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    Posted September 16, 2015 by

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    Fixing Means Freedom and Independence


    Society relies on innovation and creativity to propel itself forward. As individuals we all have a thirst for more whether it be money or less tangible objects like knowledge. Unfortunately we all can’t have more of everything and so we have to make do with what we have. What’s often overlooked is that we have the power to make more with less by simply innovating. What was started in a garage or a dorm in California can only be taken to the next level within a community of makers. Those same makers are the innovators or the dreamers and the thinkers who will take us to other planets and create technology that is so forward thinking our forefathers would likely have had us hauled to the looney bin for. So what does it say when a country whose founding principle is freedom and independence publicly arrests and takes to jail a 9th grader for building a digital clock?

    Issues surrounding copyright law and proprietary rights often lose track of a basic truth: we cannot sustain the rate at which we’re creating things. And if we’re going to continue we have to learn to make due with what we have. Every day there are millions of new inventions that promise to  ‘Change the way you…’ without ever delivering. We know that not all of these inventions are actually useful or that they will work like you want them to. This is a basic truth that even mega companies like Apple, who retracted their latest Apple Watch update for after a bug was found that they “couldn’t get fixed as fast as previously thought,” has to acknowledge. We only solve these problems and make these things actually useful when we collaborate within a community with a understanding that you have the power to improve what I can create and by doing so you are not trying to steal my idea...you’re trying to make it actually useful. You have the right/ability to do that free from attack because it’s in our country’s DNA. We begin to lose that freedom when we allow fear of the unknown to dictate our laws and policies. A 9th grader in Texas was arrested at his school, in front of his peers, for building a digital clock. The basis of his arrest was  fear that what he brought to school was an improvised explosive device. The fear surrounding this incident touches on a comical misunderstanding that most Americans hold...bugs bunny explosives aren’t commonly used.


    Ahmed Mohamed’s situation is all of our’s fight. When we allow a 14 year old boy to be arrested and hauled off to jail simply for utilizing his mind to create something potentially innovative we are stifling creativity. What would the technology industry look like if Sergey Brin had been thrown in jail because he had a funny name. What would comedy be without Aziz Ansari,who came to the forefront of American entertainment after a time of oversensitivity? Americans cannot let a fear of something or someone we don’t understand dictate policy. When we do that we’re admitting defeat and burying our heads in the sand.

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