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Discussion on: Code is Political

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Renato Byrro • Edited on

I understand and share your concerns, but just a few reflections:

This type of argument (reduce complex matters to 0 or 1 positions) has been used in the past several times to justify all sorts of atrocities against innocent people. One thousand years ago, you either believed Jesus or would face being set on fire in the public square. It was considered immoral not to side by Jesus' "representatives".

Just because agricultural-related businesses lobby in Congress, it doesn't make soybeans or corn become political characters. It's the same with tech. No, it's not a political thing. Businesses can be political, and they can use tech. Google & Apple ARE NOT tech. They USE tech.

Be careful with these thoughts. I understand this is highly emotional and change is required. But just be careful not to make things worse. I believe many of the ideas circulating now are going to make things a LOT worse for humanity.

awwsmm profile image
Andrew (he/him) Author

Interesting choice of counterexample, since agriculture is one of the most politicised industries in the world:

For instance, the U.S. government has manipulated the price of corn so much that it's now essentially owned by the American taxpayer, with the nation's largest producers netting tens of billions of dollars in subsidy payments annually. This is a political issue. That money could be spent on public infrastructure, education, or healthcare, but it's tied up in this industry which regularly and repeatedly lobbies Congress.

byrro profile image
Renato Byrro

To any possible example I give, your thought will suggest it's one of the most politicised things in the world. Because the purpose is to say everything is political. Hence the title of your article.

The argument tries to prove it by itself, which I don't consider a reasonable position, at least not if we're pursuing the truth, as opposed to pursue the imposition of beliefs.

As I said, this is the same avenue used by draconian episodes in the human history, such as the "Holy Inquisition".

The production and distribution of corn may be controlled by governmental organizations, but that doesn't make corn a political character. Tech companies may be political actors, but not code. They can use code for their shady political purposes, just as cars are used by bank robbers. But we don't go out saying that "cars are bank-robbing tools".