Circuit board modesty

Posted on September 21, 2015
Tags: society

My childhood cache of Radio Shack components

Stupid people seem to equate “circuit board” with “something scary.” And sadly, there are an awful lot of stupid people out there. This is nothing new, but has been in the news once again.

And yet, electronics are all around us, in everyone’s pocket, and no one seems worried about them. The difference? Those electronics are in a case! So apparently, this is an enforcement of circuit board modesty: don’t you dare be carrying around a naked circuit board!

This seems like yet another victory for our consumer culture: your electronics must only come from an approved Fortune 500 company. Don’t dare to think that you can build the same things they can!

What the stupid people don’t seem to understand is that the people who work at the Fortune 500 companies to build all of the consumer gadgets that the stupid people love, are exactly the same people who grew up with a soldering iron in their hand, making homemade electronics. Our addiction to technology requires passionate, inventive, creative, curious, and educated people to build that technology. Stifle those people, and no more gadgets for you!

Update: There has been some evidence presented online that Ahmed did not actually design or build a clock, but instead just took an off-the-shelf clock out of its case. If that’s true, then my opinion of him has gone down a notch. But, in no way does that excuse what authorities did to him, or to others whose only crime is to have an interest in electronics.