Going through these presentations by Matt Jones the main thing I’m left wondering is if anybody still does any real design and thinking work anymore, when it comes to technology or if all of it now is just flinging shit against the wall (which it very much looks like).
Month: February 2023
It would be fitting if the tech layoffs would take some big bites out of the boundary of the firm and move us to more dynamic working arrangements. Unfortunately a country like Germany with its rigid social security is incredibly hostile to most such arrangements.
I read this thorough survey of monospace fonts by Tim Bray and found out in the end that I’ve already been using the fonts that he recommends (Jetbrains Mono and Inconsolata) for a while now.
It is beyond funny that the right wing conspiracy theorists have latched onto the idea of creating liveable, walkable cities as the next threat to humanity.
A thorough explanation why building UI frameworks in Rust is uniquely difficult (and why we haven’t seen clear victories for Rust in that domain… yet).
There is a lot in this piece on the Khaleeji Ideology and the collapse of future and landscape that is happening in the Gulf.
“you think money can’t buy you happiness? 7bb come to Dubai”
“the color of the Khaleeji Ideology is decidedly green. The acid green of chromakey, the hacker green of a terminal screen, the subtle green of glass, which intensifies with an infinity mirror effect; the greens of astroturf and of lawns and golf courses maintained with desalinated water.”
“When Jake Knapp was running those design thinking workshops at Google, he saw that for all the excitement and Post-its they generated, the brainstorming sessions didn’t usually lead to built products or, really, solutions of any kind.”
“He believes that a justice lens can help foster collaboration and creativity in a much broader way that goes beyond our current power structures.”
Hey Datenschutz, leave those kids alone
The next bit of insanity has to do with the German Datenschutz nutters. This is a small but virulent group of people who have blown up privacy issues to the point where most of Germany is still afraid to use the internet.
It started with this:
A bunch of schools in Karlsruhe were attacked by ransomware and their servers had to be taken offline.
Now the first question that comes to mind is of course: Why does a school have servers? Don’t all schools run in the cloud these days?
Well, in Germany they don’t. There are lots of agencies and levels of decision makers all of whom are too busy covering their own ass and none of them will say: “Schools can use cloud solutions.” People and organizations being as risk averse as they are in Germany, nobody will use cloud solutions without such a declaration.
So what do they do instead? They have to get servers and people to install and maintain barely useable non-cloud collaborative software tools. Nobody in their right mind would use these tools and kids in private schools of course don’t either, but this dysfunctional ideology is foisted upon kids who have no other choice.
These tools are not usable in any way, barely work even in the best of circumstances, are tremendously costly in maintenance and then break like in the news above. If you ever get to see from the inside how a normal organization manages their IT (i.e. poorly), from that point on you will beg, plead and scream to have everything put in the cloud.
That’s where somebody like the poster above from KRITIS comes in. That’s an organization representing people who get off on pushing around physical servers and whose founding member sells an alternative private collaboration suite, exactly like the ones that they recommend people use.
I agree with their core point that critical infrastructure should be protected better and in just doing that they’ll generate more than enough work for all the security consultants in their network. Just stop scaring normal people because you benefit from the widespread climate of fear and hands off the kids.
Out with Bungacast and their tankie/nutter agenda
Several online situations today where I think I’m going insane so I might as well document them.
I listened to the last episode of Bungacast with the authors of the new book “The Covid Consensus”.
Both the book and the episode are highly questionable. There is little more there than pandering to the COVID sceptic horseshoe left by fishing in the murky pond of anti-authoritarianism, pseudo-science and neoreaction.
Now I wouldn’t think it weird that COVID nutters would write a book. What is odd is that Bungacast would give that much prominence to something which is obviously dumb. Not sure if it’s a cynical play on the alternative/controversial left or whether the podcasters truly believe this way of looking at the world has any merit. In any case, for me this is Schluß with this particular pod.
A while back I had listened to an episode of Politics Theory Other which has long been a favorite podcast of mine where Richard Seymour utterly demolishes that very same book. PTO is actually serious, actually left, actually critical and very much recommended.
That episode is well worth a (re)listen and I’m now a fan of Richard Seymour who comes in like a sledgehammer.
If I lift this one level, the so called “Lockdown” is being used as a scapegoat for anything and everything that people don’t like. Here in Europe the lockdowns felt very long but were brief in retrospect. The longest probably being the 3 month school/daycare closure at the start of the pandemic during which we also suffered immensely. Real hard lockdowns happened in a country like China. Claiming that the relatively mild restrictions that we had for a couple of months (and then twice more) created irreparable damage in the general population is very fucking rich.
They may be right about Lockdown in one way that the concept of it has become big enough and detached from reality enough to house whatever theories or madness anybody wants to house in it. As such, lockdown was a huge psychohistoric event.