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    Ivan Illich introduces the concept of an “oppressive” monopoly; if we look at societies that developed for foot traffic and cycling, you can generally use any means of transportation whatsoever and effectively manage to live and thrive there. Whether you live in a tent or a mansion, you can get around the same.

    This is an excellent, thought-provoking quote, but I thought he was going to take it one step further. To me, that quote isn’t just “consider the effects on the ecosystem” but specifically “consider whether you’re excluding the baseline by the choices you make,” where the baseline is the cheapest/free option available to as many people as possible. Cars exclude the baseline (walkers), bikes don’t, so it’s more equitable to exclude cars instead.

    The baseline for putting a site on the internet, for example, is “a free webserver and some text files,” but we haven’t let that happen for a long time. The baseline for HTML/CSS is a plain text file, and that still works, which is amazing.

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      I wrote my Master’s Thesis in Literature and Writing based on Ivan Illich. Now after all these years seeing his philosophy on my favorite programming website is quite a “trip”! This talk is very good and deserves a full read through. But, for anyone just passing through, the simple quote “complexity has to live somewhere” also deserves some thoughtful consideration.