Consumers vs Creators

Sun 04 April 2010 | -- (permalink)

Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing says he won't buy an iPad, and thinks you shouldn't, either.  Unlike the old Apple ][ computers that even came with schematics so you could take them apart if you had a mind to, the iPad requires a professional to replace its rechargeable battery, and permission from Apple if you want to write software for it.  Without the freedom to follow our curiosity when it strikes, we don't make the transition from consumers to creators.  Doctorow quotes novelist William Gibson's memorable definition of a "consumer":

..something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth... no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote.