The “Nones” of the Net

Ubuntu - the operating system of none.
Ubuntu - the operating system of none.

I’ll admit it: I’m an Apple fanboy living in a Windows world.

What I mean is that I love the Apple experience – everything just works the way you want it to, it’s simple, it performs all the functions I need it to. Pretty much. The thing is, I’m currently using a Windows laptop. Long story. I mean, it works well enough, don’t get me wrong, but it lacks a certain elegant beauty that the Apple line-up has.

According to TJP co-founder Sam Sawyer, Apple computing has a quasi-religious character to it, complete with its own cathedrals (Apple Stores), clergy (Apple Geniuses), and high priesthood (Apple Executives). But not everyone buys into the institutional religion, and there’s a whole segment of the tech-savvy population that’s eschewing the dogmatic approach to technology and forming their own connected landscape independent of major software producers – the “nones” of the net, if you will.

Nathan Schneider – a writer you should definitely be following – writes in The New Republic about his own experience in independent computing in a piece titled The Joy of Slow Computing:

Stuff that would have driven me crazy on a MacBook didn’t upset me anymore. No longer could I curse some abstract corporation somewhere. As in Slow Food—with its unhygienic soil, disorderly farmers’ markets, and inconvenient seasons—the annoyances of Slow Computing have become pleasures. With community-made software, there’s no one to blame but us, the community. We’re not perfect, but we’re working on it. I gave away my MacBook.

Read the whole thing and let me know what you think. Would you give this a try?

I have to be honest: it sounds great on paper, but I wonder if such an enterprise is really only available to people with some computer programming in their background. Still, some greater intentionality is actually a good thing – in the food we eat, in our faith lives and spirituality, and yes, even in the way we use technology.

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Cover image courtesy Flickr user blumblaum, found here.

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