President Barack Obama has warned against the dangers of excess technologies which do not assist us in making our lives better, but in a way, take control of our thought process, focus and dreams.
"With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations -- none of which I know how to work -- information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting new pressures on you. It is putting new pressures on our country and on our democracy. Class of 2010 this is a period of breath taking change like few others in our history.” said Obama.
He further added, "We can't stop these changes, but we can adapt to them. And education is what can allow us to do so. It can fortify you, as it did earlier generations, to meet the tests of your own time."
Obama may or may not have intended this, but may advocates of knowledge sharing and freedom also express threats such technologies pose. These technologies lock us into that vendor – that company.
The very notion on which America's society and economy was based upon, these companies and technologies refuse that notion. For example, if you want an iPhone in the US you can only get if you have an AT&T connection.
Today, if you want to buy a branded PC it comes pre-installed with the Windows Operating system. Even if you are a Gnu/Linux, BSD or Solaris user, you will have to pay an undisclosed amount of money to Microsoft as part of the cost. This is not a 'free-market'; this is not democracy; this is an anti-competitive practice. This is forced sales. A user must have the right to buy a PC with or without Windows installed on it.
What kind or free market is that?
Proprietary technologies are another threat. You can't see the code of these technologies. They also pose greater threats when they use evil technologies like DRM. They are slowly poisoning us with the message that sharing of knowledge us evil; its crime.
Their market is not based on a sustainable superiority of their product, but because of vendor locks.
Our future should not be built on anti-people, vendor-locked and closed source technologies. Our future must be built on pro-people, transparent technologies so as to ensure that we won't be dependent on a particular company; that technologically we will never be enslaved. We will remain independent and free!
Don't use proprietary or anti-competitive, anti-people technologies or products. Stay free, use Free Software, use Open Source!
Check his video below (iPad mention starts at 8:06)