Thoughts on freedom, creativity and the internet

About 2 min reading time

The internet is awesome. This is an impulse post I felt I just had to write, since the subject hit me: how truly wonderful the internet is, and how code and freedom are so tightly linked.

We have the wonderful philosophy of Open Source. It’s regulated by several licenses, but no true committee of some sort. Sure it’s anarchy, but a wonderful anarchy. To me Open Source is in its essence a unique creation by us humans, and reflects what I think is vital to many things (unrelated to software) — sharing. Sharing stuff is awesome. Sharing discoveries, code, insights, assets, techniques — knowledge in all kinds of ways. I wouldn’t be able to do what I love without that phenomenon.

Linked to Open Source there’s sites like GitHub which brings web creators together. Never before has it been easier to start hacking on a project (even large-scale ones). I’ve gained so much knowledge from browsing around other people’s code on GitHub. Pulling down projects, fixing issues, discussing decisions, adding features — it’s all so easy with today’s tools and communities. It’s intoxicating.

During the past couple of years the idea of open data and APIs has been growing stronger. It’s wicked cool watching all kinds of services and apps being created on top of free for all data.

When I finally started to get my eyes off PHP and checked out other languages for web development, I was blown off by the huge pain of deploying the resulting hacks. Sure — Ruby and Python was beautiful, cool and hipster, but how could I put them online? I had no idea (even to this day, I have very vague knowledge about deploying Ruby code on a custom server). Then came Heroku and other app platform services. And they are awesome. The time it takes to setup and deploy a simple Rails app on Heroku is almost shorter than what it takes to make my morning coffee. And the basic plan for quick hacks is free! Crazy cool.

All the paragraphs above describes what I absolutely love about the internet and our technologies.

Anyone is able to create anything from anywhere

With some willpower, a computer, ideas, and an eagerness to learn, anyone can create and publish on the internet.

And it’s all built and driven by humans with a passion for creating things

Sometimes I love the internet so much it hurts.