Andrew on Medium: September 2021
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It’s worth emphasizing the word “slightly” in that last sentence. I was telling no tales — that first attempted call took nearly thirty minutes to complete as I waited for my dominant hand to stop shaking. When no one answered on that first call, what I felt was neither disappointment nor relief but a sort of soothing lack of emotion. This would turn out to be typical for these failed attempts to make contact.
Electronic hardware bootlegging has a long and messy history, but the duplication of video game hardware is of notable interest. The proprietary nature of most consoles means that they aren’t readily copied like other consumer electronic devices. Back in the day, a would-be manufacturer had a choice: Create their own system, or reverse engineer and clone the original hardware, an illegal act.
I’ll always remember what, at a foundational level, I witnessed in that lot: A work of art destroyed so that others could say that they appreciate art. Such is the tension between art and industry, between the wild natural process and capitalistic efficiency.
I, too, have an interest in education, but in my case that stems from hands-on experience. I’ve taught in China for a total of around 5 years, and spent the last two years working in universities. This has given me access to a resource that, to my eyes, is more interesting than standardized test scores: The students themselves. They’ve given me insight into the system from the inside out, a perspective seldom sought by pundits in the West.