Archive for July, 2010

engine and art

July 2, 2010

Roger Ebert:

I was a fool for mentioning video games in the first place. I would never express an opinion on a movie I hadn’t seen. Yet I declared as an axiom that video games can never be Art. I still believe this, but I should never have said so. Some opinions are best kept to yourself.

The software engine behind any computer game would not be considered art by most people. However, in addition to the algorithms are graphics that are most definitely art. For example, while the physics of Neverball is considered by most people not to be art (though perhaps, it’s mathematically beautiful in the programmer’s eyes) the skins and backgrounds surely are.

On an related note, supporters of Free software often (but not necessarily) support Free culture as well. However, because Free software is basically mathematics, the licensing concerns are very different as compared to the artistic parts of software.

Steve Jobs’ porn distraction

July 1, 2010

Steve Jobs wants to convince the public that Apple’s anti-feature-filled devices take some sort of moral high ground. He goes further to say that Free software-based Android devices should be bought by those who want pornography. What Jobs really wants is the profit for Apple when they control what software you can or can’t have on your device. Like a mufti justifying a fatwā on forced veiling or a government justifying unwarranted wiretapping, Jobs aims to convince us that Apple is doing society a service. In reality, he is distracting us from the actual problem. That is, that users are not in control of their computing. Whether we find pornography appealing or repulsive, we should reject his attempt to play moral police.

The beauty of Free software device is not that it can be used to access sexual imagery, but that it gives users the freedom to make their own decision.