Software development: should we stop? Maybe we should
Source: Hacker News
Article note: It's a nifty piece of writing, more thought-provoking poetry than a traditional argument. In several ways I agree.
(Commented on HN:)
Thinking about the state of the software world in the last several years always makes me think of Vernor Vinge's notion of a "Mature Programming Environment" from _A Deepness in the Sky_ (1999),
"The word for all this is ‘mature programming environment.’ Basically, when hardware performance has been pushed to its final limit, and programmers have had several centuries to code, you reach a point where there is far more significant code than can be rationalized. The best you can do is understand the overall layering, and know how to search for the oddball tool that may come in handy"
(Longer excerpt with an earlier bit about rewriting things always eventually just moving around the set of bugs, inconsistencies, and limitations rather than improving them here: http://akkartik.name/post/deepness )
And and Danny Hillis' idea about the Entanglement ( excerpt from a 2012 interview with SciAm) -
"But what's happened though, and I don't think most people realize this has happened yet, is that our technology has actually now gotten so complicated that we actually no longer do understand it in that same way. So the way that we understand our technology, the most complicated pieces of technology like the Internet for example, are almost like we understand nature; which is that we understand pieces of them, we understand some basic principles according to which they operate, in which they operate. We don't really understand in detail their emerging behaviors. And so it's perfectly capable for the Internet to do something that nobody in the world can figure out why it did it and how it did it; it happens all the time actually. We don't bother to and but many things we might not be able to."
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