Reclaiming Territory in Cyberspace: #2 OS fundamentals
By understanding how our systems work, we can truly reclaim our own processing and bring our data home.
After you’ve taken careful consideration of what devices you want in your life, it’s important to take control of the systems you use. Just as not all devices are equal, different systems have massive differences. Fundamentally the question ends up being one of trust. Do you trust your data on a Windows machine designed by Microsoft? Do you trust your data on smartphones with Google or Apple? One of the most powerful tools these systems have is to convince you to put your data onto the cloud by making it easier and more convenient. They don’t need to proactively steal information from you if they can simply encourage you to do it yourself.
Our primary advantage against the technocracy is that we can almost always do more with less. By taking control of your systems, you can make significant steps to enhancing your digital privacy, security, and freedom. Every unit of data you deprive from the cloud incrementally makes a waste out of the immense resources spent on running it. This means that it is critical to prioritize keeping your data and data processing on your own systems. Thankfully this doesn’t mean doing it entirely alone. There are many ways to collaborate and pool resources without sacrificing ownership, autonomy, or privacy.
First, we need to understand our systems better. By understanding how our systems work, we can truly reclaim our own processing and bring our data home.
Every time you launch a program or open an app your device has to use the Operating System (OS) to make important preparations. Application files are loaded from storage, and all kinds of system resources and devices are accessed. The important feature of the OS is abstraction; simplifying complex systems into easy-to-use interfaces for applications. Because of this, application developers don’t need worry about what kind of device your system has, they only need to know what features it has. For example, your browser can easily use whatever camera & microphone you have, rather than only supporting specific ones.