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A PROFILE OF IVAN ILLICH

“Illich’s radical anarchist views first became widely known through a set of four books published during the early: Deschooling Society (1971), Tools for Conviviality (1973), Energy and Equity (1974) , and Medical Nemesis (1976). Tools is the most general statement of Illich’s ideas. The other three volumes expand on examples sketched there in order to critique what he calls “radical monopolies” and “counter productivity” in the technologies of education, energy consumption, and medical treatment. This critique applies equally to both the so-called “developed” and the “developing” worlds, but in different ways to each.”

Illich came to mind during these last few months while I have been learning GNU/Linux (I hate being this purist using this name for it, but I think the underlying GNU ideas and WORK are vital

The reason is that i have this memory from the seventies of Illich philosophy which advocated tools that people could fix. Car engines that one could get into, even valve radios because they were modular. Well, did it work for technology in the world of matter? Perhaps the success of the PC is an example. But in the world of software it is *imperative* to keep access open. When one person fixes something it can be available to all, instantly. Making that impossible is so wrong. It is worse than dumping food while people are starving… information is of a higher order and knowledge could lead to a better world. Dumbing down the world for profit – that is not only MS but all closed software projects. How can this be prevented?

I’d like to revisit Illich on this…

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