Code what?

From The Long Slow Rotten March of Progress, by Sam Kriss:

“Your age or race or gender don’t matter; they belong to the age of objects. Just learn how to code, and you’ll be fine. But something’s missing. Code what? To do what? And why?”

“None of these start-ups are doing anything new or interesting. Which shouldn’t be surprising: how often does anyone have a really good idea? What you actually get is just code, sloshing around, congealing into apps and firms that exist simply to exist. Uber for dogs, GrubHub for clothes, Patreon for sex, Slack for death, PayPal for God, WhatsApp for the spaceless non-void into which a blind universe expands. The constant recombination of worn-out elements. Companies that make useless products to help other companies make useless products that help other companies make useless products. There are start-ups that spend tens of thousands on names and branding before they even come up with a product or see if anyone might want it. This is called innovation, but what it actually represents is a culture that piles up the garbled detritus of the old in lieu of creating anything new, and a morbid economic order drowning in its own surplus liquidity and willing to invest in any bubble that comes along.”

“The “Internet of Things” is meant to be the future, but it mostly looks like a farcical recomplication of what we already had: a juice press that needs to scan a QR code and connect to your wifi before it’ll exert functionally the same amount of pressure as a pair of human hands, a wine bottle that connects to the internet and only dispenses proprietary wines, light bulbs that burn out or flicker maniacally if you haven’t installed the drivers properly.

For a few lucky companies selling these moronically “smart” objects, there are ludicrous millions in investor funding. Not because they’re any good, but because markets are volatile and governments are issuing negative-yield bonds and there’s nowhere else for all the ruling class’s extra money to go. Time is not moving us forwards. There has not been progress. The tech boom is not the first trembling steps of a new era. Its growth and dynamism is the halo of rot spreading over the globe.”

Read the rest here: https://theoutline.com/post/1611/the-long-slow-rotten-march-of-progress

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