nil.enroll(aetheric_username, quantum_class_id) (adric) wrote,
nil.enroll(aetheric_username, quantum_class_id)

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Choices: Kindle, eBook Reader, OLPC XO ?

An excerpt of a newly drafted run through some of the technology choices available today, inspired by the almost simultaneous launches of Amazon Kindle and OLPC XO. Please read and comment on this excerpt or the whole draft, thanks!

If you could choose...

If you could pick, what kind of gadget would you want? If you actually have to pay money (probably a great deal of it) for a device, why would you choose one that puts so many restrictions on what you can do with it? Is there a huge market for books that you can't share, music that you can't play at a party, movies you can't watch where e'er you happen to be, and content that can't be donated to a public library even if you pay full price for it? Who actually wants a programable computer that you can't add software to, or at least fix the bugs in the software you already have? Who wants to be on a national or global network but have access to only a tiny selection of approved material? If you do decide to pay for access to something, should your price be different than the one charged somewhere else? If you move to another country would you mind paying for all of your licensed content again to gain access? You can pick, and maybe you already have. Don't worry if you already did because you'll get another chance to choose soon. Right?

As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.

* Commissioner Pravin Lal, "U.N. Declaration of Rights"

Full text is here under CC copyleft. The Alpha Centauri quote is Copyright 1999 Sid Meier and Firaxis Games. Go buy one of their games, you might learn something.
Tags: rant

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