The Digital Prime Directive

Aug. 22, 2020 [technology]

A popular science fiction television series introduced the concept of the Prime Directive. A directive which establishes that it is not only wrong, but harmful, to introduce advanced technology such as warp propulsion to developing civilizations which have not yet independently developed it on their own. The developing civilization invariably does not understand what has been given to them and ends up abusing it and bringing harm upon themselves or others.

Not too unlike this observation, I have come to learn over the years that utilizing free software is a self-selective process. When an individual is simply given liberated technology without understanding why it has merit, they typically grow to resent it when it does not behave in a way that they expect it to. Or they become frustrated when finding that a particular tool or toy has failed to be made compatible with free software or open hardware.

And so, I have committed to follow my own sort of prime directive. The only things regarding software or hardware freedom that I will share with normies, going forward, will be its surrounding ideas and values. There is no sense in endorsing a free technology on its capabilities or technical specifications, without first establishing why it is valuable on its own as an open and user-respecting tool.