I’m setting here with this newly-configured linux machine, a netbook i’ve purchased for just $80 USD. i’m eating an egg and cheese sandwich with baked beans on the side. it’s taken so many hours, but i’ve bent this tiny little machine to coalescence into my being, weave itself into me. a sanitized form of this kind of religious experience is often preached by well-to-do technology fellows, an ode to tech utopianism and the ultimate manifestation of destiny, man’s next frontier to conquer still lives on in cyberspace!
however, i feel this narrative can be reconciled. there is a radical praxis to this whole thing, a romantic idealism of freeing oneself from imperialist systems into a more community-driven, unauthoritated manifestation of self. i am not a tech utopianist, i often loathe technology. i loathe it for the ways they let fascist idealism weave themselves more and more closely into deeply intimate extensions of ourselves–computers are increasingly fundamental mediums through which we experience the world. if we are to acknowledge that then we must also acknowledge who shapes these mediums.
sooner or later we must come to terms with how our identities are increasingly entertwind with corporate products, through twitter or facebook or windows or apple or nintendo or even your favorite fictions. these things all should be yours, but they are not. it does not matter how much fan fiction you write (and you should), a corporation will always own these things (which should rightfully be a shared culture) so long as we keep letting them our parcels of communalization. consider how different of a relationship you are allowed to have with Undertale than with Zelda. corporate media is a kind of devil, where our identities and material standing are robbed from us to appease a growing disease with the world, it hurts so much so we beg it to just make us stop feeling. corporate media separate us from our past, it insists no world existed before the products they have copyright upon did, they deny us even the concept that a way of relating ideas and resources among each other could ever be any different. these are the perfectly greased wheels for a monopoly on human culture.
this isn’t about linux anymore, but that is the point. there is a larger narrative of human actualization this whole thing can fit into, a single piece of a grand narrative we could construct is we so choose it. it is admirable that a chaotic group of people have, over nearly 30 years, created out of love and ambition something that significantly threatens corporate authority. i see all the thousands of tiny interlocking mechanisms here and i can admire each of them, imagining a consetellation of stories about how all these things came together.
ultimately this thing in my hands feels like an embryonic model of collective ownership, a communality, a mutual trust and constructiveness, an allowingness for every person to actualize themselves in liberation of policed identities. this is not an ode to the linux community so much as it is a call to action, that if this radical project exists here then it can exist in other places which need it, and it does. we can reject notions that these are frontiers for well-to-do fellows and not for the marginalized seeking organized liberation.