On October 31, 2008, Benjamin Mako Hill 99F returned to the Hampshire campus to give a lecture entitled “Revealing Errors: How Screw-ups Can Teach Us About Technology and Power.”
Hill’s talk spoke to the power that technological forms hold over the content and methods of communication available to the users of that technology. Many modern technologies are “invisible,” Hill argues, and errors help reveal not only that the systems exist, but also how they work.
As an advocate of free software, Hill believes that “technological choices are something that should be visible to the users of that system.” Certain conversations about technology can only be had in situations where the user is granted the control inherent in free software, Hill reminds us.
Mako is a Debian hacker, intellectual property researcher, activist and author. He is a contributor and free software developer as part of the Debian and Ubuntu projects. Mako currently serves as a member of the Free Software Foundation board of directors. Hill has a master's degree from the MIT Media Lab and is currently a Senior Researcher at the MIT Sloan School of Management where he studies free software communities and business models.
He is also a Fellow at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media where he coordinates the development of software for civic organizing, and works as an advisor and contractor for the One Laptop per Child project. He is a speaker for the GNU Project, and serves on the board of Software Freedom International. Mako graduated from Hampshire in 2003. You can find more about Mako’s work with errors at his blog: revealingerrors.com