Weekly Roundup: Harrison Bergeron, In Software! Edition

When I was a child, I read Harrison Bergeron and took it for what it was meant to be: a fable, an allegory, a warning. Never, not for a solitary moment, did I think that it was an instruction manual.

“Coraline Ada Ehmke”, a scripting-language “programmer” who spends most of xir time trying to promote “social justice” instead of, say, learning to program in an actual programming langugage, is in the news lately for basically hounding Linus Torvalds out of Linux. This is the equivalent of running Steve Harris out of Iron Maiden, or getting everybody but Ringo to quit the Beatles.

But wait, there’s more. “Coraline” has also come up with an absolutely fabulous idea, one that would have shocked Kurt Vonnegut at his most cynical and disaffected: the end of meritocracy.

It’s called The Post-Meritocracy Manifesto:

Meritocracy is a founding principle of the open source movement, and the ideal of meritocracy is perpetuated throughout our field in the way people are recruited, hired, retained, promoted, and valued.
.
But meritocracy has consistently shown itself to mainly benefit those with privilege, to the exclusion of underrepresented people in technology. The idea of merit is in fact never clearly defined; rather, it seems to be a form of recognition, an acknowledgement that “this person is valuable insofar as they are like me.”

Compare that to Vonnegut’s story:

He tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They weren’t really very good-no better than anybody else would have been, anyway. They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn’t be handicapped. But he didn’t get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.

Since this exceptionally stupid person appears unable to grasp what “merit” might be in tech, allow me to enlighten it. “Merit” is the combination of talent and effort. It’s writing “River Raid” for the Atari 2600 in a memory space that wouldn’t hold this plaintext column. It’s developing the C language or UNIX. It’s writing the Linux kernel. It is the thousands of extraordinary achievements that have made everything from the cathode-ray-tube terminal to machine-learning pattern recognition possible. It is the relational database, and it is also (to my annoyance) the NoSQL database. It is optimization, it is debugging, it is flawless delivery. It is meeting the spec on time.

It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, pink, male, female, furry, or whatever Coraline thinks it is at the moment. Meritocracy cares not. Neither does the tech biz. Tech does not have a diversity problem, unless you count the virtual erasure of American citizens from the rank-and-file in Silicon Valley and elsewhere thanks to low-cost wage subversions like H1-B. Walk around the campus at Google or Facebook and see the tsunami of brown, yellow, and (occasionally) white faces. The days of tech being a club for white men with a 130-and-up IQ disappeared around the time that we stopped requiring that code be performance-optimized enough for low-performance processors and bug-free enough to burn onto permanent storage media. (Make of that what you will.) Today it’s “diverse” in the modern sense of “Irish (and Germans, and Brits, and French) need not apply.”

In short, “meritocracy”, whatever feebly vestigial tail of it still exists in tech, does not need to be dismantled. In fact, we could use some more of it. Which hasn’t stopped Coraline from declaring victory, with some justification. We now live in the post-meritocracy era:

It is time that we as an industry abandon the notion that merit is something that can be measured, can be pursued on equal terms by every individual, and can ever be distributed fairly.
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What does a post-meritocracy world look like? It is founded on a core set of values and principles, an affirmation of belonging that applies to everyone who engages in the practice of software development.

You no longer need to be any good at something in order to demand a career in that thing. Good to know. I’m ready to be an NBA center, or a surfer, or an astronaut. Put me in, coach, I’m ready to play! Let’s stop measuring people! Let’s stop expecting them to do anything of value! Luckily for us, nobody will ever take this person seriously…

You know, the more I think about it the more I think I’m just about ready to welcome our new Chinese overlords. We might not have safe bridges or drywall-dust-free baby formula, but they will put a stop to this bullshit with an iron fist. Goodbye Google, hello Baidu! To quote another dystopian future that appears ever-closer to reality… I finally learned to love Big Brother!

* * *

This week I wrote about a great engine in need of a great home and cars that rang the cash register but dug the graves of their manufacturers.

54 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Harrison Bergeron, In Software! Edition”

  1. AvatarCarl Kolchak

    My Dad bought a 1980 Citation brand new. You haven’t seen hard plastics until you have seen one of them. Motor sounded like crap at 55k, rust spots galore despite being waxed and washed regularly. I think he got $500 for it in 1984.
    As for Ms./Mr/ Whatever Coraline. the problem with getting rid of Meritocracy is what happens without it. Eventually, the water doesn’t run, the Electric Grid fails and all Hell breaks loose. Just because we want the “Good Feels” as opposed to having Competent people perform the required tasks.

    Reply
    • AvatarAthos

      the problem with getting rid of Meritocracy is what happens without it

      You land in a place called Venezuela or Cuba or Zimbawe or… who know what’s next in the line. And the barrel has not bottom…

      Reply
  2. Avatar-Nate

    I’m hoping you’re just writing a wake up call here Jack ~ having crazy cat ladies run things would truly be a nightmare .

    -Nate

    Reply
  3. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    Coraline attacks the notion of merit: “The idea of merit is in fact never clearly defined; rather, it seems to be a form of recognition, an acknowledgement that “this person is valuable insofar as they are like me.” Then she crows about making others “adopt my code of conduct.” Do you think she’s intellectually capable of seeing the contradiction and hypocrisy?

    Reply
    • AvatarRock36

      In my view, post-modernist thought has value in that it seeks to deconstruct power and knowledge structures and lay them bare for people to draw insights from.

      The problem is how that is applied in practice, and the conclusions drawn from them. The insights from such post-modern thinking have perverted into 1st-order thought that conclude the simple solution is to invert the power structures like a photo negative. The result isn’t progress as some want to believe, but just a reshuffling of the deck of who now gets the power to approve and authenticate what we accept as knowledge, morals, ethics, etc.

      In this way Caroline isnt being hypocritical.

      The adoption of her code of conduct has validated, in a minor way, her attempt shift power to her side in the post-modern sense of becoming the authority of morally/ethically accepted rules vis-a-vis that code of conduct.

      That’s why she continues the metaphor of winning and losing. This is also about power for her.

      There is no positivst logical argument to be had here that seeks to presents one definition of merit vs. a legitimate criticism of how merit is evaluated, and there doesn’t need to be.

      She has (in a minor way) begun to invert the power structure on what merit is and who gets to define it by redefinig merit as something insidious, and then privileged her own approach with the term “post”, which naturally carries a positive connotation and context (i.e. we have progressed into a new era post/beyond a sinister meritocracy). It also touches on our cultural tendency to privilege the future as something that will always be better than today. The adoption of her code of conduct then legitimates her views.

      I say all that to say, pointing out her hypocracy of logic is missing what is really going on here. She isn’t playing the game one might expect or want her to, the one where someone presents and position and supports it. She is trying to change the rules of the game or even game itself in order to realign the power in her favor.

      Reply
      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        Yet they song and dance, using the very terms and language of logic and rationality as they deconstruct those along with merit. The one thing leftists will never admit, though, is that it’s about power to them.

        Reply
  4. AvatarJohn C.

    If this is all true, why hasn’t someone of actual merit done something so much better that it has pushed our tech overlords back into the wide, deep sea from which they emanate. For example, those of us who do websites where we provide free content, like Riverside Green, or the-philatelist.com, my stamp collecting website, have come up ourselves with some sort of vehicle to reward ourselves for our labors? We haven’t, we are stuck in the Gulag, because we ourselves suck, and deserve what we get from our superior overlords. I wish I was kidding.

    Reply
    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      Have you considered starting a YouTube channel about stamps? Like the folks at Google or not, YouTube is pretty much an essential part of selling anything these days.

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        Its been done, and he is better at it then I would be. He picks a random stamp from his collection like I do, but instead of just yammering about it like I do, he flys to the place and yammers about it on video like he is Anthony Bourdain or something. Being youtube though there still is no guarantee when you do well your ad rates are high. My high view days are totally separate from high revenue days. Some of that is ad click through, but not all of it. They are hardly ads you can count on.

        My hope is when my audience is big enough, I can just hire a salesman to place ads on the site and hopefully have a partnership with a stamp dealer where I get a percent of what comes to him through me. That would allow me to kiss Google good bye and hire a pretty copy girl to polish up the writing while doing it all out of nice offices. You know, a dignified life that befits the king of hobbies, the hobby of kings as they used to say about stamp collecting. Notice though I am still not really talking about profits, it is the internet so it is more about selling out big in the end.

        Reply
  5. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    Packard’s introduction of the so-called “junior” Packards with the 120 model in 1935 is often said to have hurt the luxury image of the brand, along with the fact that the only car Packard sold in the immediate post WWII era was the midrange Clipper model. I think a strong case can be made that the decision to offer mid-priced cars kept Packard in business for another 20 years. The “senior” Packards represented just 10% of the cars the company sold in the late 1930s. In any case, tastes had changed and there was this thing called the Great Depression. Packard, Pierce Arrow, and Peerless were the premier luxury brands in the U.S. for most of the early 20th century. Peerless went out of business in 1931, Pierce Arrow only lasted until 1937.

    Reply
  6. Avatardejal

    This is for real? WTF?

    I started with RPGII. Then Neat/3, VB, SQR (kill me for the love of God kill me now), Oracle Pl/SQL , C# and VB Script. I got canned from my RPGII job, I couldn’t code in that slop: L1 NL2 ……

    Worked with Neat/3 for 20 years. By the end it was way out of date. I could patch the code in Hex on the fly when I would get called at 2 AM to get production going again after I drove for 45 minutes. I still remember some of the op codes and their hex values BCOMP (65) , BRE (EA), PCOMP (45). NCR Mainframe and banking. Exact same processors as Atari home computers. You did everything possible to stay under the 65K memory boundary. If your program compiled over it could still run if you jumped through hoops. Compiling somerthing and watching the size creep up to the 65K size would give you “Oh Shit” moments. You had to have the logic, but did it have to be done this way? Can it be smaller if I rearrange things?

    If you think that above is the dark ages (and it is), I’m currently working on a C# program that is converting a EBCDIC file with packed signed data. Basically COBOL files. For years we’ve been receiving straight ASCII text and the vendor want to start sending EBCDIC files. In the wonderful world of .NET there’s no EBCDIC conversion. You have to use an array of conversion bytes for the text bytes. Not a big deal, but the vast majority of programmers today have no idea what I just wrote. I wonder what is going to happen when the vendors programmer drops dead from old age. No one in their right mind has intentionally written new code in this data format or language. Maintain it? Yes. New code? Only for the insane.

    Not patting myself on the back on the 130+ IQ. I’m above that line, white , male and retirement is only a few years away. IQ is overrated in life as a whole but may be important in this occupation. I’d certainly have traded a couple of point along the way for the way certain aspects of how my life turned out.

    I’ve worked with people who had to be in the 160+ range who frankly made me and still make me look slow. One of them spoke fluent Klingon. Not making that up. Another never learned how to drive a car. People who can describe a solution in a minute where it might take me 5-10 minutes. I remember a non-programmer figuring out some real wacked compression of data on the bit level that we were doing a financial institution conversion for. It took me a couple of hours to figure out what he was talking about.

    Me, I’m enough of dick I should have been fired a couple of times. Once I brought the online processing of over a 100 financial institutions down on purpose. I had found some kind of error in an NCR utility. It would knock 4 main frames down. The NCR guys (the computers came with humans as part of the deal) said it was impossible. My boss said it was impossible. I told them it’s impossible? If so, be at my desk at 2 PM. If i wrong and you are right nothing is going to happen. I executed the utility with settings that would cause this to happen. A minute later over the loud speaker “The main frames are currently down.” My boss said “Please don’t ever do that again”.

    Programming isn’t a religious order. It’s just making fucking code that creates the expected outcome when run. I know using C# that being sloppy doesn’t carry much penalty anymore but I still try to squeeze the fat out of the code for no other reason than personal pride. Code doesn’t give a fuck who wrote, how it was written, why it was written and the feelings of the person who wrote it. Code doesn’t give a fuck if it doesn’t run properly. It does exactly what it was told to do.

    Code either works the way you want (win) or doesn’t (fail). That’s the meritocracy.
    Feelz and shitty code is idiocy. Shitty code just makes the next poor slob who has to sift through someone elses spaghetti harder. If the tools that signed the manifesto can write good code more power to them. Their main job is to write good code. I’d love to know how many are cube farm (BTW I work from home) programmers.

    About the only emotional thing with code is, is you have to love doing it to be able to make a career out of it. You can be the most brilliant programmer on earth, but if you don’t love it you’ll give it up. It can fry your mind.

    Take Linux, fork it and have at it. Fork it enough that you can’t use any of the existing oppressed created code. See how far you get. See if the everyone else gives a fuck.

    Reply
    • AvatarDaniel J

      Dejal,

      As an embedded programmer only doing C# for a few years I have a love hate relationship with. I love reflection and dealing with types is so much easier. Need to pull apart bits of data? Ugh….

      I will say where I work it’s very important that code isn’t a jumbled up mess. Just making it work isn’t good enough.

      Reply
    • AvatarRobert Harris

      Dejal,

      Did you see the EBCDIC encoder implemented by Jon Skeet? http://jonskeet.uk/csharp/ebcdic/
      It might make a good starting point.

      My father worked for NCR for about 40 years. I’m not the least bit surprised by your story. Too bad AT&T chewed them up and spit them out.

      I still compile VB6 on a regular basis FWIW.

      Reply
  7. AvatarEric H

    From what I see she’s a witless simpleton and wouldn’t last a month in any job I’ve had, including pumping gas in high school.

    Linus is taking a short break, he’ll be back in the saddle soon. No matter how tactfully he learns to say it, shit code ain’t getting merged. I’ve done kernel work in the last three jobs I’ve had and been writing drivers for a couple of decades now. It’s not a bad thing for Linus to understand how his words will be interpreted by others. Less scorn and more constructive criticism will only help in the long run.

    Reply
    • Avatardejal

      She/he/it sounds like some of those revolutionaries on slashdot.org

      How many programmers here use StackOverflow? I use it a lot even though I know I’ve used a certain snippet of
      code before but can’t remember the program it is in and I don’t want to wade through thousands of lines of code
      to find it.

      How many times have you seen a question and the response is:
      “Why do you want to read that kind of data?”
      “How come you are using that language? You should use F# or J#”
      “C# is for the proletariat”.
      “Why are you translating EBCDIC data. That’s old. Why not use ASCII?”

      She/he/it is those people.

      My answer would be along lines to those responses.

      Because I work for a F’ing living.
      This is my input.
      This is my reality.
      I have to take it and twist, bend and beat it into submission. I’m a F’ing blacksmith.
      I can’t get the vendor to change it.
      I need to get over the hump for maybe 10 lines of code. I’m not about to learn a whole new language for 10 lines of code.
      The company I work for has invested in everyone using C# (or C or VB.NET or…), you moron. They are not going let programmers pick whatever language they want just because they like that language.

      Reply
  8. AvatarDaniel J

    I’ll be honest that I’ve used alot of open source code and have barely contributed. In part because I have little time too, but also in part that contribution to open source code, even as a white male, has been extremely problematic. Even as a white male, there are lots of hoops to jump through, ten people to check off on it and lastly, the maintainers of the code can be very protective.

    At the end of the day it’s not worth it, sadly. I’ve fixed more open source device drivers than I ever wanted to. Some of the source code barely works and is written very poorly yet the powers to be say it’s not good enough. No thank you.

    I can see however many creators like Linus Torvalds would be protective along with the maintainers who’ve been contributing for years.

    Reply
  9. Avatardejal

    I’m getting to the end of the line. Retirement is only a few years away.

    I’m doing my best with my code so I’m not remembered as “You want to see some of the crap Dejal wrote?” Because
    that will be your work legacy after you are gone and even if you can’t hear it.

    The main issue where I work is, is you tend to be the guy for this or that because eons ago you worked on it and you will
    always work on it. We do have code reviews to at least try to bring some standardization of code into play. Makes for some job security but really really dumb.

    We had one guy who wrote the programs and interfaces on faith that you’d never get data that was unrecognizable and that the user would always do the right thing. There would never be network problems and locations would always there. There’d also never be permission issues. Guess how that turned out. Couldn’t tell him different. I’ve been the IRS guy for 40 years. My baby, mainframe Neat/3, VB , C#. They gave part of the IRS processing to him. He left, it didn’t work right. if was a constant WTF? WTF? I saved the general flow of the program and just started all over from scratch.

    Reply
  10. Avatardejal

    I suggest from here on that Linux be renamed WokeLinux. It has won for now.
    Let’s see if woke can keep it all together. If being woke is more important than Linux
    I’d said they can’t. Who knows, maybe IT people in the shadows will come up with POCLinux, TransLinux
    and IndigenousLinux. Those will be Linuxes that celebrate diversity.

    Somewhere down the line, Torvalds will take a snapshot of the code as it now stands.
    He will call it “The Mother Linux 0.0 The clock starts now!”. His followers will join him at his new base of operation.

    Anyone associated with one of the Linuxes will be excommunicated and shunned by the other one. You won’t be able
    to pick both. Be prepared to be treated like you were in the 3rd grade. If you are friends with Sally then you can’t be my friend. If you are friends with Betty then you can’t be my friend.

    I’m betting on “The Mother Linux” because to a large degree it has taken a force of will that surpasses herding cats
    to keep it all together. Right up there with Bill Bellichick being asked questions or G. Gordon Liddy burning his hand to show he means it. You know that they know you think they are dicks and they don’t care what you think.

    God this is so F’ing stupid. Funny and sad but so so stupid.

    Reply
  11. AvatarDavid Florida

    I Dad bought a used FWD Buick Skylark for my youngest sister as her first car. That would have been during 1986 or 1987, when I was busy with physics homework, so I don’t know the details well. Probably a 1980, and possibly a “good deal” due to the price. He’d bought a couple of mid to late’60s Skylarks twenty years prior and it surely affected the decision. I do have a clear recollection of his having dumped it soon after an estimate for replacement of the steering rack came in at a cost of more than half the purchase price of the car.

    I have been encouraging my spouse to look at the Encore as a replacement for the 2010 Accord LX sedan that is her current daily. Buick is nearing Memorex territory…

    Reply
  12. Avatarrich

    This nonsense is out of control Jack. Think of what Linus has given this industry. If I half-assed some code into one of his projects, I would damn well deserve a yelling at.

    How many billion dollar businesses now exist because of Linus Torvalds? He falls out with the BitKeeper author, writes a replacement in a weekend, and Git now dominates the version control space.

    In other developments Jon Skeet – who is a superb technologist at Google – recently started posting on SO as a woman called Daisy. I expected he was going to say he was transitioning but no, it was part of some kind of sociological experiment.

    Microsoft Programme manager Scott Hanselman recently posted a link to Alec Baldwin’s ‘fuck or walk’ speech from Glengarry Glen Ross on his blog – and felt the need to put a trigger warning before it.

    Truly there are some real puke making dickheads in this industry now – and more joining all the time.

    Reply
  13. AvatarRoamer

    As a result of this idiot and her coterie, there is serious talk by people of pulling their code out of Linux. Per the open source agreement, once you do that, your code cannot be used by anyone. Let’s see how long it takes this harpy and her allies to get the kernel to compile.

    Reply
    • Avatararbuckle

      “Let’s see how long it takes this harpy and her allies to get the kernel to compile.”

      I doubt she gives a sh*t. If privileged, Nazi-bigot programmers from the wrong side of history pull their code and the whole thing crashes out then she has successfully brought down a pillar of toxic meritocracy and gets the added bonus of being able to publicly name/shame people.

      Reply
      • Avatardejal

        Feelz are more important than results.

        Funny how after WWII the USA and the USSR actually hired and kidnapped real Nazi rocket scientists.

        So, if you believe that this begets this begets this (James Burke: Connections, 1978 + 1994) a whole bunch of current tech is due to the founding fathers which were Nazis.

        And Tang. The Nazis are responsible for Tang.

        Reply
  14. Avatarstingray65

    99% of garbage collectors and sewage workers are men, why aren’t women protesting to get 51% of those jobs? Men suffer from 94% of all workplace deaths, why aren’t women protesting to get 51% of those fatalities? If women and other victim groups truly offer superior code writing, innovative thinking, and decision making at 80% of the cost of white males, why aren’t venture capitalists and Fortune 500 boards financing/hiring only women and victim groups to provide an immediate 20%+ bump to the bottom line? Why do social justice types never want to address questions like this?

    Reply
  15. Avatarstingray65

    Good choices on the piggy bank cars that break the bank, but I think the ultimate current one is the Tesla Model 3. The TM3 is selling like electric hotcakes at apparently good gross margins, but the high volume (for Tesla) and low quality is going to require a level of improved manufacturing capability and customer service that Tesla can’t afford to offer. The relatively low price is likely also attracting lots of customers who don’t want to be beta-testers and instead expect Toyota level build quality and reliability, which Tesla certainly isn’t providing.

    Reply
  16. AvatarPanzer

    Linus getting sidelined is not good, but I read xir’s ‘Code of Conduct’ and it’s fucking meaningless. It’s about two paragraphs and all it does is list all the classes of people you can’t discriminate against and then goes on to give a limited set of examples of ‘unacceptable behaviour’. It never defines what ‘discrimination’ or ‘harassment’ or any of these other terms actually are, making it completely unenforceable.
    Seems to me all xir has done is create a CoC that is so nebulous that 40,000 projects can adopt and then forget about it while xir gets to claim ‘victory’ as if xir has achieved something. It’s just theater.

    Reply
    • AvatarChris Powers

      The vagueness means that anyone or anything they don’t like can be attacked for breaching the rules. I believe that’s the whole point.

      Reply
    • Avatar98horn

      Nope, the CoC makes allegations “indefensible” not “unenforceable.” Real lives and careers are ruined by such things, which is the point.

      Reply
      • AvatarPanzer

        Perhaps I didn’t see the ‘indefensible’ part, but for instance if Torvalds verbally abused a black coder for an actual, provable coding error, then how could xir argue that this was racist abuse?

        Reply
        • AvatarPanzer

          Or in other words, there’s no such thing as ‘indefensible’ under the law, so the snowflakes would actually have to prove that someone had actually discriminated or abused someone else which would be even more difficult if it can be shown that the person on the receiving end actually DID screw up job.

          Reply
          • AvatarChris Powers

            If everyone were sane, you would be right. Everyone here WISHES you were right. We have seen this play out many times, especially over the past 5 years or so. You don’t have to PROVE anything to ruin a person anymore. On top of that, the person behind this isn’t going to rest:

            “Adopting a code of conduct is STEP ONE and does nothing to address systemic issues. The hard work is in designing an enforcement process, answering some hard questions about accountability and safety, and following through.”
            -Coraline Ada Ehmke@CoralineAda

      • Avatarhank chinaski

        Yup. They’ll fire you to avoid the risk/cost of litigation and/or bad publicity. The bar is very, very low.

        More on the topic of pulling code today from VD.

        Reply
        • AvatarPanzer

          Hmm, dude I understand your cynicism, that has definitely happened in the past because risk averse corporations simply didn’t know how to deal with SJW active measures back then and would just take the easy way out like Hank said.
          In the years since then however, much has changed, things like Donglegate, Jessica Price, the Battlefield 5 release have shown the corporations that there is now a cost to capitulating to the radical left of the internet just as before there was a cost to resisting them.
          I think that thankfully this means that there is now more due process for the accused, basically because the right can also now form potent narratives too, like never before.

          Reply
          • Avatar98horn

            Glad you believe there is due process now. You should take an unpopular but true position at work and see how it works for you. Be sure to say hi to James Dalmore in the unemployment line.

          • AvatarPanzer

            I said there is *more* due process, not that there is no problem and also that there is pushback from the right and others against the previously unchallenged SJW active measures.
            Google ‘Jessica Price’ or see what happened to the Googler who got outed in Damore’s lawsuit calling on people to punch Nazis.

  17. Avatar-Nate

    ” the problem with getting rid of Meritocracy is what happens without it” .

    This is a really serious problem ~ many here (you know who you are) are young and idealistic but have absolutely no idea how it is to live in a place that doesn’t use merit as a basic guide to success .

    IMO, all young Americans should be forced to spend some time living elsewhere so they can see what they have and what they’re trying to destroy .

    Notice how the entire world wants to come ere, no one wants to leave America to live in third world hell holes apart from some Doctors and Churchy types who are trying hard to actually put their money where their mouths are .

    -Nate

    Reply
  18. AvatarDr Ribs Revere

    Ever since hearing about the Motus V4 I have had the strangest desire to put one in an MGB GT. Always wondered if it was a good idea, a great idea or just absolute nonsense. Should be a fun level of motivation and weight loss without stepping up to a V8 that’s probably only fun in a straight line. (runner up would have been one of the first two RX7 generations FB & FC, they didn’t seem as good of a home though). As much as I love the idea of the 1.6 BMW six cyl that seems like a much more complicated swap.

    Reply
  19. Avatardejal

    Not so sure about the kidnapping on the US side. I remember a photo of Wernher von Braun with a broken arm. He was doing his best to go west and not east.

    The main point is, are you going to throw away the work of evil if the work was useful?
    If evil hadn’t done the work, you may not have instigated it yourself, but it would unfortunately be crazy to ignore it.

    Reply
  20. Avatargaliant

    Good lord, I spent a large chunk of time Friday reading about one of the other incidents caused by this woman. If you really want to drive yourself crazy, look up her complain on Opal, in which she asks to have one of the top contributors banned because he made a comment in a Twitter reply thread that might have, if you look at it the wrong way, been “transphobic”. Why did I read 300 comments on this? Who knows! Maybe I want to die young. In fact, here it is, just in case anyone else likes torturing themselves. https://github.com/opal/opal/issues/941
    The guy who was moderating the conversation is a hero.

    Reply
  21. AvatarEric L.

    I’m teaching myself Z80 assembly to prove that I’m a real programmer. Jerks like you and demi-gods like dejal won’t take me seriously until I can clone Trax.

    I use high-level languages at work because speed-to-market/speed-to-feature-complete === winning. (To you opcode memorizing machine-people, the triple-equal sign tests for strict equality in the most popular high-level languages).

    The breakthrough moment in early computer science courses, seeing machine code rewrite itself to loop and sum some numbers, that was a real high. Nothing comes close in the day-to-day, hence the need to simultaneously scratch that itch and prove myself.

    Throw me pity stars on GitHub. It took about 6 hours to print hello world on a Gameboy, and was only that short because I can stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before me and do things like implement an IBMPC font for the old girl: https://github.com/Eiriksmal/gameboy

    I hope it increases my merit.

    Reply
    • AvatarDaniel J

      Eric,

      I believe computer languages are tools. Use whatever the best tool for the job is. I wouldn’t expect C# to be a good language for device driver code, nor would I expect a fully featured U.I. to be done in x86 assembler.

      Reply

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