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I'm Dave, one of the founders of the Recurse Center.

iPad Anxiety

December 27, 2013

Our company bought each employee an iPad Mini as a holiday gift, but mine has been sitting on my kitchen table, unopened, for over a week. I think I will end up opening and using it, but I am conflicted.

If I decide to use the iPad, I will be further giving up my freedom to choose what software I run on my computers, and further buying into a world where no one has that freedom. I also realize that whether or not I personally choose to use the iPad has next to no effect on everyone’s freedom to run software not approved by Apple or other hardware vendors in the future. Absent another iPad sized tectonic shift in how we do our computing, it is a foregone conclusion that companies will control what software we are allowed to run.

None of this is helped by the fact that I just reread Cory Doctorow’s excellent articles on the coming war and civil war over general purpose computing.

I want a future where computer users get to decide what software they run and who to trust, but I don’t know what I should do to make that future a reality. In the face of these trends, I feel powerless.