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Code Trends 0.0.3

Andrew Pierno
CTO @WiZR AI and writing
・2 min read

Code Trends 0.0.3 — When code gets political

Code Trends

Given the events of this week, and without being tone deaf to the #blm movement, I want to acknowledge that code is not neutral, and we as a technology industry have a long way to go.

What happens when code get’s politicized 🤷‍♀️? Code is not neutral. Much like bias in machine learning, voting with what code does is not a neutral act. Github is used by many people around the world. However, most of the repos you encounter have READMEs in English. This is changing. Have you been coming across more and more foreign language repos? I have, and though I can’t read them yet, this is a good thing.

Native english speakers forget that from c to javascript, you’re mostly writing english. What does it say to a young eastern student that to learn to code, you must learn some english. English is a western language. Is code a western thing? What would make it more eastern? Yes, of course part of the answer is the problem you choose to solve with code, but acknowledge that this is not neutral territory. This is not a blank piece of canvas waiting to be painted on, there are rules written by mostly white people.

What kind of world do we want to build? Those of us who can write code have a unique skill to directly change the path of humanity. So what does it say when the top golang repo this week is titled **police-brutality?**

These are reasonable questions to ask at an inflammatory time. What can you work on to make real change? What will your dent in the universe be? Perhaps putting a dent in the universe is no longer the lofty kind of idealism we need in Silicon Valley, and beyond. The universe implies unity, the dent implies damage. We do not see unity, and we do not need any more damage. We see division, racism, and the very people sworn to protect us wearing riot gear and pepper spraying children among many other egregious acts.

So let’s not pretend everything is okay, let’s write code that does not aim to put a dent in the universe, but instead, aims to patch the holes in people’s hearts.

P.S. If do not agree that Black Lives Matter, please, for the love of whatever god you pray to, unsubscribe.

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