Software has values

In light of things I’ve said before and hope to be presenting more on later this year — I want to highlight a tweet from Mark Pilgrim yesterday

“Oh, the publisher made them do it.” Bzzt. Code doesn’t just appear. Amazon DESIGNED the Kindle’s remote wipe. Someone coded it & tested it.

This is in reference to Amazon removing paid-for copies of 1984 from Kindles

Whatever the eventual debate about that will turn out to be. This is where software embodies a set of values, and the software developers code those values.

Was it a cool problem to solve to figure out how to issue a command to delete content off customer kindles? I bet. Heck, I’d be totally interested in the protocol and software design of that.

But the truth of the matter for my colleagues — and the companies in which you work — just because you can, does not mean you do.