Musings

No answers, only opinions

Standing on the edge of the abyss outside of Mel's Diner. I closed my eyes as I felt the city rush around me.

I took a pause and resonated into an alternate reality.

The cars? No more. The streets? Now fields. The buildings? The same shape, but no longer lifeless empty buildings after dusk. Instead, a different light shines from every window.

The moans snap me back into place. Someone is trying to get my attention to help. Something about just having surgery. I can't help. I think about all the tents I saw earlier.

I think about the person charging their phone through a street light. I thought it was neat how the city provided outlets in the lamp posts. I stared a bit as I walked past. There wasn't an outlet. Just a couple loose wires with the two prongs from the charger attached at their exposures. Hotwires. I'm impressed.

I think of all open floors, open kitchens, and open outlets: high above and all around. Could they help?

Of course not. They're not zoned for helping. Their hands are tied.

My friends are back. I couldn't wait inside with them. I needed some fresh air. I don't know if I got any, but I was glad to see my friends.

Prepping for a party today. Chili is cooking, V is making deviled eggs. We always squabble about the eggs. She likes mayo, I like miracle whip. She likes dill relish, I like a dash of sweet pickle juice.

I can't say mine are better anymore. It's a subjective debate. All I can do is try a bite and say: “I can't give you any advice, you're targeting a different flavor profile and I support you, but you're on your own here.”

Last year I talked about some heavier stuff thinking about our nation's history. Don't need to do that anymore because we've got all of our shit together down here now.

Unlike our neighboring Canada, we didn't have any sort of formalilzed system for killing indigenous children with the social endorsement from the church. Right? Right?? As far as I know, we only had pray-the-gay-away camps. /sarcasm (but also like, Christian Gays make the best lovers so thanks for the band of brothers, Jerry Falwell)

Anyway Canada, be more like us next time. Not blood thirsty, money hungry, and power insatiable.

We've got some things we can learn from you too, but let's just start with “genocide bad” and go from there. Now that you mention it, we can probably do a little bit better down here too.

I'll keep advocating for not oppressing others if you can agree to the same. I mean, I'm gonna do it anyways, but we all need to do our part so don't be a dick.

Thanks Canadians.

Cheers, Americans

In my previous essay, I pointed at Microsoft as the source of my nightmares.

I said, “While my essays have been full of fear, I believe that fear is not unfounded.” And I read a thing that contains fragments of that fear. I see both good and bad, but left to my own devices, I'd only see bad and become filled with fear.

I think that's because I know it is not just Microsoft. And I know it is not just law enforcement. And this claims Microsoft turned over records of journalists, members of Congress, and staffers for political purposes by a court order.

Looking back at my essays, a common thread is casual hate. I'm terrified of what modern day technical and political abilities are capable of when they are powered by such a subtle hate.

Sorry if I scared you, I was just scared too.

Turns out, I've been afraid of a social problem that I thought was in need of a technical solution. We the people just stick together, we'll come out alright in the end.

To be clear though, by stick together, I mean we really to end this mass surveillance thing. And like, the hate that justified it in the first place.

And the fear that caused that hate and by logical conclusion the signing of the PATRIOT Act by Bush. And the cancellation of Patriot Act by Netflix. #FreeHasan

Joking aside though, I've yet to hear even a single argument in favor of cataloging every thing about every person so that they can be stop and frisked virtually without knowing their rights have been violated by anybody that isn't a bug-eyed salamander in Silicon Valley.

Article mirrored in full below. Original Source Mirror

Read more...

Junior recruiter on the team sources candidates on LinkedIn looking for candidates with TypeScript abilities.

After finding some qualified profiles, sends them en masse over to the technical recruiter. They filter out the candidates without GitHub accounts. Then they validate the repositories are more than just the standard projects written in a coding bootcamp with VS Code and Copilot.

A candidate that passes this bar is then forwarded to an engineer to see if their published NPM packages are original and practical contributions.

A hiring manager gives them a call to ask a single open-ended question that they will use to make a hiring decision: Tell me about a time you've deployed an application to Azure.

Congratulations. Microsoft officially fixed the broken Silicon Valley interview process.

The whiteboard has been eliminated along with all other forms of creativity.


In my previous essay, I described Microsoft as fully, vertically integrated. An Invisible Amazon.

LinkedIn, TypeScript, GitHub, VS Code, Copilot, NPM and Azure are all Microsoft properties that have the potential to control the entire pipeline from employment screening to screen addiction.

Microsoft has evaded all forms of antitrust scrutiny in the United States of America after they began participating in the PRISM program.

While my essays have been full of fear, I believe that fear is not unfounded. Like I said before, I can't fight this anymore. At least not online.

Anyone want to meet up?

I can make it to San Francisco, Oakland, or San Jose. Down for whenever.

Hey, I'm doing better. Today is my birthday. I'm 32 years old.

I still have constant dark thoughts about the state of the world and the role technology plays in various forms of exploitation. I'd love to help fix a lot of that.

But I can't. I'm just one person. I tried this year. I wrote everything down. I raged against the machine. I mentally and emotionally took on the weight of the world.

Ended up smothering myself a bit, if I'm being honest. I became my work. My work became me. I became one with the computer.

I grew a lot. I learned a lot. I'm prepped to fight again in the future. First, I need to recover.

I need to get out of the house. I need to do the things I stopped doing in pursuit of acquiring knowledge, resources, and allies to stop Microsoft and the other goons.

I spent my 20s pit against an enterprise with bottomless pockets. I fought them with open-source software. A tool I thought was not corruptible, but they found a work-around with AI. Might not be fully legal, but that will not get settled in the courts in my lifetime.

They are now fully, vertically integrated. An invisible Amazon.

There's nothing left I can do, apart from perhaps testifying before Congress in an anti-trust case as an expert witness. Please summon me to testify using the professional experience I've accrued this past decade.

Enough of that shit though.

I'm going to play disc golf again. I'm going to play footbag again. I'm going to find people to play ultimate frisbee with.

Had coffee with a new friend this morning. Looking forward to the many new friends to come. I'm glad I cut all the toxic shit out of my life.

This is the best I've felt on my birthday in a long time. Shit is just not my problem. At least, it's not JUST my problem.

If I can help you in this invisible war, let me know. I'm happy to help.

Let's collaborate.

Read through Poor in Tech this morning.

I relate.

In high school, I was pretty good at math. I wasn't great at math, but I was pretty good.

Read more...

I was walking down the road.

I stepped in some gum.

Gunked all up in my treads.

I looked around.

No one saw, thank dog.

He howled.

All the humans stepped in gum.

Nature roared back.

We know.

Tonight I went for drinks outside with a friend for the first time since The Start©.

He'd never been to The Beer Garden where that Apple engineer left a prototype iPhone 4. It happens to be near my place.

Before heading down from San Francisco, my friend noticed Google said they were closed today. I had no idea. I didn't get his message; I logged off from work early tonight.

When I was heading out the door I caught it and replied, “Let's meet there anyways and figure it out when you get here.” An entirely unnecessary ordeal; given they were actually open when I arrived.

We had a great time chatting and catching up. At the end of the night, we were the last ones to leave.

Parting with our server, he said, “Hey, thanks for coming out on a Monday.” We mentioned we almost didn't come. Google said they were closed.

The short of it is: they can't get in touch with Google to get it fixed. The long of it... there's a retail store in front they own too. That's closed on Mondays. The Beer Garden is actually open. Google does not comprehend such a nuance.

Google does not employ such a person that can program such a nuance. At least not at scale. It is a human nuance. A human problem. An expensive problem.

If Google had to pay a software engineer for every edge case that could possibly cost a small business their business in an economy that's trying to recover from a global pandemic, they'd be out of business.

Trust me, I'm a software engineer that works in their neighborhood. They're a business too.

So look. That's all I've been getting at with these blogs. That's how Google treats a business in their own backyard. Imagine how all these Big Technology companies treat people behind their backs. Imagine the social consequences of such unchecked negligence.

I'm just going to rest my case here and now. Whatever I've been on about with my blogs, this is it: I had a great time tonight. It is a shame I felt the need to get on my computer to blog about it. Hammering away at my keys knowing it is just me and a couple friends against a Mind Flayer that nobody else can see.

I think the monster I'm chasing is that monster Aral had been confronting head on. I think it's the same monster Dave Chappelle was talking about in his Unforgiven special.

I digress. I need to adapt and come at this monster from a different angle.

We paid our bill. Our transaction was complete. Our server could have said anything or nothing at all.

He said, “Thanks for coming out on a Monday.”

Whatever the tip shook out to be on a few beers and a couple pretzels, that's how much Google costs. Well, that's how much they would have cost our server had I paid them any mind. Could have been worse.


Welcome to the attention economy. From here on in, the only attention I'll be sending you on these digital airwaves will be good vibes.

Open source software is developed within a community. Not everyone in the community needs to know how to write software to contribute. Some of the most important contributions come in the form of user feedback.

Truth be told, most software developers have no idea how much pain they've caused with their software until someone tells them. One approach is to add telemetry to software. In closed-source applications, an end-user has zero insight into anything about what that telemetry process might look like.

Audacity is audio editing software that is open-source. There's currently a change drafted to add telemetry from Google and Yandex. This has sparked a lot of discussion and the conversation has become heated at times.

Read more...

A week an a half ago, in an essay titled “I don't pay for Netflix”, I wrote:

IBM helped the Nazi's with genocide in the 1940's. Not hypothetically, actually.

Is this true? Let's find out.

Read more...

Enter your email to subscribe to updates.