:: Life Of Dave ::

a hacker's lament

I'm a developer. A programmer. A hacker. These aren't intended to be credentials, they simply represent how I think about the world. If I see a problem, I think about the steps I would take to fix it. In some cases, I take those steps, whether they involve a problem on my computer, where I might write a piece of code, or a problem with local government, where I might write letters to the responsible parties.

One of the things that concerns me most about concentrated power is that it takes away my ability to fix problems. Nameless faceless bureaucrats, be they politicians or employees at Facebook or Google, have no incentive to care if I've seen a problem I think I can fix. It's not worth their time.

This summer, a programmer who had written an extension for Google's 'Chrome' web browser wrote a post that went viral, talking about this very problem, when Google, for no particular reason, killed an app he had written that had 24,000 users. In the end, after much work to fix the problem, he just gave up.

This is the danger we find ourselves in. Concentrated power, in the form of two party systems that exclude third-party candidates or so-called 'walled gardens' that force us to operate only within the confines of what Google, or Apple, or Facebook deem acceptable, reduce the number of people willing to take the time to fix problems. So things don't get better. And all anyone really wants, hacker or not, is for things to get better.

I'll be sharing this post on Facebook. Because really, what other choice to I have if I want people to read it?