Doctorow is a do-it-yourself tech maven who hates the iPad, specifically because it makes it so easy to access online content on Apple’s terms. We don’t own the content we pay for on the iPad, and we aren’t trusted with owning the insides.
The way you improve your iPad isn’t to figure out how it works and making it better. The way you improve the iPad is to buy iApps. Buying an iPad for your kids isn’t a means of jump-starting the realization that the world is yours to take apart and reassemble; it’s a way of telling your offspring that even changing the batteries is something you have to leave to the professionals.
If you want to live in the creative universe where anyone with a cool
idea can make it and give it to you to run on your hardware, the iPad
isn’t for you.
If you want to live in the fair world where you get to keep (or give
away) the stuff you buy, the iPad isn’t for you.
If you want to write code for a platform where the only thing that
determines whether you’re going to succeed with it is whether your
audience loves it, the iPad isn’t for you. –Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
Doctorow objects to technology that turns people into followers. That doesn’t mean he wants to keep the technology for the inner circle of gurus like himself; he wants everyone in society to be technically literate. The iPad will put another shiny, beautiful interface between citizens and the code that increasingly dictates their lives.