tldr me:

The disciplines of Software Engineering and Information Technology have been swerving rapidly away from a "safety last" approach to computing, to a "privacy last" approach.

I think that's a social disaster in the making.

I think both of these approaches to computing are wrong. But I think "privacy last" has been fuelled by "safety last". To preserve - or recreate - privacy, we're going to need real built-in safety.

This is also Jonathan Zittrain's argument.


When I say a certain approach to computing is "wrong", I *don't* mean "was not the result of a series of what appeared at the time to be rational choices by smart people".

*Everything* in human culture is the result of what appeared at the time to be rational choices by smart people.

But smart people are not infallible people. They can and do make mistakes.

By "wrong" I just mean "is now locking us in to an extremely bad trajectory, and we have the choice to stay on this road, or reevaluate".

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Zittrain in 2008 predicting our current social media moment

(which actually has nothing to do with my narrow ideas about code security and so probably undermines my argument that we could improve things somewhat with a sufficiently safe yet generative programming language. The Internet problem is much bigger than that, and maybe there *are* no technological fixes... although it remains a problem that technology has *amplified* )

"The Future of the Internet, and How to Stop It", p212

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