The Future is Free

I don’t know if it could be classified as an ADD or ADHD thing, but I have a hard time focusing on one thing for a long period of time. At least, that’s the case if it’s not something I’ve specifically set my mind to doing. For instance, as I was graduating high school I was set to go into an IT course for network management. Shortly before I was supposed to start the school was shut down. I began an enrollment process at another school, but before I could begin my classes there, I decided not to go forward with it. I basically took a bit of time off from school and ended deciding to go to Lincoln Technical Institute to learn more about repair cars. It was a past-time I was interested in, I enjoyed it, and it seemed like a good thing to do as a career and a way to help other people save money (by doing side-jobs at a discounted rate).

Now I’m over a decade in to my career in the automotive industry, and I’ve been finding my desire to do things relating to IT have been creeping back up. It’s not like I stopped being a computer guy when I decided not to go to school for it, but I’ve always liked being a tinkerer, and tinkering with computers has always been one of my favorite forms of this hobby. The newer focus I have relating to my desire to work with computers has shifted a bit from my intentions all those years ago. Or maybe I should say, they’re going back to the root of something deeper in me. As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been doing a little bit of research on the idea of a freelance editor. I’m not really as creative as I may have believed at one time, and I’m trying to embrace that more. But even without the actual creative gene, I’ve always liked figuring out how to get things done with a computer. This has only gotten worse since I was turned on to the idea of free/libre open source software. I started learning about all the ways people have worked together to create tools with and for each other. These free and open source programs are really what got me into Linux. As long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to do some kind of recording studio work on a computer to create, edit, produce, and/or release independent content. In the past this was always about music, but now I’m starting to get a bigger picture of the “people” taking over media creation from the large monolithic studios.

We used to have corporate sponsored radio shows; We now have podcasts.

We used to have record company recording and distribution; We now have Reaper, Ardour, LLMS, and others, followed up with sites like Soundcloud, Purevolume, and NoiseTrade.

We used to have giant newspaper companies; We now have WordPress, SquareSpace, Medium, and Steemit.

We used to have publishing houses for books; We now have FeedBooks and other similar offerings.

We used to have network television; We now have streaming and recording with software like OBS and services to Facebook Live, Twitch, YouTube and Vimeo.

We used to have restrictive copyright licenses; We now have CopyLeft and Creative Commons.

And these comparisons are only the tip of the iceberg. I could probably do a whole post just talking about the Internet Archive. There are so many different ways for independent content creators to get their ideas out there without the traditional restrictions of needing contracts, equipment, and sponsorships. People can go out, create things, and share them with the world so easily and beautifully these days that it fills me with a bit of wonder whenever I think about it.

This doesn’t even have to relate to religious or political opinions. There is plenty of reason for these things simply based on creative people needing the easiest way for people to get their ideas out into the world. The way this ties in to my new mindset about computer usage is that I want to be able to use my drive for making things happen to help others that have the idea for the content, but the lack of knowledge for how to make it happen. I don’t expect anything big to come of it any time soon, if ever. But sometimes it’s just nice to set your perspective correctly.