I started ‘betterology‘ in 2006 because I wanted to write software like HAL of 2001 A Space Odyssey or R2D2 of Star Wars.
Software needs a brand name, so betterology seemed as good as any.
You know the idea: software as smart as humans! Siri and Alexa didn’t even exist, back then. Works great in movies!
Smart software would be hard to write, but I was OK with that, even partial success would be progress.
Plus: It’s a fun process!
What I didn’t consider:
Human behavior doesn’t translate into code very well,
so ‘smart like humans’ will lead you to write software that makes about as much sense as human behavior. Hmmm.
You end up with code that has a lot of infinite loops and non-deterministic conditionals.
Neither will you sell something that is really smart, because first, you’d need consensus on what ‘smart’ really means.
Humans can’t even agree on something as straightforward as global warming or a 100 similar issues… stuff that hardly takes any smarts.
So my idea that software would run scenarios and then advise us of our options – bad idea.
“I want to know my best options in this situation”
says almost no-one, ever.
Cancel that plan for betterology goes viral, driving Pete’s income.
Hey! You and Me! Our Paths Join!
Fast forward to 2018 – all the buzz is about replacing professions and blue collar jobs with software and robots. According to this hype, our destiny is that everyone should become a programmer, up and until the point where there is nothing left to program and none of us can get paid to work anymore? Hmm. No one seems to be very clear on this overall plan. Schools are already tooling up to teach every student to code. The driverless car seems only months away. Every year I, and people like me, code away lots of professional tasks.
So, dear reader, I guess that means you’re supposed to be a software developer like me, huh? Heh! Cool. We got this! Maybe we can learn to be as smart as machines, since I already gave up on machines being as smart like humans 🙂
Meanwhile – I’ll use this site to collect the observed approaches that we can all use to program ourselves out of our jobs, and of course – all the logic traps that I observe along the way.