Post-Progress Software Development

Sam Osborn on June 12, 2019

Things look dire. Not a small collection of smart people* are looking at the astonishing mismatch between IPCC climate models and current state of ... [Read Full]
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I have hope that the catastrophe we face will also be a chance to build a better world focused on caring for people and the land and water we depend on. Whatever happens with computing specifically, I hope it too will be reimagined to serve and support all rather than sciphoning power and wealth to the few. I’m ready to fight for that future, and indeed, we’ve already begun.


I love the idea that the future of computers + the internet is smaller, more locally relevant, and more bespoke/customized. Some of the best parts of what we currently have are the niche networks like Ravelry, (Dev), the Mastodon Fediverse, etc. It would be cool to see those networks get even more local + radical.

In terms of the profession of writing code, I've often imagined that we are sort of in the place that woodworkers were in before furniture starting being made in factories. Woodworkers still exist now, but they're not spending their entire day making the same piece of furniture by hand - that's what robots are for. There are fewer of them, and they're building custom things for folks who need something that's not mass-produced.

In a post-progress world, perhaps such services will be useful as barter for other services and goods. I love the idea of trading a Raspberry-Pi based LoRa temperature monitor mesh network for some sheet-metal work.



Hopefully, the harsh realities of the world facing us will break the spell of technology-as-lifestyle and social-media-as-productivity, and let us use computers again as tools.


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