I’m glad that this takedown of Clean Code by Dan Abramov got so much traction. I have no problem with clean code (lowercase), but inevitably the process of getting there and the things people do as a consequence make the entire endeavor an anti-pattern.

“Obsessing with “clean code” and removing duplication is a phase many of us go through. When we don’t feel confident in our code, it is tempting to attach our sense of self-worth and professional pride to something that can be measured. A set of strict lint rules, a naming schema, a file structure, a lack of duplication.”

As always, people get too attached to the parts that are the most obvious and the least important.


“The privilege I have – how? No, genuinely, how?”

Well, I say, in terms of wealth, class, education – that kind of privilege, in knowing how to decode the rules in certain spaces. As a caveat, I add that both of us have privilege, and it’s not a criticism; I was simply curious to know what she thought. Things take an awkward turn.

“Well no, because, no… ” There is a very long and tense pause, before she insists that, actually, there is little difference between her experience and that of her co-star John Boyega, who grew up in south London to British Nigerian immigrant parents. “John grew up on a council estate in Peckham and I think me and him are similar enough that… no… Also, I went to a boarding school for performing arts, which was different.”

Daisy Ridley has no idea that she is privileged.


“If I have learned anything from the experience I’ve just described, it’s that the desire to shape, bait, surf, defy, find meaning in, or otherwise control and draw sharp lines between myself and the haters puts me on risky psychic territory. It’s dangerous. My provisional conclusion? That the best path for me, should hating on my person ever recur at scale, is to deploy, to the best of my ability, relentless sincerity, credulity, wit, and yes, shamelessness, but, crucially, shameability, too—openness to being justly shamed. If I become unshameable, after all, what good is my shamelessness? If I start assuming in advance, deep down, that no one whom I’ve upset with my words has valid points to make, what will I have become? I found it least harmful, actually, to keep my eyes and ears open throughout the dogpiles, experiencing them as reminders that the revolution will not be content-moderated; that I am fighting for things that make people hate me and that that’s sort of okay, I can respect it (plus, hey, it’s mutual).”