The copy and paste feature on my iPhone is wonky. It’s not a feature from the original OS, and makes more sense on the 3.5 inch screen it debuted on, rather than the huge iPhones and iPads that exist today. It’s hard to select, hard to choose an action, and contains nested menus for yet more added on features (definition look up, speak text, etc). It’s works, it’s just wonky.
Features included from the start work great, the phone app, the web browser, the wide-screen iPod with touch controls. These were game changers. Revolutionary. And, best, iOS either eliminated or hid some of the vestigial aspects of OS X which caused Mac users headaches.
Version one of the Constitution had some amazing features. Self-rule, limited government, direct elections of house representatives, separation of powers. But, version one is always reactionary. It overcorrects. It worries about conferring nobility on people. It includes indentured servitude, it includes slavery. It discusses how to manage 13 eastern coastal states. It’s been revised. V.1 was the Bill of Rights. V.2 gave the states more rights, changed how the president was elected. V.3 eliminates slavery and provides equal protection under the law for (almost) all individuals. There’s the right to vote for women, for people over 18, prohibition, wait-no-not prohibition. All of these features are added. And they work just as well as copy and paste.
The Constitution of the United States was designed as a document to ensure the rights of property owners, typically white, Christian, men. If you fall into or can climb into this category, then the promise of America is secured for you. This is the land of milk and honey, of opportunity, of endless possibility, of manifest destiny. As for those left out of the original OS, not contemplated by it, or those considered three-fifths of a person by it, well, we’ve added features but we haven’t cleaned up the code.
Our institutions fail us. Police forces gun down young black men on our streets at a rate similar to the lynchings of the early 20th century. We can’t seem to elect women to more than a quarter of the seats in any house or senate. Our representative bodies are overrun by millionaires in proportions far out stretching their place in the populace. No one seems to like our ever growing media. If you look at individual cops, or congressmen, or news anchors, you can’t see what’s wrong. Because it’s not the individuals, but the OS.
We need something new. Something simpler. Something fairer. We need a process that uses less power, that includes more people, that democratizes our processes, and keeps any group of people from hogging all the resources.
We need an OS that contemplates the lifetime renter, the people of color, women, gays, lesbians, people of different national origins, people with no religion. We need to build it new. We need a black curtain, a stage, a clear vision, three great features. We need something revolutionary.