Here is what I have been thinking about a lot recently: There is a huge gap between our thought process when things are going well versus when things are bad. My observation is that we don’t put in enough effort to build skills or acquire tools when things are going well… and when things are bad, we desperately crave for these same tools that we didn’t spend time acquiring. Let me explain…
The Swantantra conference on Free Software is a rather unique conference organised by ICFOSS in Trivandrum. Its unique because of the extremely rich discussion that it creates around the ideology of software freedom, rather than the technology. I was fortunate to be a part of this conference in multiple ways in December 2017. And this is a short account of the same.
The Tyranny of Convenience by Tim Wu (New York Times)
An extremely deep and insightful essay on what convenience is doing to us and how “things” that are meant to liberate us via the convenience they provide also serve to enslave us with that convenience… so much so that:
… it is about minimizing the mental resources, the mental exertion, required to choose among the options that express ourselves… It would be perverse to embrace inconvenience as a general rule. But when we let convenience decide everything, we surrender too much.
I have long argued that, in the context of Free Software, as long as we keep valuing convenience only, we will never seek to value the freedom that free software provides us. And in a way, this essay puts that exact thought into a much larger and useful context.
Recently I observed that the process of arriving at a conclusion is far more important than the conclusion itself. A conclusion, when doled out, is a recommendation, a best practice and a lesson learned, perhaps after many trials. It hides, in its finality, all the errors, failures and trials experienced in the process of arriving at it. And unless someone can really look behind the conclusion and appreciate the effort involved or the problem that the conclusion offers a solution for, they might actually not appreciate the solution as well.