the parallel universe in which “internet of things” referred to the broad availability of cheap, generic, user-friendly sensors divorced from specific use-cases. ex: instead of a “smart mug” whose function is deeply compromised by the presence of built-in sensors that feed data to the vendor before granting it to you, you pick up a waterproof heat sensor and pop it into a reusable teabag 🤷‍♀️🤖

@garbados for a long time i have worked in the vicinity of this, for companies that sell and enable an ecosystem of sensors and various little computers. it's never been that user friendly, but we're working on the problem.

unfortunately, as best i can tell, a lot of the practical effect of this work (art projects aside) is to enable the next iteration of people who will continue engineering the user-hostile panopticon future.

@garbados which i suppose is to say that while electronics are not the enemy per se they (like, say, free software operating systems and httpds written with the best of intentions) are damnably easy to turn to the ends of the enemy.

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@garbados i've spent a lot of energy on things that help train up the next generation of hackers, devs, engineers, etc.

it has in recent years dawned on me that this is not exactly an unalloyed good.

in conditions of generalized pathology (economic, social, etc.), technical people will mostly do pathological things. it's just not enough to give people tools for creating if there's no pathway in life for most of them where their creative activities can be healthy and actually pro-social.

@brennen @garbados Probably we can change the circumstances people live in to give them such a pathway.

@brennen @garbados I still think having at least an awareness of these concepts is beneficial for most people. And right now I'm creating a tool to more clearly illustrate the concept of programming.

But certainly it's not enough!

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