Steve Jobs and phone hacking: Exploding the Phone by Phil Lapsley, reviewed. - Slate Magazine
: " . . . In the story of the phone phreaks Lapsley sees a greater lesson about the way society ought to handle those who think different. “There is a difference between mere curiosity and true crime, even if we cannot always clearly articulate what the difference is or what we should do about it when we recognize it,” he writes. “At some level, we as a society understand that there is a benefit to having curious people, people who continually push the limits, who try new things. But we’d prefer they not go too far; that makes us uncomfortable.” But that discomfort is often a sign that those curious people are on the right track. “If we hadn’t made blue boxes,” Steve Jobs said in 1998, “there would have been no Apple.” After all, as Lapsley points out, most of the phone phreaks didn’t care about making free long-distance calls. It was burning curiosity that motivated them. “There is a societal benefit,” he writes, “to tolerating, perhaps even nurturing … the crazy ones—the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes.” Sometimes those curious misfits turn out to be Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Edward Tufte—or Aaron Swartz."
If only Aaron Swartz had lived in the Steve Jobs era when overzealous prosecutors were still under control and accountable!
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