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scrottie (4167)

scrottie
  scott@slowass.net
http://slowass.net/

My email address is scott@slowass.net. Spam me harder! *moan*

Journal of scrottie (4167)

Wednesday October 14, 2009
10:33 AM

Cynicism strategy

[ #39753 ]

I badly need a newer, faster computer as the requirements of modern software have outpaced the 1.7ghz P4 Celeron desktop and the 800mhz fanless laptop I have. I have a little cash at the moment. Yet I'm far more inclined to spend it all stockpiling dry good and canned goods from the dented can store. I'm extremely apprehensive about splurging for newer, faster hardware. Even a $230 gPC3 with a 2.0gha Sempron would be a huge upgrade from this P4 Celeron -- two terrible things together at last! Obnoxious number of pipeline stages meets stripped out ALUs and cache. What a dog.

In a very real sense, my cynicism here is a self fulfilling prophecy. What kind of programmer carries around an 800mhz fanless computer as their main machine? How many programmers have to take pace breaks because the drive light is pegged yet again while it thrashes around in its maxed out 256 megs of RAM?

In a sense, through my actions, I'm saying "I think I can't, I think I can't".

There are plenty of ways to divide programmers according to philosophy. I'm one who worries about the worst case -- the worst case run time of the algorithm, the race conditions, the boogie men lurking in the basement of the codebase, and so on. Other programmers are unarguably optimistic, who try daring things and celebrate the moment it works, perhaps rightly thinking that getting it to work well will be the easy part.

I'm drowning in leaky abstractions. I think the people who think VPNs are great are more easily able to ignore losing all of their sessions those several or hundreds of times a day the VPN disconnects. People who think that any technology is great are able to put up with the downside of that technology... whereas I'm stuck in a cost:benefit analysis that even if it doesn't rule against the technology, makes me acutely aware of its downside. From my point of view, people are overly eager to assume the negative costs of technology for the promise of benefits. Optimistic programmers put the rest of us up to our necks in abstractions we don't need and often don't benefit from at all. Yet you can't yell at someone for being an optimist.

-scott

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