As mentioned in our first lecture, counter cultures that surrounded the history of the internet led to ‘a more complete and authentic self‘ and they viewed the internet as a ‘virtual community‘. Two people that were involved in counter cultures were Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, also known as the founders of the Apple computer. In James Curran’s ‘Misunderstanding the Internet‘ he writes that Jobs had gone to India in search of ‘personal enlightenment‘ and Wozniak was ‘heavily involved‘ in the rock scene. Both of these things in 1979 were seen as being a part of a counter culture.
What makes this interesting is the fact that both Wozniak and Jobs wanted to create a computer that was affordable for all people, therefore going against previous capitalist ideologies. Previous computers and computer systems were only available to those who could afford to spend thousands or to companies. Apple wanted to change that. In his book ‘iWoz‘, Wozniak describes how he wanted to help younger people become involved with technology and computers to help them go further in life. In the original business plan for Apple that was made public in 2009, it stated that “MAC will help the student of the 80’s learn the tools of the 80’s” meaning that they wanted to help educate rather than sell computers for profit.
Of course in later developments, it is debatable that Jobs became greedy and resorted to simply wanting profit from the Apple products. If you’ve seen the recent movie starring Michael Fassbender then it will be familiar to you that Jobs later went on to losing the initial reasoning behind the Apple computers.
Counter culture did help create the Apple computer, but it also helped create many other things also. One thing to think about is what current counter cultures can create for us and the internet in the future…