Jon Atkinson

Jon Atkinson

title: "Link Roundup #1" slug: "link-roundup-1" date: 2023-01-05 00:00:00.000000+00:00

A few years ago I used to write these short articles with links to interesting things I found on the internet. I stopped doing that because I didn't have the time to write them. Now I have the time, so I'm going to start doing it again.

Surviving Disillusionment

The software engineering discipline is deeply immature. As we seem unable to rectify this, it's unsurprising that a lot of software engineering has been relegated to software plumbing (and soon, further relegated to proofreading AI output). So disillusionment is never far from anyone's mind:

"[...] engineers are faced with two realities. One reality is the atmosphere of new technology, its incredible power to transform the human condition, the joy of the art of doing science and engineering, the trials of the creative process, the romance of the frontier. The other reality is the frustration and drudgery of operating in a world of corporate politics, bureaucracy, envy and greed [...]"

Oligopoly Everywhere

Consider that while the internet grapples with centralisation and federation, the same question has been asked for a long time in other media. What are we doing to make the media accessible to outsiders, or independents? Could we ever resist the safety and predictability which centralisation promises, in art, politics, software, and systems?

Where Did Software Go Wrong?

"The Internet was a fantastic assemblage of all the world’s knowledge, and it was a bastion of freedom that would make time, space, and geopolitics irrelevant. Ignorance, authoritarianism, and scarcity would be relics of the meatspace past.

Things didn’t quite turn out that way. The magic disappeared and our optimism has since faded. Our websites are slow and insecure; our startups are creepy and unprofitable; our president Tweets hate speech; we don’t trust our social media apps, webcams, or voting machines. [...] Where did it all go wrong?"