Pay to Win

Read through Poor in Tech this morning.

I relate.

In high school, I was pretty good at math. I wasn't great at math, but I was pretty good.

The lack of greatness came from not owning a graphing calculator.

The pretty goodness came from doing everything by hand that couldn't be done on a scientific calculator.

I'm sure we could have made it work, but I knew $120 for a graphing calculator was a couple weeks worth of groceries. For a single class. Where the alternative is just pen, paper, and time.

Fall 2008, I qualified for an extracurricular project. Only five of us from the whole community college were selected.

We just needed to make a short film on green initiatives around the school and Apple would give us each Macbook Pros.

I did the bare minimum contribution to the project. I was the only one working my way through school. Time is money and I was dry on both.

I sold the shiny new computer immediately after the project.

There's nothing about that machine that was worth several months of groceries.

I know many perceive my technology choices as elitist or privileged. Maybe they are and maybe I am. But it didn't start out that way.

I had to fight because I couldn't pay.