Computer Education Today


This is a tweet i just made: This 1981 BBC show “The Computer Program” is amazing. We have nowhere near the level of non-neoliberal computer literacy today. The fourth episode explicitly predicted the crimes of facebook, google, apple and twitter. It actually said the words:

“We need to make sure we have clear rules for who is allowed to access and manipulate what computers and information. We should be wary of Big Brother on computers”.

It also clearly explains how computers work, their various components and parts. I received absolutely no computer education as a child, in the 90s and 00s. I was given no reasoning for why computers were useful, why they were important at all. I was given no education about the significance of computers for our society, or for capitalism. I was of course not given any education about the significance of computers for /socialism/.

I would hack my school’s computer systems, and I got into trouble, but I was merely yelled at and scolded. I was not given any reason for my punishment apart from “this is not your property”; “intellectual property should be respected”. No one has ever educated me on internet security. Neither data security.

I have seen people line up for hours and spend thousands of dollars on iPhones while having no knowledge of the crimes of the Apple corporation, or the crimes of Microsoft, when they now /rent/ their word processors. Where are the TV shows on mainstream TV telling us about how Intel CPU speculative execution has rendered almost every desktop and laptop computer is now almost impossible NOT to hack. Where are the histories of the internet before web 2.0? Where are the mainstream criticisms of HTTP? Why is everything connected to the internet all the time? How can we get secure? Everyone is using the internet, but where is the education for it?

Neoliberalism’s pernicious ideology has taken over our understanding of how and why to use computers. We don’t have a good social and science of computing anymore. We are not all walking businesses, as if when we open our eyes we are for sale.