Kindle Fire or Apple Ipad? I’ve read plenty of buzz about how Amazon’s new technology compares to Apple’s, but discussing the relative prices and values of here-today-gone-tomorrow electronic devices misses the point. At stake are important personal freedoms and the “Promise of the Internet.” When we buy a computer or a mobile device or choose a vendor, we endorse certain business practices. When millions of people buy in, the effects ripple through society.
I understand the allure of technology. I was still in college when I bought my first Mac Plus for $1799 (about the same price as a new Mac today. It had 1 MB of RAM, two floppy disc drives and no hard drive, but was the most powerful personal computer available at the time). I found a job with a software company, started a design studio, got my MFA in graphic design and have followed the Macintosh path for twenty-five years. In 1995, I encountered the Internet. My world changed again. I became a web designer and web design educator. Eventually, I became a writer and book designer, using the Internet to distribute my work. Continue reading →