Invincible summer |||

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.’

Edward Tenner, “A Place for Hype”, London Review of Books, 2007-05-10

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 command shell. What are the rest of us missing?

Up next Balkan spice Upcoming Balkan music gigs in London Release the lost sheep from the spell Weapons of mass destruction and states breaching their obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1967 – does it never end? Terror –
Latest posts The return of the king Clarity, rigour and Rory Stewart The World’s End Book Club Remembering Bel Macdonald Barts hearts and faces Summer on wheels All that jazz: The librarian’s song Sandals on their way home A short history of the Australian Flat White Cycling glove, slightly foxed Untoward occurrence at embassy poetry reading To Go to Lvov The founding of Iverson College The pot-boy’s story Prisoners of our own device How green is my valley The ghost in the shell Finding primes with q Policing protests in Glasgow Why don’t we do it in the road? The democracy of narcissism The rest is silence Bergh Apton revisited What makes a language flourish? A duty of care Crispbread economics Learning vector programming The Underground The Post Office scandal A plea for simplicity BoJo the clown