Web dev be like:
"I want to detect if a CSS variable has been changed"
"Sure, here's a very hacky solution with very specific requirements that are a pain to implement because there's no official way to do this"
"I want to detect if a user is sitting in a >3m² room, alone, and hasn't blinked in the last 2 seconds"
"You can use this 1-liner that utilizes the RoomSizeUserPresenceAndEyeBlink API Google pushed into standards to totally not improve their tracking of users"
When I was 13 and just starting to explore my sexuality I read a book called "Everything you wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask."
For the most part it was the usual 1960s-1970s era sex-ed book but the chapter on homosexuality was ... criminal.
It was *incredibly* homophobic. No hope, everything was terrible. It said things like queers will molest anyone they can, spend their lives masturbating in the back of porn theaters, etc etc etc.
Based on that description I *knew* that couldn't possibly be me so I must not have been gay, right?
It set me back *years* in acceptance of who I am. It wasn't like I had any counter-examples. This was the late 1970s and we had no good role models.
This is one of the reasons I'm out now, so kids can see someone who is successful and not living the way that book says. Being a counter example is very important to me.
When the book was reprinted in the early 2000s, they updated everything else but left that chapter pretty much intact.
*If* you share this book with a younger or questioning person, make damn sure you discuss the reality Vs what that book says. Better yet, don't share the book with anyone else.
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Not the rule, there's people who creates content without consuming from others. I still believe it's healthy to do so.
So a friend of mine who hoards computer parts and books mentioned to me that he has an old Russian book on #COBOL.
Apparently it contains a line that goes something like "don't try to make your #code indecipherable to make yourself irreplaceable. Stalin knew what to do with people who make themselves irreplaceable."
the company that made the software for my self-driving car went bankrupt and it's now incapable of moving because it has drm that requires access to the company's servers
my self-driving car's navigation algorithm keeps driving me places i've already been to, 'in case i missed it' and altering my route so it will go past more billboards
When I talk about being a "software engineer," I do so intentionally, to put the patina of engineering ethics on discussing what I do. I do my absolute best to design and build ethical systems.
One of the things that bothers me in a visceral way is that most people aren't software engineers, they are, to create an artificial nuance, software developers. They build and design systems without codifying the ethics to express the core values of humankind in them.
You see this a lot with web developers and app developers, especially in the start-up space, and ESPECIALLY in the financial application space, trying to build MVPs that wow share holders by how lean they can make their monetized Skinner box.
It is my working opinion that this is a non-trivial component to how we ended up with an internet and computing ecosystems that largely serve the greater evils of capitalism.
Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.
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