2020-05-27 The meaning of software

An interesting blog post by Jesse Li, Where Did Software Go Wrong? It starts with the disillusion many feel about software development (me included), continues on to talk about who writes software, whom they write it for, who benefits, and capitalism.

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The more I work in contact centre projects, where call centre agents make phone calls and answer e-mails, where they use scripts to guide the conversation, in an environment where I suspect that all the counter-arguments have been neatly assembled, where I imagine all responsibility is swiftly deflected, where I read that mistakes are only admitted in private and compensations are always tied to non-disclosure agreements, the more I wonder about the role of software in our society, the more I wonder about the role of programmers in our society. Are we arming corporations as they confront fellow humans, giving them longer lances, better tools? In the end we humans have but one choice, the one that I have made a long time ago: to minimize all contact. I don’t answer the phone for unknown numbers, I unsubscribe from all newsletters or send them straight to the Junk folder, I don’t send feedback, I block ads as much as I can. I try to live in a parallel universe where I don’t see them and they don’t see me because every second spent with corporations are seconds of my life lost. We are not cooperatives organising humans in order to improve our lot, together, and I’m feeling the alienation.

– Alex Schroeder 2020-05-28 11:44 UTC


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