Hyperproductivity was a session at IndieWebCamp East 2020.
Notes archived from etherpad: https://etherpad.indieweb.org/hyperproductivity on 2020-11-16 at 11:40 PM Pacific
IndieWebCamp East 2020
Session: Hyperproductivity: a hypothetical world where individuals are as capable as large teams today
When: 2020-11-14 14:50 PM Eastern
- what if writing code that does something useful took minutes instead of hours/days (scheduled)
- Dmitri Shuralyov Dmitri Shuralyov (facilitator)
- In this session, we'll consider that in 2020 software engineering mostly done by typing in one letter at a time (sometimes one function at a time, via autocompletion) and it takes hours to use an API. It's been this way for 20+ years. What if we could get to a place where using APIs or building a desired application took minutes instead of hours? What if working code could be written as quickly as one can brainstorm or imagine it? How do we get there? Do we want to? (The hope is to make it easier for more people to make a personal website in spare time.)
- Interested in attending:
- Dmitri Shuralyov dmitri.shuralyov.com
- Tracy Durnell
- Chris Aldrich
- Ton Zijlstra
- Maxwell Joslyn
Dmitri: To set context, suppose we're already living in a world where it's instantaneous to build things, what are the implications of that?
Based on a desire to buidl things more easily without code — what if development solutions were more accessible.
Imagine that what 20 or 30 engineers could do in a week,
- adding more engineers rarely fixes a problem
- design by committee (Tracy)
Sarah: It could accelerate things. In 2020 we've already seen a speed up.
Maxwell: A lot can be summed up as "interface, interface, interface". Have systems that one can poke in.
- e.g. changing your default name in Zoom is a pain
Sarah: David's earlier talk on friction not always being negative. Some people want things to potentially be slower. If we had technology, how comfortable are people engaging with it? How to deal with constraints when things are instantaneous?
Chris: A part is having vocabulary to speak about it. In film, different cuts serve a purpose and people are familiar with it because they consume so much of it. In early films when a train was coming towards the audience, they were scared because they were unfamiliar. How to create a language that people can get. Doing research on indeginious and oral cultures, doing things in a more dramatic fashion without involving computers. Aboriginal people have a concept of "songline". A young child is taught a story that connects pieces of culture along a trek. Even without a physical walk across the country. E.g., stop at a point and say "100 feet away is water". People are stunned because they're aware through songlines even without being there earlier in person. Knowing something exists can perhaps.
Tracy: Continuing, there's acceleration in tech, but not matching acceleration in cultural understanding. Can cause destabilization. Or alternatively decentralization. Sounds like 3D printers. Also memes. If software engineering were easier, it could spread more like memes.
Greg: Sci-fi shows programming matter like "I need a chair" and it materializes.
Dmitri: A common theme is about "power" or "influence". How it is destributed across inviduals, small companies, larger companies
Greg: I don't always make memes but when I do I use HTML meme maker
Sarah: How power influences fabrication. A fine line between creations with social benefit, vs having potential drawbacks (e.g., nuclear). Implications of who gets to have power.
Greg: How hyperproductivity interacts with large companies. Only had existing economy the last 150 years or so. Humanity is progressing bit by bit, what about the model of scaling is wrong. gLocal first, create little communities on the web around passion from the world
Tracy: A different tangent, if you can execute an idea instantly, you can iterate and refine it more quickly.
Greg: http://longthoughts.jgregorymcverry.com/doku.php?id=system_agent_network_theory I took this from systems thinking in environmental design. Collect ideas and thoughts with instant search and recall. Can then take thoughts from 5 years ago to resurface them and add more layers. Compare and contrast thoughts from old self vs current self. "I have a great idea!" but then search and find "oh I had this idea 5 years ago and it came from X and Y". How thinking super fast and bias, maybe thinking slowly is worse. If a president makes knee-jerk reactions, not much thought about 2nd or 3rd order effects. Got us to an odd place. Wanting immediate gratification.
Tracy: Thinking about externalities from an environmental field perspective. You may lose that aspect if people can do things on their own.
Greg: Playing with an idea. Something that makes IndieWeb successful. Individuals have their own goals, but they align. Good ideas buble up. Lots of power in metaphores. Cooking for one-self. If people invest more into WordPress then.
- I want to start the anti-agile workplace. not sure what would be next but I am all done with it
Tracy: A challenge in graphical design: people can dilute a design.
Asher: Hyperproductivity isn't just about code, but also other things.
Chris: Choosing what to spend time on writing code for. Also comparing with developers from 20~ years ago. Dynamic range in knowledge are almost like technological hurdels. Knowing something like Kubernetes can feel like a gate for people who haven't already invested into learning it. How many layers do we need to go? A limit on how much a single person can know. A "personbyte". To make a compter mouse, need 20 personbytes at least. Or 100+ to mine material. "Corporationbyte". Where does this end up going? Knowing the overall process is also tough. May need a project at least managers. Ideas can reproduce and evolve similar to living organisms.
Tracy: On gatekeeping, if people didn't need to learn to code, would we see innovation in totally different ways? Maybe a blossoming of different types of ideas.
Chris: Reminded of the movie Limitless that demonstrates what can happen if one person has hyperproducitivty potential.
Chris: A tribe where one person shares an idea with the next person all the way to the chief, and back to the original person. A way to get concensus. Dramatically different from what's done in the west with debates, etc. Influence over a large platform like Facebook can affect outcomes, just by silencing some individuals or increasing reach of someone else. Study on whether seeing how your friends voted influences you.
h0p3: On productivity, can look at how to optimize a process, but a fundamental question is "good for what?" "why are we optimizing?".
Chris: Perhaps "what is happiness" and how to define it. Can be different for people.
h0p3: Reflect on mutual good. Looking for rapid decentralization(?)
Sarah: Reminds me of cybernetics, human brain-computer interfaces. What's the point of internet, connecting people. Just connecting may be enough, because how we connect continues to change. It's why I'm facinated by media in general. Norman Wiener's book on Cybernetics, in the intro talking about entropic ...
- Chris has all the books within reach*
Sarah: Good question to ask "what's the reason we're doing all this." Wrong to think there's only one answer.