Why the Great Glitch of July 8th Should Scare You
Zeynep Tufekci
1.4K43

Part of the reason, as you point out, is that we are so ensorcelled by the promises of software that we seemingly can’t help but attempt to apply it to almost any problem. It’s a version of “if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.” We’ve done this with previous technologies. Look no further than the internal combustion engine, where we have historically wrested increased efficiency from a mechanical-chemical process, but increasingly at a loss, as Phineas points out in his comment, of users having any ability to interact with the process. That is, from the point of view of manufacturers, the softwarification of something means you can lock users out, even hold them liable for legal damages if they attempt to modify a device that they have paid good money for — this has become one of the rallying cries of the maker movement. What too many people don’t realize is that we are, in the process of limiting access, also limiting the space within which potentially new ideas emerge.

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