I tend to believe that in the technology-dependent society of today, the act of “sticking it to the man” is what helps create a better geek. Whether it be through our expression of creativity or the practical use of our technical skills, by applying our passion and knowledge to overcome the irrational barriers that governments, institutions and corporations have imposed on us, we are highlighting what it means to be a geek.
It is because of this, I lose a lot of respect for people who do nothing but complain about the technological limitations that occur in our society without thinking outside the box and working on ways to bypass those limitations.
Yes, things like DRM, especially when implemented without regard for practical use (i.e always-on DRM that requires constant internet connection to work), hurt the consumer and we should express our discontent towards such things. However, an alternative way would also be showing corporations that things like this aren’t as effective in their original purposes as one may think. After all it is possible to bypass an always-on DRM. Not simple, but possible.
Of course, things would be much simpler if we didn’t have to deal with things like that, but simplicity doesn’t breed ingenuity. Without problems like this to keep us on our toes, we wouldn’t be able to discover, let alone develop skills and traits that allow us to get ahead in a world of this making.
To be honest, hacking hardware and cracking and using pirated software a child helped make me the scientist I am today; always trying to think of alternate viewpoints and methods to solving a problem. I am pretty sure, most successful geeks evolved from this standpoint of trying to stick it to the man and putting what they learned into effect in the real world. After all, we value knowledge especially when it comes from the face of adversity.
So yeah, there is a lot of stifling things in the world that limit our ability to have the freedom to choose. Ultimately though the real choice is whether or not we resign to being lazy whiny bitches about the things we have a problem in or stand up and just do something about it.
I opt for the latter. What about you?