Thursday, April 29, 2010

Steve Jobs Isn't A Hypocrite

The reason so many bloggers are getting this wrong right now, as they parse his statement about Flash, is because they're imputing an assertion of moral superiority into what is ultimately a simple, practical decision: do we spend money to support Flash? The answer is no, and the reasons are logical. Calling Jobs a hypocrite because some of his own systems are closed is insane. He's not saying all systems should be open at all times. He's saying the overhead of supporting a closed system isn't worth it to him on this project at this time.

If you're angry at Jobs, here's a hint: anybody who looks for moral authority from technology CEOs is barking up the wrong tree. Ideologies that are life and death to hardcore open source partisans are just pragmatic decisions to someone like Jobs. The guy doesn't use BSD because it's the right thing to do, any more than he locks out interpreters to fuck with you, personally, and ruin your day. He sells closed systems, and if you don't want one, you don't buy one. He doesn't want Flash, so he isn't buying it.

It says fucked up things about the future of democracy online that so many geeks are angry about this meaningless non-issue, and so few object to Jason Chen getting swat-teamed more effectively than Osama bin Laden ever was.