how arrogant would it be for me to assume i
have the answer to programming, that for the
past 50 years everyone who every tried it
was doing it incorrectly.
but it feels like i might have. that i can
see what is really going on. and it's odd -
even if i'm right, it's as though it would
be a battle to convince people of it. it's
not enough to write my thoughts clearly.
i'd also have to engage - to listen to what
people say, to respond tactically. to get
political, to become integrated. the thought
makes me want to leave it alone - i think
eventually i will forget about these ideas
and will move on with my life. i've had this
before, i think i've figured things out. i
wrote it all down. and somehow it all seemed
impractical. like i hadn't really solved
anything. and even now - so i've (perhaps)
figured out how to massively reduce the
suffering of all programmers. so what?
how much effort must i produce in order to
try sell other people in the error of their
ways? what do i know of what's really
bothering them. i could simply publish the
ideas, perhaps also some thoughts and
examples, and just leave it. but then i'd
have to engage with the response. it's a
kind of monstrous-looking apathy. the
moment you're nice to people they take
advantage of it over and over again.
it makes me ask the question - why do you
want to publish this idea, then? perhaps
simply because it makes me feel good about
myself. i've been spending time with this
woman and it's made me feel good. do we
need others for that? i'm also interested
in the field. i spend so much time doing
work here. i keep listening to others
talking about this stuff. listen here -
if you do it this way it will sort out all
these problems. but the consequences of
that really bother me. i don't want to
defend it. i'm almost losing interest in
the idea itself already. like a band with
a hit song.
i think i just watched myself with this
woman and i liked what i saw. i made jokes
i thought were good. i was good at
illustrating things. my thoughts made
sense. it wasn't so much what she thought,
rather what i saw of me. when i was
married i didn't like what i saw when i
saw me. i was small, and a coward. i
didn't measure up. i didn't say when i was
so this idea i have about programming. it's
a nightmare because i keep hearing all the
things that could be wrong with it. all
the criticism. but here goes. we should not
be designing software. design is a bad idea.
it's based on arrogance and nievate. and
self love. it's like a child.
basically you should construct an insanely
restrictive box, and then throw all your
work at it. like a playpen. and the box
allows you to put up guards, and to see
everything that's going. because your mind
is a monkey - it's reactive, it's stupid.
it has very little capacity. the chances
of you coming up with this brilliant
design are very small. the chances of the
system you are developing to grow beyond
your powers of understanding of very high.
but nobody writes software with this in
mind, this most proven of truths. we just
carry on and hope the next time will be
better. the next programming language.
the next library. the next architecture.
and for decades face the exact same problem
over and over again - working with systems
whose complexity, whose interconnectivity
and dependency and causality and structure
is several orders of magnetude (if not
more!) beyond what we could comfortably
reason about. we start out these nieve
optimists trying to create the ultimate
platonic ideal and slowly over the years
devolve into morose and grumpy grinders,
guarding our keeps jealously to try keep
away meddling hands and our sanity.
self knowledge - we are not brilliant.
in fact, we are insanely stupid. ask
daniel kannehman, the logical brain
is SLOW. anything beyond four actors
is more than we can wrap our heads around.
this brilliant agility you feel in your
mind is Not Enough. it isn't a solution.
and in fact - the machine dwarfs it,
to an almost unimaginable scale!
software needs to change. and god, i don't
want to be responsible for relaying this
message. i just want to stay locked away
in my cave where nobody notices me. i don't
want to engage. i don't want to change the
world. it's just the place i've been found
and it's been killing me why this is so
difficult. why is this stuff all so hard?
it was absolutely obvious that we were
the ones making it hard, because we were
involved in ever step of the process!
software is pure invention! every constraint
and structure is decided upon! then why
on EARTH does the underlying wiring always
turn out to be a thousand times more complex
than the product!!