When we look at you, we see nothing but the frail and weak thirteen year olds that we were.
But you, you are different. You are a new breed. You live and breathe in technology as a fish lives and breathes in water. You take it for granted, as you should, because for you the tapestry of your life will be eternally woven from it. You are forever changed and see this world differently.
Sadly though, your sense of history is as short as your precious years of life.
Look at the device on which you are reading this. Can you control it? Who does? Can you install lifeware of your choosing upon it? Can you create lifeware of your own design and share it with your peers as you see fit? Can you create on your terms subject to the needs of your future?
Why do I ask this?
Because these are dangerous and frightening times for some of us old people. Some of us see these historic moments as turning points. Moments that our collective cultures are tested. These are the times that our mothers and fathers referred to later as "Those were the days."
These are times that only old people like myself are just barely able to see in the context of a more distant history.
Look around you and see Egypt and what may have been were it not for technology. Look around you and see Bahrain and what is happening at the speed of technology.
All of this, the thirteen year old of my generation would never have seen. For some of us older people, we see these recent moments in the light of similar moments from our past, with one vast and monumental difference - the colossal power that this new technology has afforded us.
Now think about that device you are using. Think about what it means to be able to control it. Think about the importance of the ubiquitous internet and think about how a government is able to snap off the blood of this new technology at whim. Think about how some of your own governments operate in like areas and the means you have to struggle against it.
Now think about who the powerful piece of technology in front of you empowers.
So this is my plea. You see, my generation and the generation after have succumbed and lost. Our flabby water logged flesh can barely lift its computer literacy off of the evolutionary floor with our atrophied intellects. We are no more well equipped to teach you about your technology than a three year old is equipped to teach us how to read and write.
We have traded our liberty and power to create for convenience and consumption. We have bitten upon the bait that things must Just Work(TM) and Be Simple(TM) in order to be valuable.
We have accepted the charlatans of chic and trendy as surrogates for importance and complexity.
The technological aristocracy and monarchies of birthright listen to no one. Despite the profound unfolding of events and our unforeseeable interactions with the computing technology around us, those unelected technological regimes are limiting your rights and freedoms. They are casting forth lifeware restrictions of tremendous breadth and depth. For these kings and queens, computing is nothing more than a trivial and mass produced privilege granted to you, the peasants.
They are the unfortunate architects of a radically restrictive future under the guise of a clairvoyant professing to see and know your future.
So please, I implore you, accept that you are our future, not them.
While it saddens me that we have burdened you with the legacy of this tribal technological myopia, it inspires me that you are the very minds that are most capable to fix things.
You can see the things that we cannot.
Bleed with emotion. Write with passion. Speak with the power and force that is required of you. Embrace the knowledge and power and create where their systems prevent you.
And, in those rare instances where they will not listen or permit you, make them.
Harness the technology in ways that they may not have seen nor approve.
If you do not, it is very likely that this awe inspiring and powerful thing known as computing freedom will gradually be taken away from you and the generations to follow you.
"They may say 'Those were the days,' but in a way, you know for us these are the days. Yes, for us these are the days." -- Jane's Addiction Classic GirlTeach.