Instead of saying access to computers should be unlimited and total, we should ask “Who gets to use what I make? Who am I leaving out? How does what I make facilitate or hinder access?”
Instead of saying all information should be free, we could ask “What data am I using? Whose labor produced it and what biases and assumptions are built into it? Why choose this particular phenomenon for digitization or transcription? And what do the data leave out?”
Instead of saying mistrust authority, promote decentralization, we should ask “What systems of authority am I enacting through what I make? What systems of support do I rely on? How does what I make support other people?”
And instead of saying hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position, we should ask “What kind of community am I assuming? What community do I invite through what I make? How are my own personal values reflected in what I make?”
Allison Parrish on the.
This is kind of cheating and taking the conclusion of a much longer and extremely worthwhile talk/essay on programming and, in particular, the hacker ethic. Also, the kind of boom-bust/accepting-questioning cycle she describes is pretty much bang-on my own experiences with things like the Jargon File and hacker/programmer culture in general, so… yeah. Highly recommended.