Capitalism likes us to believe in the steady, inevitable march of progress, from the abacus to the iPad. But the historical record tells of innumerable roads not taken, all of which could have led to better worlds, and still can.
Bob Hughes worked as a school teacher, calligrapher, and in advertising before getting involved with computers in the mid-1980s, working on interactive information systems, running an interest group, and writing about the new industry's unofficial history and creative traditions. Later, he became involved in campaigning for the rights of migrants, on whose labour the digital economy is built, and was a co-founder, in 2003, of No One Is Illegal, UK. He taught digital media at Oxford Brookes University until 2013, with a particular interest in publishing for social change. He currently lives and writes in southern France.