Is your computer your property?
Throughout much of the history of the personal computer, owning a computer was like owning a house. The cost of ownership might be high at first, but afterwards you joined a neighborhood of other owners running similar software. Maintaining a computer, like a house, requires some effort and sometimes expertise. The do-it-yourself folks in the neighborhood would tackle projects themselves and might help a neighbor with their projects, while others would hire those jobs out to professionals. Generally speaking, people in this neighborhood had autonomy and freedom in how they lived in their homes. Your home was your castle.
While many people continue to live in traditional neighborhoods, some of the wealthier owners, in the name of security and aesthetics, moved into gated communities. These communities might have guards at the gates, and guests have to be registered ahead of time. While you do own your home, there are also strict rules on what you can add to your property and what you can do in the community. Common areas in the community are well-maintained with nice landscaping.
These rules are enforced by a Home Owner’s Association (HOA) who are paid by community members and are empowered to punish people who break the rules. Residents in these neighborhoods sacrificed some freedom (and some money) for a bit more security and privacy, better maintenance of common areas, and a hope that their property would retain its value.
A New Home
Over time many moved from a gated community on their desktop, to a new home that fit in their pocket with even stricter rules. Today many people believe they are living in an elite gated community, when in fact they moved into a nursing home. While these residents are well taken care of by a full-time staff, they have very little autonomy. Residents are monitored all the time, and everything from their entertainment to their meals to their daily schedules is decided by the owner of the home, with residents just given a handful of acceptable choices. All doors are locked with keys the owner controls, including locks on individual rooms.
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