Rumble: Trouble in Paradise.

Under the chapter "Is Skype Down Again? Are the Russians to Be Blamed or is This Hamas' work?": well it seems Skype resurrected shortly before dying again. Read here some input from the Skype people.

My short rumble posted in a hurry before the weekend, and written with a lot of irony, created more comments than any other post in the past months... Hmmm.. Good some people continue reading this blog critically.. :-)
While irony (and why not - sarcasm) is often misunderstood, it seems that more than anything, my comment "Ah, the software gurus must be having a ball now. I miss those times. For the moment, I am into more boring stuff. Such as trying to solve world hunger. Pffft." sparked off some negative thoughts.

Some afterthoughts:

(I will make a point. Will get there through some detours, but eventually will get there. Come with me)

1. I used to be a software engineer. A long time ago. When home computers consisted of Commodore64's and Apple II's, only affordable to the few rich and famous. And when effective programming was still done tweaking bits and bites in obscure registers and 8 bit addresses using assembler language.. In the Skype post, I remembered the exciting times we had while working on a major problem or deadline or bug fix, and for days - sometimes weeks - our lives evolved around getting things to work again. The problem laying in lines of code. Something virtual, executed by moving electrons in minuscule little devices, fixed on mystically complex PCB-boards, assembled in a machine which hummed with a dozen others in one or the other sterile room somewhere in the world...
Pretty 'unreel'... Unreal, except for once where our local computer room frozen to one block of ice, as a 12 hour power cut in winter had the sprinkler pipes above the computers burst and spray freezing water over millions USD worth of hardware. There, it was something physical that had happened. For the rest, we did nothing but solve virtual problems in a virtual world.

2. In a cynical mood, I made the unconscious connection between that virtual - artificial - world and the actual work we (I) are (am) supposed to do as humanitarian(s): relieve human suffering. There is nothing as real as human suffering.
And it is a struggle I am fighting between me-and-me, at this moment.. Am I still making a difference... ? Am I making a sufficient impact, compared to my cost? Or am I - yet once more - working in a virtual world, solving virtual problems. More about that tomorrow..


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