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For all their problems, I'd like to thank computers for giving us a glimpse of a better world.

A bright and colorful world of overwhelming abundance. A world in which we all have superpowers.

A world in which we are free to be ourselves. A world in which we can find others we want to be with, and keep others who are toxic to us away.

The dopamine we get from interacting with this better world is not fake. A better world can be addiction-forming of course, like food. Who wouldn't want more?

@urusan just my opinion but I think the world you picture is rather a bubble world in which one is always in power of deciding what to see and what to do.

Yet I think world-out-there is highly non deterministic and non linear, and one has to cope with uncertainty deriving for not being in total control of everything. I think the computer world you picture is a subset of real world where you assume to have total power over things but I don't think this is necessarily good and distorts the view.

@urusan nevertheless I think you may use the power and the knowledge you feel and acquire in the computer world to cope with that uncertainty!

Actually you are in power of e.g. avoiding toxic people and to screen yourself not to be pulled down by their negativity.

Things are much less linear than what we might expect, yet humans can be much more powerful in controlling their lives.

@artrotrogus You are in control of your inside world, which is expanded in the better world. The outside world is just as much a chaotic mess as it has always been.

Your community is another larger layer of quasi-inside world. You have less control over this as an individual, but you have better access to a variety of communities, as well as the ability to federate yourself across several communities serving different specific needs.

@artrotrogus At the top level, there's global infrastructure that is a major part of your life, but is largely invisible in your day to day living. This is needed to protect and facilitate the smaller inside bubbles.

@urusan That's true, but

- it's not free, somebody has to make it happen, and

- there are always people who try hard to (ab)use it for manipulation and reaching their own, often misguided, goals

@amiloradovsky I'm not saying that things are all peachy, just that it gives us a glimpse of what is possible.

This should also underscore how bad the abuses you mentioned are. Taking a wonderful collaborative world, which you and I are both adding to right now, and using it to exploit people in damaging ways for personal gain is awful.

@urusan One can make piston engine or a gun, based on essentially the same technology. Or even more archaic example: use sharp solid objects as a hand tool or as a weapon.

When people rant about computers, they mean the particular applications and implementations, not the technology per se.

@amiloradovsky I dunno, "computers were a mistake" is a meme, but you rarely hear "electricity was a mistake" or "agriculture was a mistake".

@urusan Agriculture was probably the worst mistake, in Europe anyways, IIRC.

@urusan BTW, I can't think of any dramatic periods in the history due to applications of electricity (as power source) 🤔

@urusan yes, just like how alcohol is great and improves a lot of peoples' lives, but is also addictive and destructive.
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Fosstodon

Fosstodon is an English speaking Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.