The technology landscape, as it stands right now, sucks.
There was a time that I loved technology. I had been lucky enough growing up in the 1990s to be surrounded by it. I was on the internet in 1996, looking at truly awful sites. I had a GeoCities page (don't ask, I don't remember where), which I think was about Duke Nukem, or Sega Genesis games. I had some sweet stolen animated gifs and a scrolling marquee. Just absolute decadence. It all felt like magic.
There was a time that Silicon Valley felt like the New World, where radical dreamers were building the future in their garages. They were building tools that would make the world better, bicycles of the mind.
I got my first computer in 1998. It had a Zip drive. Decadence. I got my first Gmail account in 2004, when one gigabyte of storage felt like a revolution. I was listening to podcasts in 2005, alone in a work-study job that I hated and that hated me, but I had podcasts! The panelists argued whether or not we'd be able to use our phones as our only computers. In countries in Africa, they were doing things over GPRS and WAP that we wouldn't do for another decade.
In 2006, I got my first Mac, a desperate act that changed my life. I needed a computer, found a refurbished one on the Apple site, and had it shipped to me within the week. And though I dabbled with other things, I was happy with how things were. I had gone from a computer nerd that hated computers to a computer nerd that loved my computer.
If you had told me in 2006 that I would have device in my pocket that let me talk to my friends anywhere I went, that combined an iPod and a really good camera and computer more powerful than my computer from 1998, that let me check maps and email and read books, and that I would hate it, that I would hate technology companies, that the technology that had once wowed me would be making life worse, I'd never have believed you.
So here's where I am: A tech nerd that kind of hates technology. This blog is about that, but also about how things could be better, and the people doing exactly that. It's about fighting dark patterns in UI design, about opening the world up beyond corporate control, about making technology work in a way that benefits people, not the bottom line of share holders. It'll probably be about things I find neat in general, but we'll get there when we get there.
I do not believe technology will save us. Tech companies will never have a solution to a problem they cannot or will not profit from. I do, however, believe we can save technology.