Deautomated Thinking

A site for thinking out loud with.

All that's code melts into air

Marx is famous for saying "all that is solid melts into air". We can dispute that dictum under capitalism and whether it holds. I think its far harder to dispute that this happens with software. Before the CoVID times, the NHS got hacked. Specifically a large number of NHS computers got crippled by malware called WannaCry because the NHS was running Windows XP. XP was deprecated, no longer supported and thus had security holes. Of course the NHS should have upgraded their software. You should ...
Read post

Things everyone "knows"

I have a friend who, when the Snowden revelations came out said incredulously “Everyone knows that. This isn’t new.” I’ve heard things like this for different revelations, or problems or issues, for most of my life. You put to someone some facts, as it were - they know the facts and shrug. A few comments come to mind. Firstly there is a world of difference between an abstract generality and a concrete particular. We might well have suspected or “known” that America, Britain and other countries ...
Read post

Knives out for Boris

Boris seems to be on the out. He might last, but a great deal of power is very much arrayed against him now. This will seem to absolve the Tory party of all sins, but its worth remembering that they enabled his behaviour and are very much complicit in the sordid state of the country. I wrote this midway through the Summer and then promptly forgot about it. On reading it, I still stand by some of it but now it seems less clear cut that riot might happen, that the forces Boris engaged in will ris...
Read post

The right choice and the wrong reasons (in Software Engineering)

I think its a generally shared maxim that you shouldn’t do something for bad reasons. In fact this is so wide spread we take it for granted. A bit of reflection as to how prominent this maxim is shared would tell you how often its advice is actually followed. Its actually quite hard to spot a bad reason within oneself. Its quite easy, or so we think, to spot when others are reasoning badly. Because we can see this (or think we do), we become exacerbated at others and believe them insane or idiot...
Read post

Unparliamentary Language

At this moment a ceasefire has been called between Israel and Palestine. The missiles being fired between the two countries has at least stopped - whether one can say that normal has been restored given some of what was occurring before and has been occurring for the last few years (or decades even), is a point I wish to leave aside. What I want to get into is something else, something that this most recent conflict has provided a prime example. What I have to say isn’t, I think, particularly re...
Read post

Why I don't use Facebook (or thinking about Social Media)

I don’t use Facebook but did a long time ago. My reasons for ditching at the time were not particularly concrete. I was studying philosophy and doing a small dissertation on technology. I examined what Facebook gave me and came to a conclusion that it wasn’t an aid to my life and that I might try disabling it for a while to see what happened[1]. I never returned. My reasons have since become more coherent to me and I'd like to articulate what keeps me out. Some of it is pretty uncontroversial a...
Read post