The personal computer is political. The time for liberation has kind of come.
So what happens when you load up that new, quasi-user-friendly Linux flavor — maybe Mint or Ubuntu — onto some old machine you have lying around? At first, maybe, keep the Internet handy on your shiny Mac, because there might be glitches to look up. But chances are it’ll mostly work out of the box, and the rest can be figured out over time. Everything’s harder, but in a good way — like a digital fixie. It’s more fun if you do it with a friend.
What’s interesting is how different the glitches feel from how they felt on a corporate OS. When the thing crashes, as it might somewhat frequently, it’s less aggravating. One actually starts to get more philosophical about the glitches; we’re not quite there yet as a society, as a species. They’re the people’s glitches — the temporary byproduct of democratic and collaborative processes among autonomous geeks, pursuing their own obsessions and curiosities. You don’t have to yell at the screen because, in a lot of cases, you can just write to the people making the program, and someone with an amazing amount of time on their hands will write back long, detailed replies. Someday, with hard work and better self-organizing chops, the glitches will go away. Like veganism, the more people join in the easier it will be.
Look everyone! It’s finally the year of Linux on the desktop!
People don’t want to fiddle with their computers. They want to use them. We’re never, ever going to reach a point where people will want to switch to glitchy programs that will be better “someday.”