I could put your entire life in 20 kilobytes, send it flying across the and collate it and generate a report on your actions, your preferences, and your entire life, including being cross checked by dedicated people to do just that, in about 15 minutes.
They are scary, but I’m scarier still.
Hope that gives you some comfort.
The form, which picture you put up in this diary .. this is what I do.
I owe you all on Docudharma, a sort of apology. You see, I’ve been among you, for months, and I’m the enemy. A very small, brilliant enemy, who doesn’t believe in, really, anything he does, but still, I feel like I’m the enemy.
I work for the insurance companies.
No, not the health insurance companies. You see, insurance, like a product, is bought, sold, packaged, sent down the line, and then repackaged, vended, and consumed. Though it is not a product, it is like a product.
I don’t work for the health insurance companies. To tell the truth, I don’t even work directly for the homeowners insurance companies who are my clients. No, I work for their vendors. These are the people who compile statistics.
These people, many of them, who work for the insurance companies, homeowner, health, or otherwise .. these are well meaning people, fellow Americans like you and I.
They worry about their futures, try to comfort their jobs by thinking they help people, and have the same dreams you have. They want to send their children to school, too .. they are just looking to keep a job and leave the world a little better than they found it.
Lest you think this is a paen to insurance companies in general, or health insurance or other insurance companies in particular, think again.
You see, I write software. And I don’t mind saying, I’m rather brilliant, in my own tiny way. (And that’s what the current state of affairs has made us, in America, tiny in our brilliance, as opposed to big, and world changing, in our brilliance, but I digress).
You see, I’ve learned how, in the pursuit of the greater happiness of my dark masters, to do a job slightly better and slightly more technically brilliant, than people and organizations 15 to 50 times my size.
I can take, for example, a multidimensional variant array of data, of infinite nesting and complexity, of any length, compress that data, of any length and complexity to a binary data stream (“1’s and “0’s”), send it across the internet, put it into someone’s database, and reconstitute that stream of 1’s and 0’s into a human readable format, in the time it might take you to say “boo”.
I can also encrypt this data, should I choose to do so, so it would take the NSA supercomputers at least a day to figure out what the hell I did. (More like several years unless they have quantum computers, which they probably do, but I digress).
But this little trick, by itself, would be somewhat useless, except as an academic abstraction. No, I can do more than that.
I can take a stream of data very like the data that makes up this site, Docudharma, into an interactive form that will take details of any type, make calculations, ask you relatively intelligent follow up questions, and then encode the data as I described above, in kilobytes rather than megabytes. And I can encode, similarly, associated CAD diagrams of the exterior of your house, and associate the aforementioned data with parts of that.
May the God I don’t believe in forgive me.
I don’t believe in what I’m doing, really, but I understand how it works.
We’ve become a society of opportunists and statisticians. And I never wanted this. I never wanted to work on the technology that will figure out how worthy you are to keep your home. I never wanted to work on the technology that will tell you to go off and die somewhere if you let brush grow too close to your trailer.
This, unfortunately, is what I’ve come to. But I understand certain things, which I’ve been, vainly, trying to get across, time and time again, without success, on this site and others.
A strong country is built on people who fucking make things. And at least in the realm of software development, I’ve tried to actually make things. I’m sick of making things for people, thrice removed, whose sole purpose is to tote up numbers and tell people that they deserve to die in the street because they didn’t make the right payment to the right people back in 1978.
I do want out. I need to eat, but, I don’t want to do this anymore.
May the Gods forgive me for what I’ve done.