Dan Gillmor, who was the San Jose Mercury News's leading tech columnist during the dotcom years, and was one of the first reporters to go Mac, has switched over to using all free/open source software: Ubuntu GNU/Linux on a Thinkpad, Cyanogenmod on an Android phone.
In an essay that strikes at the heart of how we make our technology decisions, Gillmor explains how he's come to change his mind about the "politics of technology," and why he's come to believe that "it’s essential to embed my instincts and values, to a greater and greater extent, in the technology I use."
Control is moving back to the center, where powerful companies and governments are creating choke points. They are using those choke points to destroy our privacy, limit our freedom of expression, and lock down culture and commerce. Too often, we give them our permission—trading liberty for convenience—but a lot of this is being done without our knowledge, much less permission.
The tools I use now are, to the extent possible, based on community values, not corporate ones.
I’m not acting on some paranoid fantasies here. I’m emulating, in the tech sphere, some of the principles that have led so many people to adopt “slow food” or vegetarian lifestyles, or to minimize their carbon footprint, or to do business only with socially responsible companies.
Nor do I intend to preach. But if I can persuade even a few of you to join me, even in some small ways, I’ll be thrilled.
Why I’m Saying Goodbye to Apple, Google and Microsoft [Dan Gillmor/Backchannel]