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Some of the consequences of the mechanistic software myth:
- The software elites have turned software into a weapon, a means to dominate and control society.
- We depend more and more on the type of software that demands only trivial skills, so we are prevented from using our minds and expanding our knowledge.
- The software elites are inducing dependence on inferior, standard systems, and are preventing independent, responsible programming.
- New software products are installed every year in millions of places without being used, presumably because they are not the "solutions" they were said to be.
- Software products and innovations are advertised by describing a few successes, which is logically equivalent to lying.
- Universities are teaching and promoting invalid, pseudoscientific software notions.
- Less than 1 percent of the programming activities in society represent useful work - work benefiting society in the way the work of doctors does.
- Individuals with practically no programming experience act as industry experts - they write books on programming, teach courses, and provide consulting services.
- Many software companies exploit the ignorance of programmers and users by suggesting that their products possess supernatural powers.
- Programmers rely on worthless theories, development environments, and ready-made pieces of software, instead of programming and improving their skills.
- Major government projects are abandoned after spending vast amounts of public money, while the incompetents responsible for these failures continue to be seen as software experts.
- Corporations cannot keep their software applications up to date and must acquire or develop new ones over and over.
- Society must support a growing software bureaucracy - more and more workers are changing from individuals who perform useful tasks to individuals who merely practise the mechanistic software myth.
- The concept of expertise is being degraded to mean, not the utmost that human minds can attain, but simply acquaintance with the latest software systems.
- Our software culture is so corrupt that it has become, in effect, a form of totalitarianism.
The mechanistic myth is the belief that everything can be described as a neat hierarchical structure of things within things. And few of us realize that our entire culture is based on this fallacy. While the world consists of complex, interacting structures, we prefer to treat every phenomenon as a simple, isolated structure.
Through our software pursuits, the mechanistic myth has spread beyond its academic origins, and is now affecting every aspect of human existence. In just one generation, it has expanded from worthless theories of mind and society (behaviour-ism, structuralism, universal grammar, etc.) to worthless concepts in the field of programming (structured programming, object-oriented pro-gramming, the relational database model, etc.) to worthless software-related activities that we all have to perform.
What is worse, our mechanistic beliefs have permitted powerful software elites to arise. While appearing to help us enjoy the benefits of software, the elites are in fact preventing us from creating and using software effectively. By invoking mechanistic software principles, they are fostering ignorance in software-related matters and inducing dependence on their systems. Increasingly, in one occupation after another, all we need to know is how to operate some software systems that are based on mechanistic principles. But our minds are capable of non-mechanistic knowledge. So, when the elites force us to depend on their software, they exploit us in two ways: by preventing us from creating better, non-mechanistic software; and by preventing us from using the superior, non-mechanistic capabilities of our minds.
The ultimate consequence of our mechanistic culture, then, is the degradation of minds. If we restrict ourselves to mechanistic performance, our non-mechanistic capabilities remain un-developed. The world is becoming more and more complex, yet we see only its simple, mechanistic aspects. So we cope perhaps with the mechanistic problems, but the complex, non-mechanistic ones remain unsolved, and may eventually destroy us.