Sunday, September 28, 2014

Software Bugs and Human Failings

I have spent my whole life working on improving myself.  I have ambitious plans and not just at the new year.  For every failing, I have even more ways to try to ensure that the failings will never manifest themselves again.  I do this with my physical body, with my spiritual practices, with my creative endeavors. 

But what if I tried being more accepting?  I saw this paragraph in this post by poet Dale Favier, who has spent a lifetime in the computer field:

"As I wander on through life, observing various human endeavors, I've come to realize that everything is like that. Nothing has really been built to specs. Nothing quite operates as advertised. The flaws are various and infinite. All you can do is fix a few of the most glaring problems. The rest will have to stand. You can see it in software, because software is uniquely observable: it does exactly the same thing, over and over again, and it breaks down readily into tiny discreet steps. But everything works that way."

The rest will have to stand!  That's such a radical idea in so many ways.

And here's an even more radical idea:  sometimes the flaw is the very thing that the world needs.

And of course, my inner theologian wonders if the bugs are really part of the design.  Perhaps God, who is infinitely wise, put the bugs there intentionally, for some reason that is only apparent in a vista that is larger than I can see.

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