OurKingdom logo
Prefer it to a newspaper.
Kx System
The Convention on Modern Liberty

Beware the barrenness of a busy life.

Aristotle

Creole technology

Software production has got worryingly complicated, in large measure the result of applying standard strategies of industrialisation – divide and simplify – to what more often might be treated better as a craft.

In the vast workshop districts of Ghana, known as ‘magazines’, motor vehicles from the industrialised world have for decades been adapted and refitted for rugged African conditions. They can be maintained indefinitely in this new state, using only simple parts, a sophisticated improvisation that Edgerton calls ‘creolisation’. ‘At dusk,’ he writes, ‘bright intermittent light from welding illuminates streets all over the world, issuing from maintenance workshops which might also make simple equipment.’

From “A Place for Hype”, Edward Tenner’s review in the London Review of Books 10 May 2007 of The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900 by David Edgerton

Crafts are characterised by deep study and practice, small teams and relatively simple tools, well understood. The smartest programmers I know work alone and with a simple text editor and a OS console. What are the rest of us missing?

  • software
© 2003-2017 Stephen Taylor
script began 13:07:58 empty query string ASIN 0330531514 src not in XML looking for 0330531514 in amazon found cached image images/amazon/0330531514.jpg don't update XML ASIN 1935952013 src not in XML looking for 1935952013 in amazon found cached image images/amazon/1935952013.jpg don't update XML ASIN 2012101348 src not in XML looking for 2012101348 in amazon found cached image images/amazon/2012101348.jpg don't update XML films.xml loaded IMDB ref tt1791528 looking for tt1791528 in imdb found cached image images/imdb/tt1791528.jpg don't update XML IMDB ref tt0116313 looking for tt0116313 in imdb found cached image images/imdb/tt0116313.jpg don't update XML IMDB ref tt0109454 looking for tt0109454 in imdb found cached image images/imdb/tt0109454.jpg don't update XML ASIN B000005GO5 src looking for B000005GO5 in amazon found cached image images/amazon/B000005GO5.jpg don't update XML ASIN B01KN6XDS6 src looking for B01KN6XDS6 in amazon found cached image images/amazon/B01KN6XDS6.jpg don't update XML ASIN B00MJJ37BE src looking for B00MJJ37BE in amazon found cached image images/amazon/B00MJJ37BE.jpg don't update XML completed in 0.0124 secs