap having closed substantially in recent years, however,
with most graphics and DTP professionals (for example) conceding that
there's very little functionality difference between working with
their favourite apps on either MS-Windows or Mac OSX.
The virus prevalence thing .. well, there's mixed thoughts on that.
As you know, I've no love for things Microsoft. (Coincidentally, they
probably feel similarly towards me at the moment -- in my current
gig I'm looking at ways of avoiding spending $280k with them,
and expect I'm destined for all kinds of nastiness.)
] Macs still hold the edge in user-friendly function, which for
] many permies is a great advantage.
The thing is, Mac OSX and Microsoft Windows (and most of the
application software that people run on top of these things) are
closed-source and very expensive. Those two things are typically
eschewed (in other arenas) by Permaculture types.
The fact that the money spent on that software heads overseas, and
not-very-indirectly gets spent by regimes performing all kinds of
activities that Permy types also disagree with, is just icing, IMHO.
That it supports a corporatist world, rather than community (either
physically, or virtually, local to oneself) can't be good, either.
I'm not suggesting ease of use is a bad thing in and of itself --
rather think of it as an observation that it's easier for most people
to head down to Coles / Tescos / Walmart and buy their GM'd
glyphosate-laden tomatoes, and that there may be some parallels to
be made in here somewhere. Ease of use versus compromising a
larger ethical framework.
(Mind, I'm well aware I'm in no position to cast stones at all with
this stuff, as my ethical framework is precarious to say the least.
I'm currently working for various organisations that advocate the
invasion of other countries, the death penalty, and the locking up
of small children.)
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