This "Iceberg Meme" is a wonderful tour of cursed computing

Originally published at: This "Iceberg Meme" is a wonderful tour of cursed computing | Boing Boing


Having spent decades in the tech industry, I’m sometimes brought up short with a combination of wonder and fear by the idea that the entire global economy and, frequently, individual human lives are reliant on the fragile and flawed framework described here. And then I think, “well, we somehow muddle through on balance” and try to forget about it for a while.


I try to get through with, “Well, it’s not like were actually safer on average before all this tech.”


lo. those who forget tech history are doomed to infinite loops

( it took me a moment to realize all of the entries are links. it was bad enough and funny enough in turn all on it’s own. though i am slightly sad to see “significant whitespace” was missing )

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Wow, if brainfuck and ‘parsing XML with regex’ are considered above the iceberg of cursedness, it’s going to be a wild read.


I honestly don’t know thy the Scary Devil Monastery is so deep.

We aren’t that bad.




I’m not in the mood for this right now.

I have a full stack of stupid reverse proxy problems to deal with, and all the suggestion pages coming up are either done by cargo cult programmers copying something that worked for them but they don’t understand, or people who definitely understand, but who seem monstrously bad at explaining.

eta: If I see one more page saying “just use blueprints to solve the origin server prefix problem”, without mentioning how to prefix the core static urls, I will get hasty!


KIBO was here


Welp, that’s another hundred tabs I’ll be opening…

Speaking of Chrome consuming too much memory… wouldn’t it be great to have a Rclick link → “Open in new tab & kill after loading” option? The link is opened in new background tab, the page is loaded to completion, and then the tab is killed.

This way I could open all the ones I’m interested in, without consuming much resources. On selecting the tab, either automatically or via F5 to load the page; if caching is working, might not even require new network transactions.

Obviously, I’m not (anymore) a programmer.


what, is that bad :grimacing:


Making judicious use of regexes to detect tags and entities and split them out as part of a tokeniser engine is fine and dandy.

Trying to write a regex which will of itself correctly parse an XML document, or more entertainingly, an SGML document, and output a tokenised list or, even more entertainingly, a document tree, is going to give you a 4d6 SAN hit and summon at least one shoggoth.
Successfully doing so is one of the signs that the Stars are Right and Cthulhu is awake.


you just need very short documents that’s all…

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I’m very surprised to see the GPS chip speed limit placed at the ‘deep water’ level. It’s both of marginal importance outside of a few niche hobbies(very high altitude balloons, hardcore model rocketry) and you can describe both the reason and the behavior in a single sentence that requires no knowledge of either software engineering or computer science to understand.

By contrast, a lot of the stuff rated further up is some combination of ‘and that’s why something technological civilization depends on is far more broken than you imagined’ and ‘you need some grasp of software engineering or computer science to even understand an attempt to explain this problem’.

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maybe that’s why? the deep water stuff supports the things that you actually run into? the accretion of more and more complicated problems over time

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