Technology designed to serve others

Bruce Schneier, in a Wired story, ‘Everyone Wants to ‘Own’ Your PC’, classifies DRM along with worms and viruses as all being specifically intended to remove control of a computer from the user/owner.

This is a particularly succinct quote:

“When technology serves its owners, it is liberating. When it is designed to serve others, over the owner’s objection, it is oppressive.”

I think that pretty much sums up what ‘architectures of control’ are: products, technology and environments designed to serve someone other than the user.

Now that ‘someone else’ might be ‘the good of society’, but in more cases than not, the someone else is a company wanting to enforce a business model on the user, or a government wishing to enforce an ideology or mode of behaviour.

(original story via Boing Boing)


  1. Jim Coleman

    It seems that users have lost the ability to read and understand. Everywhere I look I see examples of the “trainwrecks” caused by technological abuse of the user by corporations and the government (as well as being the victim of a “trainwreck” myself).
    Yet they (users) continue to lap it up, and a great portion even defend the perpetrators of the controlling technology.
    Talk about “sheep being led to the slaughter”, the majority of them won’t wake up until their neck is on the chopping block and they see the axe begin to fall.

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