Systems Failure

Sunday, October 27, 2013 – Systems Failure

Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary gods for mercy. ~ Bill Gates

The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is the lawgiver. No playwright, no stage director, no emperor, however powerful, has ever exercised such absolute authority to arrange a stage or field of battle and to command such unswervingly dutiful actors or troops. ~ Joseph Weizenbaum

It’s hardware that makes a machine fast. It’s software that makes a fast machine slow. ~ Craig Bruce

We decided that the French could never write user-friendly software because they’re so rude. ~ Doug Coupland

Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves. ~ Alan Kay

Human beings either function as individuals or as members of a pack. There’s a switch inside us, deep in our spirit, that you can turn one way or the other. It’s almost always the case that our worst behaviour comes out when we’re switched to the mob setting. The problem with a lot of software designs is that they switch us to that setting. ~ Jaron Lanier

There’s not a long track record of people leaving professional sports to become a software developer. ~ Curt Schilling

I just became one with my browser software. ~ Bill Griffith

The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn’t any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it’s right. If it disturbs you it’s wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed. ~ Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values

I still love books. Nothing a computer can do can compare to a book. You can’t really put a book on the Internet. Three companies have offered to put books by me on the Net, and I said, “If you can make something that has a nice jacket, nice paper with that nice smell, then we’ll talk.” All the computer can give you is a manuscript. People don’t want to read manuscripts. They want to read books. Books smell good. They look good. You can press it to your bosom. You can carry it in your pocket. ~ Ray Bradbury

Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one. ~ Neil Gaiman

If television’s a babysitter, the Internet is a drunk librarian who won’t shut up. ~ Dorothy Gambrell

Doing research on the Web is like using a library assembled piecemeal by pack rats and vandalized nightly. ~ Roger Ebert

Certainly it constitutes bad news when the people who agree with you are buggier than batshit. ~ Philip K. Dick

Can we go back to using Facebook for what it was originally for – looking up exes to see how fat they got? ~ Bill Maher

We’ve all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true. ~ Robert Wilensky

Everyone knows that the Internet is changing our lives, mostly because someone in the media has uttered that exact phrase every single day since 1993. However, it certainly appears that the main thing the Internet has accomplished is the normalization of amateur pornography. There is no justification for the amount of naked people on the World Wide Web, many of whom are clearly (clearly!) doing so for non-monetary reasons. Where were these people fifteen years ago? Were there really millions of women in 1986 turning to their husbands and saying, ‘You know, I would love to have total strangers masturbate to images of me deep-throating a titanium dildo, but there’s simply no medium for that kind of entertainment. I guess we’ll just have to sit here and watch Falcon Crest again. ~ Chuck Klosterman

The internet is just a world passing notes around a classroom. ~ Jon Stewart

Only on the Internet can a person be lonely and popular at the same time. ~ Allison Burnett

The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had. ~ Eric Schmidt

Most neuroses and some psychoses can be traced to the unnecessary and unhealthy habit of daily wallowing in the troubles and sins of five billion strangers. ~ Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at; as railroads lead to Boston or New York. We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate. ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Thanks to the internet, you can provoke thoughts of those in mansions, from the uncomfortableness of your shack. ~ Mokokoma Mokhonoana

The Internet gives us everything and forces us to filter it not by the workings of culture, but with our own brains. This risks creating six billion separate encyclopedias, which would prevent any common understanding whatsoever. ~ Umberto Eco

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. ~ Thomas Jefferson

Actually, watching television and surfing the Internet are really excellent practice for being dead. ~ Chuck Palahniuk

Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy. ~ Joseph Campbell

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history – with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila. ~ Mitch Ratcliffe

The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That’s where we come in; we’re computer professionals. We cause accidents. ~ Nathaniel S. Borenstein

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