Musings

No answers, only opinions

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.

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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.

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You tell me, in our first conversation in how many years in which we attempt to catch up. “Haha, no worries, no one does...” I brush off your casual harm to stroll along with social pleasantries.

The truth is, I don't care that you don't pay for Netflix. What I care about is how loaded that statement is to me. What I hear is, “I don't pay for software.” And that's just such a long conversation that I don't have the energy for on a normal day. And one that you're not in the mood for either.

So instead, here's an article. If you're reading this, chances are I linked you to this post after a chat.

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In December a friend texted a link to an early SARS-COV-2 article and said, “The Zombie apocalypse is starting.”

In February, I had Jury Duty where the trial we were being selected for would last three weeks. A man was concerned he'd need to recuse himself to go to China to care for his father. I was personally concerned about spending three weeks with the same group of people while a virus that seemed to have a two week incubation period and was beginning to break ground in the US.

The first known cases in the US were in Seattle and Santa Clara. The first deaths in the US happened in Santa Clara in February. I drive past Santa Clara on my way to work every day.

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I'm not much of a chef, but I've got a yearly tradition: On Super Bowl Sunday, I make Chili. I'm not much of a football fan either, but I like a good excuse to socialize. Well, most years anyways.

Still though, tradition remains. I approach cooking like I approach my code. I like keeping simple things simple. My chili is one of those things.

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I was twelve years old when 9/11 happened. After the first tower was hit, the teachers turned on the televisions and we all watched. We saw the second tower get hit and the both of them fall.

I watched 3,000 people die live on television. We all did.

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If I truly believed the likes of Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook were committing human rights violations against people in their own homes, then I would quit them.

So I did.

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I've been thinking about the Titanic a lot lately. A ship that was believed to be unsinkable, due in part to the watertight bulkheads. A ship that was designed for 32 life rafts, carried only 20, a decision that was driven by aesthetic or money.

Each raft could safely carry 70 passengers. Had all 32 rafts been present, all 2,240 souls on board could have had a chance at survival. Sadly, with only 20 rafts on it's maiden and final voyage, the risk of 840 human lives was deemed worthwhile. After all, the ship was unsinkable.

However, one fatal flaw was glossed over in the pursuit of grandeur. The watertight bulkheads were not quite watertight.

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Overall, 2020 has been a... year.

The best thing to come out, imo, is Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts. This show has had a profound impact on me personally and I'm not going to share details with any of you.

What I can say is, you should check it out, because maybe a part of it will resonate with you too. In a year where we all need hope for a better future, this show might give you peace and resolve for how you can help.

If I might include one recommendation, don't binge it. Watch one episode a day and you'll be done in 30 days.

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