The Twelve Days of Obsessive Christmas Decorating day 7 late again

Or why we won’t have self driving cars, now or maybe forever.

Yesterday I needed to connect a radio to a software program. No big deal, I had done it before. But that was two software updates ago.

The software won, I didn’t get the radio to talk to the software. I feel like a failure. I worked so hard to get it working. I’m not a programmer, I don’t have the tools to find out what is wrong. I read the manual, I dig through Google looking for help. The stuff in Google is so out of date, I push the buttons and then I find they don’t match the version of software I have. There is no runbig button in the current software. The programmer of the software is so busy he won’t read your email. He has to get improvement to the software out. So I go to the forums and get laughed at or told to read the manual.

If you have read this blog for long you know I’m not a fan of programmers. Why? Two reasons. Programmers are paid to write software. They wont document what they write. Documentation, that’s work for peons. They don’t care if the program kills the user. They wrote the program to the specification they were given and if they complain about the spec they know they will be placed on the list of the next person to be laid off.

So they write the program that confuses the pilot and crashes the airplane, killing several hundred people. They write the program that accelerates the car and won’t let you turn the engine off.

So the next time you press the button in an elevator just think. The programmer that did the software for the box you’re standing in got paid, is off on another job, and won’t go to court if the elevator drops to the bottom and kills you. He was part of a team and the head of the company is worth so much more, they’ll sue the company or the head of the company.

The next time you are about to cross a street, even at a light, remember you are one step, one software glitch or one bit that should be a 1 not a zero form having a self driving car run over you.

They tested the software you say. Well the first thing they teach a budding software writer is that you can not test all the ways a program will fail. So a smart programmer knows that if he is late with a program because it fails a test he will only test the software in ways he knows it will pass. His bonus for getting done on time depends on it. If you can’t do something why brother to make life hard on yourself.

I’m pounding my head on the desk trying to get the radio that use to work working again while the Christmas lights outside whisper “fix me”, “put more lights up”.

So every hour or two I get out of my chair after working fruitlessly. I go outside and fiddle with the lights for a couple of minutes so I don’t go looking for a greedy, soulless programmer.

I should be glad that nobody reads these posts. Why would anyone believe them? The web is full of stories of Putin, the Russian president, telling his people that America is about to attack them and that’s why things are so bad and why he should remain in office. The Chinese have refused 60 ship loads of coal from Australia because someone in the Australian said something the leaders of China don’t like. Even while the power had to be shut off in major Chinese cities because they ran out of coal. The Chinese leaders blame the young people for the outages. Maybe that’s what happened in this country in the 1960s, It’s all the young people’s fault.

Stay strong, write on.

Professor Hyram Voltage

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