BEFORE READING SIDENOTE: I won't define "we". You will find "we" on the way of reading. This post is not against something. Just an ignition switch for your thinking about future of yourself and children.
Everything started pretty in the universe. Explosion and expansion, heavier atoms then molecules and then we came out. I wish we didn't. Since it is the turning point of the cosmos where everything started to get wacky.
We discovered disposable products, invented capitalism, sold more day by day. Planned product's lifecycle (made them short to sell more), discovered economy, inflation etc. Got greedy with every single product we sold.
We discovered computers in the 20th century. Developed much stuff around its concept. Called its abstraction layer "software". Polished sand became our obsession. So obsessed that we got mobility with it and carried computational power to everywhere.
Data became our obsession in the 21st century. It became an obsession by the help of our greed and the surpassing loop of end-user events over scientific improvements of polished sand. That was a close call for us but we haven't noticed(still we didn't anyway). Even greed for performance(which can be correlated with profit) overcomes the scientific improvements.
Meanwhile, heirs of capitalism(AKA big companies) started to build up services by software with software, abstraction by abstraction. That will help us(aka software craftsman, system engineers or whatever you are going to call yourself) to run things in their software. That helps your so-called software to run. Yeah I know, a lot of software. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
It is useful until some point, I agree. No, I am not bashing providers. It just doesn't make sense to pay overpriced amounts to those guys. It is some other topic for further discussion.
Think like you are going to write a streaming application but you aren't just because "we have a service for that" and "it just works".
And for that thing, you are writing a closure to get the job done. And later you need to move further into some other provider because prices went higher, their SLA doesn't fit you anymore or you need to write an extraordinary amount of code(yeah, I heard this reason). Disappointment comes after that just because that code ain't working anymore…
And the cycle starts from scratch over and over again. You still need to get up at night, just because load came and it hasn't scaled itself automatically. Yet another disappointment. (One of the worst-case scenarios that don't happen a lot but happens anyway…)
Actually, IaC, providers and all those things (so-called "cloud") are killing the industry slowly. Noone notices. Noone thinks about that. Because "it just works" and "they have a service for that".
Let's diverge from "someone else's computer" to "future of someone else's computer".
We are working in different companies, academy etc. but at the end, we still working with their services. Their services are getting better smarter. Even our Machine Learning, Image Processing, AI stuff started to run on their servers. They are supplying services but adapting to those services are getting complex over time. Also, we cannot emulate what we have written on our machines like running in their services. This environment discrepancy is getting bigger and it is getting dirty on our computers. Meanwhile, we started to do more sloppy work also. If you say "This ain't right if we do it like the way you are doing(which is sloppy)" you will be the part of a whac-a-mole. We are killing ourselves slowly, no one notices. It is not a dystopia, it is going to be our fate if we won't take an action at some point.
Those services are becoming huge, they are achieving their goals by the help of our other discoveries that meant to understand life but resulted in a tiny cog of capitalism again like Machine Learning. There are self-modifying, self-executing codes that are writing, compiling and going far beyond what human can comprehend. Without human intervention, they are doing useful things. Humans are slower than machines, machines are doing their jobs faster than us.
A new way to analyze human reaction times shows that the brain processes data no faster than 60 bits per second. This is consistent with the maximum rate (i.e., ¯r*) ranging from 30 to 60 bits/s that I have derived. *
― Fermín Moscoso del Prado Martín
We are thinking about running "something" on someone else's computer that you cannot run, test, verify, validate locally. So you have a trust; on them, on yourself without any foundation.
I don't trust. I don't trust anyone.
If you can't run it on your machine it is not a software.
It is just a junk pretends to be your salvation.
By the end of 25th century, that hope will be gone forever anyway.
... by reengineering brains or creating new brains from scratch, brains that think faster, with more precision, greater capabilities, better insights, ability to communicate, and so on. These superintelligences would then, by virtue of their intelligence, possess superhuman ability to physically restructure and enhance their own brains and minds, leading to a positive feedback spiral of recursive self-improvement.
― Michael Anissimov
There will be better software writing, designing itself. Currently one of the providers actually tries to make their services in a way that manages their fleet by an AI – an ML model that replicates and manages itself and a whole bunch of other software.(No ref, no sponsorship over here) It is nice, this is the nicest feature of us. But, I am mostly considered about what is going to happen when we got there.
When we get the perfect diamond? Since years we are producing things that will burst out defects after specific duration and designing products and try to sell more. Funding became crucial, things are relying always on the money. We can't evade this anymore… I can say we are running the society. Or are we? What is going to be the chip's brand that will be put on you to enhance you in next centuries? What will you depend on as software(or abstraction) to run yourself? Who will own you? Are we going to destroy "The Heirs"? Or will they destroy themselves at some point? Or they will be really nice to us and we become whole like a hive mind? And then how is going to be the end? Incremental development is faster than what we've thought. We came into a point from "structuring electrical impulses between 0-5V to add two things" to "Nah, we don't need to write that!" phase in just 2 centuries.
TWO CENTURIES. 200 YEARS. IN... JUST... 1,753,164 HOURS.
Let me end with a quote for you:
First we build the tools, then they build us.
― Marshall McLuhan
Thanks for all the 🐠 and reading.
Post image belongs to @kcgarza. Check her out.