thoughtwisps One commit at a time


Today, I promise, I will finally quit.

In every programmer’s life there comes a time. That time when the only way to save production from cataclysmic p1 inducing collapse is to do the unthinkable, rm rf, CREATE UPDATE with a little SQL that you haven’t used since you were a little skid testing (just testing) that website for a SQL injection vuln. You curse the ORM that’s dulled your taste for raw SQL as you spin up the terminal, punch in your commands and then you say a little hail stallman, turing, pike, but not djikstra because he’d just laugh at you and your little spaghetti objecti orientati.

Then you hit enter and for an agonizing second (or ten if you’re running on a hosed linux that’s trying to recover from hosting whatever blog just became the viral hacker news punching bag), you watch and wait until the cursor returns.

Omg, fuck, every profanity in the book, it’s done. We’re in the green, boys, back up and running, making money, let the HN commentary cornucopia continue. Phew, wipe off that primal fear of a SQL statement gone wrong and watch your kibana go from red to green in soothing undulations.

This is the kind of moment that turns your adrenaline curve into a violent mountainscape.

But dammit, quitting social media should not make you feel like this. My cursor is on the deactivate and my mind filled with that primal rm -rf fear.

Careful now, one click and your umbilical hive mind cord is gone.

With a promise I ve failed to keep now three times, I stare at the deactivate button.

It’s all about the dopamine you see, the neuronarco says and taps on his temples. A heart lights up on the screen, a microdose of approval from a stranger or maybe a bot. You give them what they want, he continues. The sense of belonging without having to belong, low barrier to entry, almost impossible to exit.

A piece of the technojunkie soul flies up to the upload heaven.

It’s October 2008 and the world is sending large waves molten hot panic all the way to my corner of the north. I watch the ticker tape of numbers and symbols omx, dax, nasdaq, the collective value of the world reduced to angry red downward arrows.

They run a series of stock images of people in dress shirts and pressed trouser making intense eye contact with computer screens and then a talking head telling everyone in the audience to consume, consume more so this sputtering engine of an economy can come back to life.

If you buy shit you need and shit you don’t need, you’re doing something, you’re contributing.

If you share, click, tweet, you’re contributing.

It starts small. You share a snap of that hipstah morning latte and your avo toast and rant how the tube is perpetually crammed (it’s the Millenials, if they’d just mind the bloody gap, we’d all be fine).

The road to techno-mania is paved with small doses. Spaces vs tabs. Haskell vs scheme, spaghetti code vs lasagna code. The likes keep raining, like little well rationed shots of warm and fuzzy that explode on your screen in a rain of little red hearts.



It’s gone. Cut off.

For a while the phantom pain lingers and the musclememory autopunches the keystrokes for the url. But even these neural sputterings can fixed with a little vim applied to etc/hosts.

This is your brain on silence and boredom and the real world where things are not measured by likes snd retweets.

In the silence and boredom, there is ample time to inhabit memory, peruse the archives, dust off the gramophone (or the ipod if you’re memoryware is slightly more up to date). Maybe you’ll even like the music.