2023-03-17 Roundup

12 steps to better code, introducing Software Factories, protest porn, AI calling you pretending to be loved ones, what's the best use of your coding skills, Quantum Retrocausation, paper models of your favorite computers...

2023-03-17 Roundup
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Transcript (Beta)

Hi there, I'm Daniel Markham and you've come to danielbmarkham.com or the weekly roundup.

If you've never been to a roundup before, my friends, you are in luck.

The roundup is for once a week.

My tech friends and I get together and talk about the articles of the week that we're

interested in.

We have an open Discord room.

Anybody can drop by.

Anybody can post articles there.

And every Tuesday I take a look at the articles that get the most traction in each channel

and then we kick them around on Wednesdays.

I can join the Wednesday discussion. So that's got Scott amber. I've got Alexander James Grinning and Greg young is not here

I don't know if you'll show up or not. Hey guys

Hello, hey Daniel, so Alexander what have you been doing this past week or two?

Been fighting my robots

You've been fighting your I'd be that means you fighting the robot or having the robot fight other people or other robots

No, it doesn't do what I wanted to do. So

That is what I've been doing

Yes, hopefully we have this saying here

It's like you would say you should have seen the other guy and usually if you're in a fight and you were losing

Yeah, we would know it, but you don't look like you're losing a fight

it. Luckily my robots are gentle and friendly. A lot of them make them into killer robots.

Yeah, somebody's testing a robotic machine gun right now and I don't want to be that

guy. Remember that old comic, Magnus Robot Fighter? No. No, I do not remember that. Has

this a Canadian thing? It was pretty good. Okay, yeah, it must have been. I think from

It wasn't one of like the big Marvel or DC ones.

I think it was key comics, but about a guy in the 30th century

and he fought robots, you know, robot uprisings,

stuff like that.

Different than Dudley Dewright.


Different than Dudley Dewright.

Yeah, Dudley had the big hat and the,

was it an elk?

He was riding on an elk or something or a nice guy.


He had a girlfriend.


That's always a plus. Scott, what you've been up to this past week?

It's March break here, so we've been just doing fun stuff with my daughter.

That was awesome. Mr. James, how goes the battle, my friend?

Well, it's kind of cold down here in Florida today. It's only 65 degrees or something like that.

So, it's fine. I mean, it's good. The battle is going fine. The battle between goofing

around and doing a little bit of work every now and then. The goofing around seems to

be winning right now. But so, there's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing too much

wrong with that.

Yeah, you know what I mean. Go ahead.

What were you saying, Dan?

I was just going to say, you don't want to be the guy who's always busy. And my God,

Somebody just shut this guy up because he doesn't know what he's doing, but he's always busy. So that's you don't be that guy

Well, I'm always busy, but I tend to shut up anyway most of time. Yeah, I'm God bless you

I was working by yourself with the computer, you know, I

Find it when I program by myself. I talked to myself a lot more because I rubber duck

But when I don't code I do not do that. It's a weird thing

James, we have news about, do you want to share the news that we were talking about earlier

this week?

Oh, yeah, sure.

Yeah, the Agile conference accepted my TDD workshop, which was kind of nice of them.

I've done it there in the past, and then they got it, you know, it all went away for a while

with COVID, and it's starting up again, and I thought, what the heck, I'm going to submit

because I'd kind of like to go see my old buds at the conference, and for some reason

I took my workshop, 180 minute workshop, TDD in multiple languages, I call it your first



I'll say TDD.

Now you mean programming languages, I'm sorry.


You mean programming languages, not Frenchers.

Yeah, in several different programming languages, the conference is in English, I think it will

have ways for people to test drive in C, C++, C-sharp, Python, maybe something else, Dan.

If you feel motivated, because I did ask my good friend, Dan, if you would help me

facilitate, because it's a big group in a long session, and Dan graciously agreed.

I'm always up to help programmers out, my friend.

All right, good. So we're going to go see what it's like to go hang out in

Lando for a week. Yeah, I was it's this is at the Gaylord. I believe I was down there in 2013 or so

What what a set of digs they got it's an amazing place down there. It's good. I think we had a

Adult underage in a bar there Dan

We did we have picture of us with hats on

Yeah, I remember that and you tried to tell me you tried to give me a puzzle

What's the answer was doctor who and I'd never ever seen a doctor who show and so you're a very nice person

You kept giving me more more hints about what the in the puzzle

And you could have given me hints from here to right now ten years later, and I never would I guess

Doctor who bended it was a very interesting conversation. It showed me how much patience you have with the average moron. So it was pretty good

Okay, so let's kick this thing off. Oh by the way for the last week or two I have been doing

sort of male nurse activities,

but my father-in-law had surgery a week ago.

So you go to the hospital and you stare at the floor

and hope that things turn out okay,

and that things did turn out okay.

The doctor did not call me in front of his sister in it

because unless he's got some UI problems,

I really couldn't have helped, but it is amazing.

Open heart surgery, three or four days later,

the gas going home.

I just, this blows my mind.

I don't understand, it's amazing.

You know, my father-in-law had that back.

Oh, geez.

He was probably like 65 and he had it.

And he had, he put himself one foot in the grave.

He said, oh, I'm tired of living.

This is too much trouble and blah, blah, blah.

And then he lived in 95.

And he lived with us the last couple of years.

You know, so it's important work, Dan, keep him going.

Yeah, Melissa's dad is very active outdoors,

carpenter dude, 78, I think.

So here you got a guy who's almost 80

and there's spreadness chest open and stopping,

sorry, it's just, it is an amazing time to live in,

blows my mind.


Amazing they got him out of the hospital that fast.

You know, they're cracking your chest open there.

That's gotta hurt.

Yeah, she's been home, I think it's been.

It's been a long time afterwards.

Yeah, it's been six days, I guess, total now.

and I was just talking to my wife and he's moving around

without much pain, with no pain meds, six days

after splitting your chest in half.

Look, it's some kind of black magic.

So what's he saving the pain meds for?

I don't know, maybe he's gonna make some bucks

down at the 7-1, I don't know.

But yeah, that was, I told him that he looked better

after his open heart surgery than I did

after my stomach surgery 10 years ago.

and if I need another stomach operation,

I'm going to them heart dudes

because they're very rock up here, man.


What the heart dudes do you tell us?

Heart dudes, yeah, that's the official term.

We have the older heart dude

and we have the dude or S, dudette, the lady heart dude.

There's a lot of dudes, a lot of dudes at the hospital.

Dudette, yeah, okay.

Yeah, you're not supposed to say add anymore

because that's supposed to be diminutive

even though using the diminutive

is a term of impairment, so fuck them.

All right, you're a poetress.

Don't worry, Dan, you won't be canceled here.

No, I just, I love the language

and I hate to see it like go from a thousand

really cool adjectives to like these three adjectives.

And this one I'm not really sure about.

It's like, oh man, come on guys,

what's wrong with poetress?

Don't worry, English language, there's over a million words.

There is, that's the beauty of it.

Yeah, who wants to limit it?

We make stuff up as we go along and it works out fine.

So, here is the Joel test that John posted.

This is 12 steps to better code.

You guys have a chance to read that?

I looked it over.

I've seen it before.


I think, yeah, John said he would stick to most of those.

Maybe a little bit, but pretty relevant stuff.


I think I would probably, this is 15 years old, I probably would have made a very similar

blog post 15 years ago. It's Apple Pie, Goodness. On the channel I added a link

from a friend of mine who made his own list up based on you know Lowe's or

Joel's inspiration for people doing embedded systems and he came up with

15 things. Yeah I'm going to do the 16 things for... Well you know as a

that computer nerd, 16 would be the right number.

Yeah, keep it, keep it even.

To the fourth.

If you celebrate high day yesterday,

I just want to know.

Oh God, I forgot about that.

But they don't have a five day,

which is this five supposed to be even better number than five.

Well, you could start one.

Seven round up for five day.

Do you celebrate the international cheese mouse day?

So the cheese mouse comes to programmers

and brings them little pieces of cheese.

You've never heard the cheese mouse story?

Oh my God, okay.

Well, I'll post a link.

It's very exciting.

But yeah, there's a cheese mouse,

much like a Tooth Fairy or whatever.

But a couple of knits I have here.

It has nothing to do with where's my cheese.

No, no, the mouse brings cheese during the night

to a good little programmer's here and there.

I think it's, yeah, 15th, maybe it's 15th,

I think it's in March.

I haven't celebrated in a while.

That's why I don't have any cheese.

Do you have a bug database for the items?

You know, I get it, but this kind of gets me.

Bug databases are absolutely necessary.

They get far, far out of hand

and both of these statements are true at the same time.

I know a few organizations that don't bother having one.

I think it's a dangerous precedent to start adding randomly,

willy-nilly things to any kind of list somewhere

because Markham's rule of project management,

anything times a big number is also a big number.

It's a stupid rule, but what it means is the more shit

you throw into your overhead,

the longer it's gonna take, no matter what it is,

it's just more stuff.

So a friend of mine that worked for a big company,

they must have been using these rules.

And he asked me to send him a letter

because they needed a letter from somebody outside

their organization because he's trying

to become principal engineer.

So I wrote a letter form recommending him.

And they were test-driven development, early adopters,

building this amazing system for oil exploration in Norway,

as a matter of fact.

And they had a bug list, but it was empty all the time.

And so when I got his, when I wrote his letter,

I wrote in there and, you know,

about what an awesome guy he was,

and that they didn't even have a bug list.

And my recommendation was rejected

because it's against company policy

to not have a bug list.

Oh my God.

So I had to revise my letter to say,

they had a bug list, but it was empty.

Yeah, yeah, I like to have mixed feelings.

I'm generally against bug lists

because they just send you down.

you have to have a list, no doubt.

But the issue is, first off,

you can only track about 10 things in your head

at one time anyway.

You can only work on a few things at one time anyway.

So you're naturally limited to doing just a few things

at one time anyway.

Now, whatever else you wanna call it, other stuff,

okay, fine, but don't do anything with it

if you're gonna keep it out there.

But yeah, I've just seen,

I have gone through as a PM multiple bug databases,

Hundreds or thousands of items long and it's it's a it's a god-awful death march and they never get done

No, so when I was at IBM we actually had a

System where we did an analysis of people's the bug databases and

And then we presented to the client of you know, hey, here's here's reality that you don't want to hear about and

And we could find the point in time in the bug list where you're statistically guaranteed

to never get to that.

So these companies would have bugs that are like eight, nine, 10 years old in some cases.

And then meanwhile, if you look at the history of what they actually dealt with, somewhere

between a three and six month point was this cutoff where they would never get, it depends

company and the nature of what they're doing, but it was never, never more than six months.

So anything older than six months, you might as well just delete it because you will never get

to it. There's this dangerous indirection. In fact, we don't want to actually solve problems for

people. So we'll use a piece of code or a list somewhere. And if I had my way, the user would

come into the team room and challenge the programmers to fisticuffs, if they didn't actually fix

the damn code. I mean, I want hands-on immediate interaction with the person I'm coding for

because it lets me prioritize what I'm doing. It just becomes sanitized. It's just an item.

Well, one company I was thinking of, their answer to Bugless was, if we get a bug,

we're just going to fix it. We're not going to do something else. We're going to fix that bug.

And this is the place where mob programming kind of got its name out in San Diego somewhere and

That was their policy and so they showed me their bug list it was a whiteboard with nothing on it

I was going to say what I've always used is a whiteboard and

Monday morning we look at the whiteboard we decide what we're doing for the week and if we have stuff

We're not doing that week like a bug or something that a non-breaking bug something

we need to, a problem we need to solve, something you'd consider, goes on the whiteboard, we

all look at it, Monday morning we look at what we're doing, repeat and rinse, and you've

never can get more than a fit on a whiteboard. There's a physicality, the wonderful thing

about team spaces is there's a physicality that prevents you from making really complicated

stuff because it won't fit on the wall. It's just a beautiful thing. What about testers?

Do you guys believe in the tester role?

That's a good one to argue about.

Mm, don't know.

Yeah, well, I think, you know,

so whose responsibility is it to make sure your code does

what you think it's supposed to do, Dan?

Not me, dang it.

It's a motor guy.

Nope, who has it?

It is you.

But whose responsibility is it?

The product is right and does what the customer need.

That's a bigger responsibility.

I think that the testers have a good role there.

Yes, IV and V.

From everybody role, right?


And if you happen to work in a regulatory space

and would like to stay away from jail or big fines,

then perhaps having a tester or two

or somebody would not be a bad idea.

It's really important to set the context.

I mentioned IV and V.

That's inspection, verification, validation.

These are the three operations testers do.

Inspection is I looked at the thing, looks okay.

Verification is it does what your supposed student validation is actually helps somebody to James's point

So IV and V is the magic buzzword for testers. Yeah, you got to have them unless you're

You know, right in Donkey Kong. I don't think you need them for donkey. You don't need the same kind. It varies from industry

Backwards. Oh, I don't know which one means what?

Yeah, and the testing the testing thing is actually a V or a pyramid whichever you want to do it

So there's a lot of these

Not a reason test

Next with some of those V's at the top is way too wide

These narrow V's my last large technical coaching job as part of a team

And I told one of the other coaches that if he drew another testing pyramid, I was gonna leave the room

Every time we met he drew he drew the pyramid. I'm like, okay fine

I got the pyramid and it was just me my point being you have to remind programmers that

it, there's more outside their own job. Just don't keep drawing up here, man. So software

factories, have you ever heard of the term software factory? Yeah, I thought that's wild.

Didn't Symantec used to have one? They would shrink wrap all these boxes and they would

be shipped in just in time for Christmas. Oh, this is one. Well, this is new, uh,

Fiber software for Christmas, right?

Yeah, yeah, wow.

So I guess these marines are like making little grenades

in like shrink-wrapped boxes.

I don't know what makes it a, you're right.

It's a factory with something that Semantic had

and EA and all the big companies 20 years ago.

You know, and there was actually something you should.

I ran the company a few years ago

that was focusing on setting up a software factory

and for, I think it was insurance, I can't remember,

it was crazy, but they were convinced it was gonna work

because obviously software development

is exactly like building widgets.

I worked for a CEO, I reported to a CEO,

a big company once, and he was wanting to industrialize

his software production, which I thought sounded awesome.


Picture a little program on board people.

Yeah, smart guy.

So, next is the coming suburban apocalypse.

There's also something interesting in that article, though, before you leave it, about

how they're trying to help their people get up to speed and that they're going to have

industry experts pairing with their people that help them get started on, you know, when

they're in new technology or whatever.

As a former Marine, I have a passion for caring in there.

I could do. I mean, this is critically important stuff. And sadly, DoD just those acronyms

and stuff and announces the problem solves. I wish them the best. Micro application development

innovation challenge. Wow. See, there's an acronym for you. Marine course software MCSWF.

Well, yeah. The Navy has its Black Pearl and Forge programs. Our Air Force has Kessel Run,

Platform One, and Space Camp. I actually talked with somebody that was involved with Kessel Run.

There's a lot of good Star Wars jokes to be had there. Yeah, they actually changed the

parsec line so it made sense in the redo. I liked it better when it didn't make any sense. It was

cute. Anybody get a chance to listen to Charles Morone and the Suburbant Apocalypse?

I didn't. I really enjoy this. This is a guy named Andrew Heaton. He's 30-ish. He's an improv

comedian. He is non politically affiliated, although he's probably libertarian-ish. He's

not hardcore or anything. And he's interested in interviewing people from all walks of life

about various problems. He spent a whole week on city planning, city development and kick

it off. He had this guy come in and talk about infrastructure and I was just listening to this

guy talk. This guy's a former engineer and he's talking about how we buy the term

infrastructure as if it's like this shrink-wrapped thing on a shelf, but what we really need is like,

you know, time to work or greenery or there's actual physical things that we don't talk about.

And he said, if you just like throw money into the generic term infrastructure, you're always going

to be unhappy. He also pointed out that in the states at least, the government would give you

money to build a road and then, hey, you got a road the rest for the rest of the life of humanity,

you got to maintain this road. And so it sounds really good when you get the free thing.

But a lot of times you end up upside down in these things.

The reason I brought this up was not politics. By the way, the reason I brought this up was

software architecture and frameworks. He's talking about city planning and I was going, oh my god,

this is the same discussion I've had about software architecture and frameworks for the last 10 years

or so good stuff. It's actually if you're interested in this topic there's a really

good writer she passed away a few years ago but Jane Jacobs and she was responsible for

some of the leading civic planning ideas in the last half of the of the previous century

and an absolutely genius woman who had these wild ideas that were just wild ideas that

were pretty good guesses and it ended up that she just nailed it, but it's pretty planning,


So you've got to wait 40 or 50 years to see how things play out and luckily some cities

listened to her and it played out reasonably well and other cities did not listen to her

and they're Detroit. So yeah, Detroit's like the bad example. They always like don't do that.

For St. Louis, there's a lot of cities that blew it, but they're getting better now.

Detroit was part, you know, a lot of economics here and, you know, with the industry basically

abandoning the city. Yeah, but it was also just really phenomenally bad. Yeah. Yeah. I think one

One of the points the host makes here,

not the guest, but the host makes is that

when times are good, politicians get lazy.

And so they make easy choices and everything's fine.

They're just gonna do more cool stuff

and they don't pay attention to the bottom line

and it's life is good.

And then when times get tough,

well, guess what?

You're stuck with the same politicians

who have done all the crappy stuff

for the last five or 10 years.

And it's unlikely they're gonna change direction.

So being very successful actually is a counter indicator

of being able to handle bad times.

It was some cool stuff,

because stuff that I liked it a lot

because my problem with architecture and frameworks

is that intuition fails you many times.

So I've seen programmers pick up a framework

they thought was going to do with the box.

They say, oh, this is our framework for, it's a swing.

It's a Java UI toolkit, which it is.

But then you talk to them six months later, they're like,

oh my God, I've got jars all over the place,

my class path is a mess.

And that's true too.

So it's like, we make these decisions based on

what we would like and what sounds good.

And that's not necessarily what happens when we deliver it.

It reminds me how wrong I am all the time,

I guess, put it differently.

So James.

Well, the future is difficult,

especially if you're trying to predict it.

Well, yeah, you know, if you're selling dreams,

I'll buy one, because I love dreams.

But unfortunately, if you're maintaining dreams,

it's usually a crappy thing.

Have you ever played pool in this, James?

No, but that's, it looks like that would be

an interesting thing to play pool on.

There are about a half a dozen in the States.

I think there's some more in Europe.

It's a seven-pocket L-shaped pool table.

I was wondering how you'd figure out this shot

on that table.

Oh, oh, oh, cool.

Yeah, I wanna go, I wanna start at this close end

and end up in that pocket that's on the edge

of the corner over there that's hidden.

It looks like miniature golf, almost.

You just have to do the double bank and,

yeah, I think so.

Let's practice, we gotta keep practicing.

Okay, are there tournaments yet where they're using that table?

I think it's just a I think it's just a bar gimmick right now and like it says about a half a dozen

Not eventually

Yeah, they need a clown if you can shoot the ball through a clown's mouth

I'm up for that. So they made these on purpose for like where where is one?

I went in Florida. I can't tell you right away, but I can let you know it in the show

My it was on a reddit the picture came up on reddit and people were coming. Hey, this is actually a pool table

I'm like, oh my god. I wonder if James has seen this

Never seen one. We've seen other crazy pool tables and journeys around the world

But well, they got the one don't they have like the giant ones right the snooker snooker tables. Okay

It's kind of like people have smaller yards

You know in cities

In a nicely planned city. They have smaller yards in a snooker table

Why what are what you why does your yard size relate to the size of your pool table?

Yeah, I'm just trying to illustrate

There's a pool table the snooker tables are pretty damn big. I asked yeah, they are and we think snooker sounds small

But it means big


There's a special cues for when you have to do those really long shots and

and they have a fun name for them. They call it the fishing tackle. It looks like

you've got like a big bamboo rod at Sags in the middle. Do they use a bridge

like you do in Red Group Pool? Yeah, it's a long bridge, a long queue and you're

like I mean you need binoculars as well. See the other end of the table or

younger eyes I guess. Find out where those are Dan. We're gonna have to go visit one.

Maybe there's one in Orlando.

Yes, that would be most cool.

I could use another lesson.

I think I've learned to shoot with my correct hand now,

which is good.

All right, that's good.

That's a start.

It's the little steps, it's a journey.

Next up on our list is new tentative member,

Travis Corcoran, I guess he didn't make it today.

Travis's quad character.

I think he's somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan.

Maybe he may be further up to the right than that.

He's he and I say that because I like the guy, but he is a he

He appears to be a ranting lunatic

Which is any come to the nerd roundup. He I would hope he wouldn't I will invite him again

He is a sci-fi writer won several awards. He's not an idiot. He's a computer programmer

Yeah, he his last set of books is written about

It's basically

The the moon book Highlander just redone. What was it? I'm listening to the first book in the series right now

Yeah, the corkens book. Yeah, you had recommended. Yes. I was looking for something now

So, uh, yeah, it's good. I love it. He's very creative, but his characters go off on these long-winded

And and cap rants about stuff. It's like, oh my god. This is this is very in Randy

But he doesn't do it too much. So it's it's horrible. I

I can put up with any kind of rent as long as you have some craft there, right?

So, once you start relying on the rent to take place of your craft, we're part and

ways at that point.

Which is my problem.

I haven't noticed the rents yet.


Well, he's good.

You'll like him.

I respect Travis, even though we don't agree on a lot of stuff, and I was hoping he could

make it.

So, oh, next article.

Now this, we have done a lot of AI stories and this one messes with me more than most

of them.

In the last years, scammers have started using AI to impersonate loved ones on telephone



That's just messed up, I mean that's just all kind of messed up, I mean it's bad.

Even without that, there's a lot of people that simulate the grandson, you know, type

thing, right? The grandson's been in a car accident and that needs money and

they're calling up grandma, you know, sent $5,000 or you know, he needs bail

money or you know, there's some hardship story and they get money out of grandma or grandpa.

Yeah, this is just a modern age version of that. So, bad people can do bad stuff

with things that might be good. Yeah, the next article and these two kind of go

together is that the Special Forces want to start using deep fakes in their work.

It kind of occurred to me, looking at both of these, that basically what we call AI is

basically faking out being a human so that you can X. So faking out your human so that

you can give people bug help. Faking out your human so you can program. But why wouldn't

it be faking out your human so you can treat people with other money? You know, just once

you start with, I'm going to fake out that I'm a human and I'm actually a machine, there's

really no into the things you all sorts of nefarious bad things and we can

expect that to be incoming. It should be some sort of test for that. I think it's

an, isn't it the the eyeball thing where you ask them if they're lesbian or not

and it's a, yeah it's a blade bladerunner joke for those who missed it.

Replicates. It's a bullet comp test. There's a tortoise in the middle of the

desert. It's turned over. What do you do? I'll tell you what I'll do. I've seen

what was it, ships on fire around the rings of Iran. What a great

Rueckerhauser just knocked that one right out of the park. That was awesome. He

was. I picked that turtle up and go put it on a fence post. Save its life. Well, I

skipped, I scripted this protest porn one. I thought this was a nice heartfelt

article about the difference between trying to make a difference for a positive

purpose in life and just sort of self-stimulating and I thought it was

really good. I would never want to give up on making a positive difference in

the world but there is a line between I am helping people and I am posturing to

make myself feel better and it's a personal decision for everybody just it

You made me...

What's the current...

The Holy Clickbait title, Batman.

Holy what?

Holy Clickbait title, Batman.


Like, he had me at porn, but...

Everything's porn now.

It's like, gee, you click on it, there's nothing there.

It's just...


It was...

It was a good article.



Yeah, come on.

I just read the last paragraph.

That kind of sums it all up.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. There is a face to face nature that's built into humans and we need

that. I support the current thing, whatever that might be. We need interaction with other

humans to validate that we're hitting the right track, that we're doing the important

stuff in life and we're trying to use tech as an intermediary for that and I don't think

I think it's working very well.

They're in humans.

It's a bad species.

I don't know if you've considered it, but the whole bipedal thing...

It could be a major problem, actually.

The evidence is quite clear on that one.


Okay, so here's one that...

I think Alexander Acrimonius won.

This is the, nobody needs a better blah blah blah.

So we've seen a couple of these and I think they're an awesome article because they call

into question this whole values thing we were just talking about.

And somebody will come online and say, hey, nobody needs to make an iFart app for your


Somebody needs to be curing cancer.

And it's not that they're wrong, but it's like really, I mean, could we have both?

Maybe I can't cure cancer, but I can make my phone make a farting sound.

Isn't that cool?


I'm going to say with some person that made an app for the Android phones that can help

you score a straight pool, right?

So if the pool table we happen to be at doesn't have the beads across the top we're scoring,

you know what?

There's an app for that.

I started on an app for that a long time ago and then had other stuff I had to do.

But now somebody's made one.

All right.

I've got a little clicker app used during heart disease were also solved, but I'm glad that that happens there

I've got a clicker app. You know, there's little clickers used to have one two three four five

There's like a little clicker counts up

Yeah, and you don't have a

Yeah, I

This this bothers me a lot because I would like a cure for cancer obviously

But I don't think complaining about it and our throwing money at it is actually going to make something really cool happen

I wish it would and I don't think really collection. I don't really see any good that would come from this aside from

Your app is stupid, which you could say like more directly to people

And at least you would have more honest conversation about it

Yeah, so I think one of the

things in that article that I

Noticed was that one made the argument that

But there's an X amount of engineers and software developers in existence.

And if they are snagged up to create park apps for iOS, that might hinder the cancer


That is an argument that I think is good, obvious, but it's not so obvious, but I like


I am disturbed that I wish the apps I had made

had greater social value.

I am seriously, I really would like to do things

that would mean more to humanity as a whole.

That requires wisdom beyond my ability to.

These discussions always end up reducing things

down to one variable that I have problems with.

Like, do you really need a bunch of developers to do it

because it's important?

Or do you need like fewer developers

are in the industry to do it. Do you really need a bunch of mine to do X? Because it's

important. I mean, we say something's important and we automatically do this correlation.

It's important with blah, blah. And it's like, is that really correlated? Because I'm, I'm

not seeing that always as being true. By the way, there's not just one fart app. There's

one like that. Oh my God. Well, there went, then I feel this whole year's software roadmap

is now. And the interesting thing is they're all highly rated. How do you rate a far nap?

So just like granddad. But yeah, I agree that we should do things as much as we can for social

value. I am very disturbed at the fact that the market continues to create things that we want.

And if the draw on drugs is told us anything is that if you get people they want all the time

You will screw them up for a life. That's not necessarily a good thing

But I don't have a solution to that

There's people work on the important stuff, too, you know, so

Like there's a zero-sum game. So there's people

I don't have I don't want to be

I don't want to be blind faith in the market, dudes.

Kind of like, I'm not that guy.

Sometimes there are tough problems.

Let's go solve tough problems

without there being necessarily market there.

However, predicting things about the future

is very difficult, especially when it's in the future.

So it's, we want to treat our journey

as being a straight forward.

I am here, I want to go there when you finally,

when you look back on history,

when you find people who actually made these journeys,

it's never a straight line.

It's always this way, that way over here, that way.

So I don't think you,

I think you can emerge solutions in a certain direction,

general direction, perhaps biotechnology,

proteomics, things like that.

But I don't think you can say,

you know, guys, you got a week and I've got $4 billion.

I think you can like solve World Hunger in a week.

I just don't think it works in that sort of transactional


No, but we could give you a fart app.

Got a high rating on all I got to say on this is if you want a fart app, do it the right way and eat a can of beans

That would be what I get you there

Yeah, a lot of options for a fart app. I've never really thought through it, but there's a lot there

You want sampling if you don't have sampling. I think your fart app is just

one of the mill


Maybe you have to have a part of my way who's solving world hunger

Yeah, maybe you do. Yeah

Yeah, it was, um, yeah, I gotta admit, there was an app years ago with a dog licking the screen. That was sort of cute.

There's a screen clear. I was like, I have video of a dog licking out. I wind up.

Well, how can you fart if you haven't seen your screen?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think they, they, they must have put, they must have sprayed something on a pane of glass and then film the dog.

dog but it was cute and there's multiple dogs right so you could you know choose

the breed and all that sort of stuff was pretty good at. What I'm seeing happening

talking about the market creating a bunch of like little jelly bean popcorn

apps what I see happening is we're becoming a trivial society and I think

that your people are just gonna need a new ethics and a new religion perhaps to

say you know I am not gonna spend my time doing this trivial thing because I

I want to be a valuable human being.

And there's always been people

who did not want to make that choice

and God bless them.

They can have their fart happen,

do their things all they want to.

They will not be solving hunger.

Well, part of your existence,

I think maybe as a well-rounded human,

we'd be doing some things that have a purpose

and other things that are entertainment.

I saw this on Hacker News 10 years ago

and one of the smartest, wisest things

I've ever seen online.

Some researchers were doing some study on happiness

And their conclusion was, there's a meaningful life

and there's a happy life.

They are not the same thing.

And so people keep reading about how do I become happy?

And we write these apps to make people happy.

And happy's not our goal that you should really be,

happy's a byproduct of other things,

but it's not something you should be chasing on your own.

Okay, where are we at here?

Oh, yes, so we got a couple more.

Quantum retro causation. I just I saw that phrase. I'm like, oh my god. We got to talk about quantum retro causation because what the hell is it?

I'm travel, right? The guy saying that all these problems we're having we can't reconcile everything

matter of fact

We're not sure if things are local to one another like this

We can't say that this thing is next to that thing because it doesn't appear to be true

but if you let the future influence the past, a lot of these problems work their

way out, this is argument, but it makes my head hurt.

I don't, yeah. So the quantum dudes are having some problems with their theories.

Maybe we still have quantum computers, all sorts of neat stuff, the fields are

still there, but they don't, they haven't made sense for a long time. It's just be

real they haven't made ever ever made sense really they just work so they're

there's working through those things the area retro causality it's even got a

picture of some guy with a beard right you know if he's got a beard and glasses

yeah must be no snowy socket on this jacket on those so we can see if he's

got elbow catches.

Oh, yeah, and it needs the pipe as well.

This, to me, is interesting,

not because I know anything about quantum mechanics,

but because you're watching the science be born here, right?

So they're trying to figure out

what are the things that we can change

to do experiments with.

I saw the same thing in the Netflix series, Mindhunter,

a tremendously awesome series about FBI agents

who started becoming behavioral analysts

to take apart the minds of serial killers.

And once you start that, then you're like,

well, how do I make this into a science?

I can just talk to the guy,

but how do we take this random bunch of data

and create some sort of science out of it?

That's immensely fascinating.

Super determinism.

Yeah physics they got the best buzzwords ever

Oh, yeah, and the final one this is super cool

Paper computers blue my my yes paper computers

Except they don't compute well

Well, no, no, no, they do not actually compute.

If you could build a computer with paper, the word, that would be really.

There we go. Look at this. It is cool.

Why would you? I had no idea why you would do this, but it's cool.

Well, I've seen some of the machines I've had in the past.

Yeah, I had the Amiga 500.

I've had the C64 had the first commercial program was on Apple, too.

I did work on the Mac.

Anybody have one of these M-Sci?

You see the blue one with all the switches?

Oh, wow.

I didn't have one, but the first job I had out of school,

this is one of the systems we had to use for development.

Oh, my God.

And to boot it up, to get it to boot off the floppy drive,

key and the binary, using those toggle switches.

So if you think programming is hard now.

So these lights were bits, on or off bits.

These lights were on or off bits.

You're actually flipping, literally flipping bits.

Yep, and then when you finally had the address set right,

and then the data, you push a button

it would auto increment the address.

Oh my God.

It would give you a do thing to fill in the next one.

And this guy I worked with was detail oriented enough

and not as clumsy as me with the fingers.

And he could actually program it.

I never got the thing to boot.

But he'll say, let me do that.

It's like, he would do it.

Then once your boot, then it can talk to the floppy drive

and then you'd be all right.

Or if you had to put the bits to get it to go,

where did it go?

It had like a bunch of stuff on an eProm or, I mean, what ran?

Something in the boot loader eProm

that knew how to talk to this front panel.

Here's the UI that they came up with, right?


Yeah, it seems like I remember that.

It's like design plans for years.

Yeah, I remember it being an early boot loader kind of deal

where it was either a chip or a disc,

but you configured it by hand to jump

to an address that would be on a disc or wherever.

And once it jumped there,

then it would be whatever you put in.

It's kind of like a removable hard drive.

Amazing, that's just amazing.

Yeah, yeah, I guess the boot loader for this would say,

Go and read the first sector off that floppy drive.

Right, and execute.

Wherever you put that, then go there.

And then that thing could grab the next day or something.

Yeah, so I don't know, I'm not fully grokking it at the time,

but kind of fun to see it in your list of computers.

My dad had one of these early Macs,

and a little guy made this.

The Macintosh?

Yeah, so I had one at work, and he bought one,

He was kind of, for a guy in his generation,

very computer literate, not because he did anything

with computers except for use them as a user of a computer.

But then when he was tired of it, I'm not tired,

but when he got a new computer,

he decided he wanted to protect

the private information on there,

and he put the whole thing into a bucket of water.

Oh, wow.

It's the only thing my dad did that I didn't,

it's like, dad, did you do that?

You know, I had an alien where computer I needed to get rid of and motherboard was shot

memory shot, but I was concerned that something may still be in the hard drive

And since it was all shot, I shot it. I got the 12 gauge out and

Had a bunch of holes there when I left it. That's a good idea. I got a whole hard drive

back in Illinois just for that reason I don't want to throw them out and I don't

have a way to, so yeah maybe shooting target practice would be a thing to do.

Yes, I'd against a tree just put about half a dozen bucks shot in it and

there's nothing in there to, yeah good luck putting that back again.

Yeah, it's hard to destroy a martin hard drive. You pretty much need a sled

hammer or you know a shotgun if you're in the wild west I guess, but I looked it up

And even the degossers, you know the mags the magnets you use they're not completely accurate. They can go through and still pull it off

Yeah, yeah, you gotta smash them

So James you were talking about you were working with somebody who was very dexterous and get the bit the bits flipped

Correctly. Have any of you made the switch? I made the switch from a gooey environment Windows 95 Windows NT

back to Linux. And I had the dickens of a time because I had to start paying close

attention to what I was typing and it was just that it was a different way of

coding. I'd gotten out of it was just mousing and clicking so much it took me

a while to get used to it. I never expected that to happen it was like

oh wow I'm mistyping stuff I because you know Windows would correct your spelling

and but in Linux it's like no no no no I need rm-r you know I you want to get

that right yeah I started abandoning the not because I actually am any good at

typing suck at typing but I started abandoning the mouse because of all

these repetitive things that were boring to do and then I would get wrong you

know if it involves clicking a sequence of things and you know being able to

create a PDF 20-step process like I've got to figure out how to automate that

we're saying I ever did we'll start using a mouse most of my stuff is

automated you know that I have to do repetitively. I never thought I would say

that. As a matter of fact, younger me is probably laughing at older me right now

but I should have never picked up the mouse to begin with because the people

who make UIs change them every year or two and now homeboy here got to go back

and figure out how to click through stuff whereas if I had learned UNIX

commands 35 years ago I'd still be using the same stupid commands. I got a lot

pain a lot of pain you'll be all right it's a quiet anguish is what it is so

you guys been watching any good movies reading any good books past week or so

Alexander you so past two weeks yeah yes and did you see my little YouTube video

about Finland oh yeah oh I didn't get that's it that's the other winter war

right the stuff this sniper dude so first is about Finland being ranked number

One in the half happiness or less country to live in yes, and they talk about something called sisu

Which is kind of like a mentality


yes, so

The thing I sent to you was a little

Explanation of how they

used sisu to

fair so well in the Finnish Winter War against the Soviets, so that can yes that

article that you have right there, so I have been doing that so it's two weeks

and you see my memory is not that great I probably have seen a lot more but yeah

one of the nice things about keep me a list of my stuff is I can go back and

Look at the list.


So speaking of the list, before I forget about it,

I have been consuming history of ancient Egypt

by the great courses.

It's a 24 hours and it is amazing.

I thought I would be bored with the professors excellent

and Egyptians did a bunch of neat stuff.

Great, very cool.

Scott, any movies, TV shows, books?

On Netflix, I just watched Cosmos from three or four years ago.

It's a low budget movie about three astronomers

in their car one night, go out into a field

and they're pointing instruments at the stars

and then they stumble into something.

They make it, I won't tell you what it is,

but they make a discovery and of course they don't believe,

it's like, no, you're full of it, this is crap.

You're just hearing some radio signal bouncing off

the honesty or something. And the entire movie is about them sort of figuring out what they've

stumbled into. And then, and then, and then of course, you know, stuff happens, and like,

they run out of battery power. And, you know, just when they realize they've got something,

and they better see it. And apparently it takes like an hour to save astronomy data.

Yeah. But you know, so, you know, the battery is a big issue for them.

Yeah, it all works out the long run, but it's quite a good movie.

Was it a documentary or just a...

No, no, it could be.

It's not, but no, it's just like somebody had a hundred thousand dollars and decided

to film a movie, maybe a little more than that, but yeah, it was really well done.

The entire movie is basically three guys in a car one night.

Love these things are done, right? They're awesome. Even when they're done poorly a lot of times. They have a lot of heart

Yeah, a lot of times they have a lot of heart and people really trying hard


Yeah pickleball

Pickleball what is pickleball?

Why do you play pickleball are the pickles involved in pickleball?

Well, it has no purpose other than entertainment and an opportunity to go to the emergency room

I haven't taken that one up yet, supposedly if you go to the emergency room down here

in southern Florida and you say who's hurt, who's here because they were playing pickle

today and half the people put their hands up.

So hitting a pickle around is difficult, I mean it seems like you have, there is no


Oh what the hell they call a pickle ball for it, you hit it with a pickle, there's no

pickle at all.

You don't hit a ball with a pickle, you don't hit a pickle with a paddle.

There's no pickle in pickle ball.

Well, but if you blow an overhand swing, then you could hit your pickle.

And then you'd be in the yard. No doubt you would be at the hospital for that.

But Scott, most people don't follow through that far.

So I saw a pickleball court.

They chopped their swing. If they followed through properly, maybe that would be a risk.

I saw, I think I saw a pickleball court once. Isn't it sort of like a wall?

And no, no, that's racket ball.

Maybe, okay.

Racket ball is like a little tennis court.

And there's several regions.

There's a kitchen, which is right next to the net.

And you play with two people on each side.

We play two people on each side,

because then you have to run around as much.

And that's a little bit smaller.

You're playing with a wiffle ball.


It's made with holes in it.

And we're playing in, you know, mother nature.

So if there's a wind and that thing's spinning,

it acts like a helicopter.

weird things happening

turns in the air and stuff

that if you're you know people can spin it and does that sort of thing but uh...

that's a lot of fun

and uh... you know you don't be super mobile i'm pretty mobile still but uh...

there's some people that

are really good if putting the ball where they want they don't have to move much

and me i gotta run all over the place you know it's

a hacker so so would be would it be fair to say that

as softball is to whiffleball

tennis is to pickleball

It's sort of the same setup, but just a slower ball.


Yeah, it's a smaller court.

So at the community center I go to,

they've divided the basketball court up

into three sections, like three wiffle ball sections.

And they play across width-wise across the court,

rather than lengthwise.

Yeah, when I was in Illinois last summer,

we played indoor, usually we're playing outdoor.

It drove me crazy to play indoor,

because you're not on a dedicated court

and so there's lines all over the place.

So like which lines am I supposed to pay attention to

was the first thing that almost made me go insane.

And then the next thing was a giant echo chamber room

with 20 people and they're all yelling at each other.

And it was just like two,

and then the person's trying to teach us something

yelling at us and everybody else just hitting balls around.

Um, so I almost had to give up indoor after 10 minutes when I said no, you can get through this and then it was fine

but it was

Yeah, we playing dedicated pickle courts here outdoors and so the sound is good and you know the

You know where the lines are you're supposed to pay attention to is this a league kite thing like bowling where you have teams and

Progress to it. Oh you people that do that like there our community has a couple of teams

But I'm not I'm nowhere near good. There's not a bad enough league for me to be on it

Okay, my head. It sounds like I could back it qualify for this call a novice league

Yeah, yeah, there's now. There's not a novice league

Extreme obviously

Yeah, so pickles a lot of fun. So I was playing this morning. I played yesterday

We've got a good pro here that's teaching me how to you know, what I should be doing

And so I'm trying to connect what you're supposed to do with my hand and try to get that to work

That's a good part. We also play a bocce ball and we're not new to bocce ball.

What's a bocce ball? We've got 500 people in a bocce league down here.

You play at the same time? No. Okay. There's two lanes and our team has got eight people on it so

there'll be four people at one side of the team, two at each end and these are heavy balls about

this big and you're playing on a clay. Oh yeah, I've seen that where you roll the ball, right?

Yeah, okay. You can check my untapped feed and you can see because every now and then I check a

beer in with the bachis in the distance. It's got a two-layer effect. Yeah, but we're good at bachi.

My wife is really good and then I don't suck it too bad. The bachi ball seems like the surface,

is it like a carpet surface because it would make a huge difference the friction the surface I offered

there. Yeah, you can play yard bachi, which is what we used to do in Illinois. And then

now there's a down here, there's a court. So it's a defined space, you know, so eight feet wide,

probably, or, or so. And pretty long clay. And it's a like a tennis court clay surface. So mother

nature has her way with the two. So there's variations in the balls, start out straight,

then they might go like this. Yeah, you put the spin on it. That that would be that sounds like

a lot of fun I could manage that the pickleball thing it looks so yeah yeah

we're going to bring my appropriate hat for that let me say let me say I've been

watching it's not that bad it doesn't look that bad it doesn't look that hurt

like it's like tennis it's like an easy form of tennis oh pickleball yeah yeah

I said we started a whole bunch of people we just started it you know you can have

funded it right away yeah I'm just picturing myself at the ER and I mean

I could say, hey, botchy ball accident, right?

But pickle ball, I mean, they're not gonna laugh at you.

This doesn't seem like it's, you know, pickle, you know?

Armed, hand-to-hand combat.

That would be something, in the ER for that,

that would be cool.

Botchy ball, bam.

The first time we played pickle,

we went and took a lesson from the pro.

The world champion was our pro down here,

female world champion.

And she said, we wanna keep you people

out of the emergency room.

The biggest mistake you can make

is to walk backwards, right, to try to get to a ball.

Because you would also trip.

If the balls hit over your head,

either turn around and run back and then come forward,

which if it's a real high thing, you can do that.

Otherwise, don't backpedal,

because that's what you're gonna end up on your ass

and break your wrists or something.

And so, you know, I did my fall early in my career.

I still have a scar on my knee,

reminds me every day not to do that,

so hopefully I won't go down again.

You're talking about professionals giving you warnings.

I was in the Perth of a while back

and we went to look at the dolphins

and the water's like 35 Fahrenheit there

and I'd never been in water like that.

And so the professional, first thing she says was,

you are not going to die,

but you're gonna feel like you're gonna die.

It's like, wow, you're not really selling this,

but yeah, you jump in 35 degree water

and it is, wow, it's something else.

It's a good, my brother does what we're doing.


Why were you doing that?

Like I, oh, it was, I see the doff, see the wild dolphins.

If they have a huge wild dolphin thing,

the dolphins swim by and they give you, you know,

wet suits and you have a mask, but damn, 35 are your water.

It's just, wow.


It, it, no, Alex probably knows about this,

but there's supposed to be health benefits

for being in the cold.


The dolphins like it.

The dolphins were having a great time.

My brother goes into Lake Michigan in the dead of winter

and the temperature of the water is below freezing.

It just hasn't gotten around crystallizing yet.

Does he wear swim trunks for that?

Does he go in like just swimsuit?

Goes in in a swimming suit.

He's with the polar bear.

Yeah, polar bear.

Ha ha ha ha.

Yes, we don't want to come with that.

You know, I'm sorry, brother.

I got a laugh in your face on that one.

I'm not going to do that.

Yeah, sign me up for the pickleball.

I'll retract the earlier pick-up.

I'm not sure if that's the word.

Let me send me a go, I think, I have something, guys.

Okay, okay, well, there you go.

You have spent another hour at the Roundup,

and we're really happy you dropped by.

I'm Daniel Markham.

We're here every week.

If you go to danielbmarkham.com,

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