Weekly Web Harvest for 2019-01-06

  • Programming Sucks
    Also, the bridge was designed as a suspension bridge, but nobody actually knew how to build a suspension bridge, so they got halfway through it and then just added extra support columns to keep the thing standing, but they left the suspension cables because they’re still sort of holding up parts of the bridge. Nobody knows which parts, but everybody’s pretty sure they’re important parts.


    This is what it is to learn programming. You get to know your useful tools, then you look around, and there are some handy new tools nearby and those tools show you the bottomless horror that was always right next to your bed.


    Remember that stuff about crazy people and bad code? The internet is that except it’s literally a billion times worse. Websites that are glorified shopping carts with maybe three dynamic pages are maintained by teams of people around the clock, because the truth is everything is breaking all the time, everywhere, for everyone. Right now someone who works for Facebook is getting tens of thousands of error messages and frantically trying to find the problem before the whole charade collapses. There’s a team at a Google office that hasn’t slept in three days. Somewhere there’s a database programmer surrounded by empty Mountain Dew bottles whose husband thinks she’s dead. And if these people stop, the world burns.

  • The Revenge of the Intuitive | WIRED
    But now I’m struck by the insidious, computer-driven tendency to take things out of the domain of muscular activity and put them into the domain of mental activity. This transfer is not paying off.
  • This Workplace Is a Family Now, Dammit – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
    “We’re so glad you joined the family at this underfunded public school. Remember, you’re just like a mother or father figure to these kids. You teach them, take care of them, feed them, and oh yeah — take a bullet for them, even though your salary puts you right on the poverty line for this area. We’re just your typical traditional family that preys on each other’s altruism, and could be invaded unexpectedly at any minute by a crazed relative with a restraining order. Anyway, have a nut-free brownie!”