My own thoughts on why trashware's time has passed, part 2

You can do good even without coding, that’s the problem.

(the first part of this post is here)

I started using Linux when Yggdrasil was a popular Linux distribution:

My own thoughts on why trashware's time has passed, part 2 /img/yggdrasil-linux.jpg

an have only used Linux on all my computers since then. I also am the person who launched the RULE - Run Up to date Linux Everywhere in 2002, just as a different, more effective way to do trashware.

In spite of all this, in 2022, and for at least ten years now, whenever someone asks me how to use, own or teach “computers” in a responsible, democratic, ecological way… I find myself telling them a hundred other things before trashware. And that is because, in addition to certain general concerns, those other things seem to me to have become much more urgent. I am talking of things like:

  • not giving PERSONAL smartphones to children before they are 13 / 14 years old
  • doing POSSE on a real blog, instead of social network accounts
  • refuse electronic or online voting
  • protesting whenever public services are not digitized properly, or because too many products are not repairable
  • understanding where and how computers, smartphones, etc. can be used to REALLY increase productivity and reduce waste (see “True story” below)

and so on. But these are all things for which there is no intrinsic need of being able to code or manage a computer network. Which means, among other things, that doing trashware to give more people more hardware to learn those things is less necessary than it was before.

In short, and always without belittling those who still do trashware: personally, these days I find it much more urgent for people to learn and do the stuff above than trashware, and when I manage to meet people willing to do it, there almost never is time to also cover trashware.

True story

Last year I lost a lot of time more than necessary to organize a private but quite complex event, with a lot of details. Why? Because the co-organizers, all younger than me, had concrete problems to accept the idea of cooperating by reading and writing ONE single google document of just 3 or 4 pages, and insisted they could write, read, and above all keep track of all the subtasks just by WhatsApp. In other words, I had a “software” problem in which the hardware requirements of all the software involved, not to mention its license, played no role at all.