Computers were a Mistake: Pandora's Box Edition

A beige Macintosh computer with a keyboard and mouse, with a bright white background.

Interesting piece by Siva Vaidhyanathan in the Guardian:

Billions of people use such a device now, but hardly anyone peeks inside or thinks about the people who mined the metal or assembled the parts in dangerous conditions. We now have cars and appliances designed to feel like an iPhone – all glass, metal, curves and icons. None of them offer any clue that humans built them or maintained them. Everything seems like magic.

Forty years ago Apple debuted a computer that changed our world, for good or ill - The Guardian

I was incredibly excited when my father bought a Mac in 1985. I even made the invitations for my eighth birthday party in Paint.

Vaidhyanathan is right though. It represented a clear transition, where computers began to mask their origins and impacts. They were seen as countercultural items for those seeking to be "both hip and rich”. The first objects from interstitial space, rather than markers of those spaces.

Image credit: Mac by Thomas Hawk

Ben Harris-Roxas @ben_hr