(Ab)using technology for fun & profit
While technology has enabled an unprecedented quality of life, we are slowly realizing that it also has its limits and that it can make our life miserable. Screen addiction, sedentarism, centralization of power, endless streams of notifications, overstimulation, extreme polarization...
There is an asymmetry between the goals of the industry - unlimited growth, which requires us to become their slaves - and what is good for us. What if, instead of spending your days mindlessly scrolling, you could use technology to your advantage to build the life you always dreamed of.
As an example, Netflix's CEO said that their biggest competitor is not another entertainment company, it's sleep. They want to steal our sleep time, one of our most fundamental needs, for the sole purpose of making more $$. 🤮.
While technology always has been used by the few to exert control on the many, in the last decade, it has taken an unprecedented turn.
Before, technology was kept away from the masses. That's how control was exercised. Means of production belonged to the aristocracy.
Today it's the opposite: technology is rather cheap and is distributed with low to no margins but is then remotely controlled to squeeze money from attention-grabbing schemes and ads. That's why we have connected crap (ovens, fridges...) and "smart" cars that will autonomously drive away from you if you miss a payment.
Fortunately for us, there is no fundamental, physical law backing this trend, and we can hack it to our advantage.
It's what I call "(Ab)using technology for fun & profit". The idea is to not let the abusers previously mentioned decide how we use technology. We need to take back control. First, because using technology can be fun per se, but also because when used correctly, technology can free you from most of the problems of our societies: meaningless work, stress and a boring life.
This philosophy has 3 pillars:
- Programming: With software, we can introduce automation and scale into our life, which allows us to work less and more efficiently.
- Hacking: In order to build great stuff, prevent attacks and defend ourselves, we need to understand how to break (into) things. Hacking allows us to repurpose technology that was designed to extract money from us into technology that actually serves us.
- Entrepreneurship: Having your own online business lets you live on your own terms. You do what you want, when you want, where you want. You don't have to ask permission. You no longer need to sit 8 hours a day in front of a screen to satisfy some petty boss.
Why I'm talking about that today? Because my coming soon™ project is about spreading Programming, Hacking and Entrepreneurship so that our future is not the approaching dystopia.
Before we leave, I thought it was the perfect time to publish a short best-of of this past year's articles, in case you missed them.
- Secure and immutable development environments with Dev Containers
- HTTP Security Headers: The Best Practices
- Free Software vs Open source
- Free Software vs Open source 2/2: Philosophy
- Copyrights vs Patents vs Trademarks
- Which Rust web framework to choose in 2022 (with code examples)
- Clean and Scalable Architecture for Web Applications in Rust
- Bugs that the Rust compiler catches for you
- Cooperative vs Preemptive scheduling
- Smart pointers: The secret to write clean Rust code
- The 9 indispensable features to learn for the new Rust programmer
- Hacking Stories #1 - The Evil Twin
- Evil Twin Attacks in practice (with Rust and a Raspberry Pi)
- Hacking Stories #3 - The Puppet Master
- Why Rust for offensive security
- Signatures: The foundations of modern end-to-end encryption
- The 5 profiles of cyber operators
- Backdooring Rust crates for fun and profit
- CSRF vulnerabilities: How to exploit and how to defend
- Let's talk about supply chain attacks and backdoored dependencies