On my List of Things to Worry About, a superintelligent AI taking over the world just doesn’t rank.
We humans don’t understand our own sentience and intelligence. We’re a long way from creating a truly sentient, understanding, superintelligent machine.
The current and near-term models labeled artificial “intelligence” introduce a threat similar to a nuclear bomb. Just like the bomb, these AI have no real intelligence, no real understanding. An intelligent bomb could understand what was going on and refuse to explode.
It was 2021. Spring pollen competed with birdsong to fill the air. Sneezes abounded. We needed to relocate my mom, but were having a rough go of it. Finding the cash to finance a move and purchase a dwelling of some kind was proving elusive.
I took an inventory of my skills:
Skill Level Construction (houses) Basic Software development High Musical talent Mediocre Busking at the waterfront on the weekends might pull in a few hundred a month — more if they pay me to stop.
Recently I was involved in a massive migration project involving IdentityServer and OIDC. But that’s a story for another time. This post comes from the other side of the tracks, from the point of view of a mild-mannered user trying to create and manage their user account on your site.
As software people, one of our main goals should be to delight our users. Unfortunately, as a user myself, I am often underwhelmed, frustrated, and decidedly un-delighted when faced with managing my user account.
It was 1983, and the Internet was an infant with fresh poo in its diaper, cooing for attention. Now an aging millennial, the diaper is long gone. The cries for attention, however, have become the raucous worldwide cacophony of the digital age.
And the poo? It’s everywhere, as you can see in the above pie graph I just made up.
The founding fathers of the Internet hoped to usher in a new Information Age, facilitate the sharing of Big Ideas and the free flow of information across cultural, linguistic, and national boundaries… Yup, totally nailed it.
Hi, I’m Ty, and I’m a runner! 👋 Recently I ran past the invisible 10,000 kilometer mark.
The journey? Amazing! And educational. So far I’ve managed to avoid serious injury, and keep a smile on my face. I’m grateful for the advice of running buddies and loads of running books, blogs, and videos.
Here I’ve compiled a concentrated list of “running rules” that may help you get faster, stay injury free, and never lose that mid-run smile.
“Hey, can I make money trading crypto?” — For technologists, this question is starting to feel like the new, “Can you fix my computer?”
Except that this question is so much worse, the stakes so much higher. So my response is to get all shifty and uncomfortable, launching into an super subtle staring contest with my drink.
Of course, the short answer is an eyebrow scrunching, lip puckering, “um… yes…?”.
And yes, that’s a “yes” couched delicately between two ellipses, like an egg in the mouth of a Golden Retriever. Because “yes” is also the answer to a question like, “Can I be a spaceman and fly to the moon?”
I saw a tweet the other day that said, “the scariest thing about COVID-19 is that it looks like a JIRA ticket.” That is scary!
Gets you thinking though: What if COVID-19 were a JIRA ticket for a software bug? Can we unearth a lesson or two about how to prevent bugs from sneaking into our haloed code repositories and affecting our users?
What if your favorite programming language was actually moonlighting as a running shoe? What would it feel like to run in it? Say no more, because here they are, and in no particular order. It’s just a heap of running shoes.
C Programming in C is like running barefoot. It’s just you and the hard asphalt, the bare metal. Or maybe the grass, if you’re fortunate. In fact, you may need some grass, after your first buffer overrun pierces your foot and leads to that humiliating international incident.
“Voice hoarse, I heaved a huge shoulder-slumping sigh. I’d just wanted to maximize the thing. Instead there I was yelling at all the kids on my lawn, throwing rocks at a cloud, ranting on about non-existent terms like Trust-Driven-Development. Who hurt me, you ask?”
It was the forth annual company campout and we were huddled around the fire pit swapping horror stories gathered from the dark depths of the software industry, holding the fire at bay with an array of steely s’more forks.