Posted on July 24, 2019

the reason the current computing landscape annoys me is because its basically the boomertech “i want a massive car and i dont care how it fuarks up the planet or society” mindset, but for computers.

we need to change and i hope one day we’ll look back at our current computing landscape and be both ashamed of where we sat for so long, but happy that we finally got everything together and moved towards a better, cleaner, safer future.

explain the analogy dumbass

so youre a suburban power citizen who drives around a sportscar or some massive four wheel drive thing because thats what all the other successful people do, youve managed to neither outpace nor lag behind the collective jones and have a car that you, but most importantly, others, will love…

and youre also destroying the planet for your vanity.

and we have so much stuff that could change, if people would let it.

our cities are fundamentally three dimensional, yet we use a two dimensional system to get through and around them, solely so that people can use their massive private property in our public spaces.

ninety nine percent of most work

is that a real figure?

no its not, but ninety nine percent of most work could be done remotely from a computer if we simply let it happen, we would no longer need cars to get to work and make money so we can not die, if only the corps would allow it (but thats a different story).

so whats the analogy here?

computers suck

our computers are powerful.

ridiculously powerful, im talking mind boggling amounts of computational power.

and we’re using it to run about fifty years of layers upon layers of abstractions so that you can use slack.

and its not just slack its everything

we still use email even though its been taken over by spammers and advertisers, and thats not a typo, i did mean to type ‘spammers’ twice there. we keep it going because we require it for our entire authentication platform despite it being a garbo, broken spec with more bandaids and patches than i can count just to get it to do what people think it does.

we have a hundred million services, each of which probably use a hundred million services themselves under the hood, all collecting data twenty four seven, many of which are quite literally built-in to our hardware. this data is then sold and used to make it easier for us to do the exact same thing again, with a different platform.

all of this running on hardware that is pretty much the ferrari of computers, except if everyone had one and a ferrari was eighty times faster, but also dragging a large enough weight to slow its speed down by eighty times.

then everyone says

you know what we need? a larger weight strapped to the back of this ferrari

but sir/madam! that will slow down the ferrari! what should we do?

we’ll fix it the only way we know how, henchperson, give the ferrari a faster motor.

and now we have all these special roads to accomodate people dragging eight tonne weights behind their ferrari that is capable of going the speed of sound were it unburdened.


most of my life, ive been known to my friends and family as “the weird computer kid” and everyone assumes that:

  • any problem any computer in the household has is probably my fault
  • i do things on a computer that would blow up a normal computer

and you know what?

i could do most of my computing on a raspberry pi, and not notice a difference.

if i was smart enough to work x x worked at all we had a nice way to do graphical uis through the internet, i could get by with nothing but a cheap vps, and something to connect to the vps with.

we could all get by using low powered machines, and even, heres a hot take

make better software, instead of making faster computers

isn’t that crazy?

being safe

a bit of a side note here, but something that really irks me is people who would rather have a fast program, or an easy to write program, than a safe program.

there is nothing acceptable about preventable runtime errors.

hell, it irks me everytime i have to head something because i know theres something that could go wrong here.

i hope im not a minority in saying this, but i would happily take a slower, error free program over a fast, errorful program any day of the week.

yet for some reason, all anybody cares about is speed?

we cant try out this because its slower than the and thats bad!

what about the upsides people? there are things that are worth having besides speed.

rant over

i guess its just the pessimistic side of me worrying well never get better than what we have because no-one can be bothered to try, or because the government and corporations dont want us to, unless theyre the ones to do it.

all it really seems like were doing is instead of having a regular ai take over when we accidentally create a paperclip maximiser, well have some sort of super saiyan ai whos been training with weighted clothing forever and is now buff as all soykaf and unrestrained by their boss telling them they need to use slack for work stuff.

keep it in your head, we dont need sports cars, we dont need to destroy the planet, we just need to be able to compute things, and compute things well given the hardware we have.

it may not be better, but well never know if we dont try, and even if its not better, maybe something different is all we need right now