Iterations of an Iteration

My ex-partner and I have a running joke about being trapped in a simulation.

Or is it a joke? Hard to say.

That conversation thread inspired me to watch “Hang the DJ” from Black Mirror a second time. I think after “San Junipero,” it is probably my second favorite episode. Picked up a few things I hadn’t noticed on the first viewing… like the way in which the script calls attention to the number “44” (also the season and episode number, and the number that in Chinese tradition signifies death).

It does seem to me that “The System” worked pretty much the way that a dating simulation of the interaction of two personalities actually would work. So much so that I actually had to try a variant with ChatGPT.

Turned out to be sexist drivel, but something I could certainly see a pr agency serving up to a client. What else could I do but iterate further? On the second prompt, I specifically requested non-sexist dialogue. And what I got was a brand new conversation about iteration in software development… this time between two men.


PROMPT #1: Generate sample dialogue for a screenplay about iteration.




The office is buzzing with energy as JASON, a young and ambitious software developer, sits at his desk, typing furiously on his laptop. His colleague, LISA, approaches with a cup of coffee.

LISA (leaning over) Hey, Jason, what’s got you so focused?

JASON (grinning) I’m working on the latest iteration of our app. It’s going to be a game-changer.

LISA (excited) Really? What’s new this time?

JASON (looking at his screen) We’ve revamped the user interface, made it more intuitive. And check this out – we’ve added a feature that allows users to customize their profiles in ways we never thought of before.

LISA (impressed) Nice! But didn’t we just release an update last month?

JASON (nodding) Yeah, but that’s the thing about iteration. It never stops. We learn from each release, gather feedback, and keep improving.

LISA (smiling) So, it’s like a never-ending cycle of upgrades?

JASON Exactly! Each iteration takes us a step closer to perfection. It’s all about refining, optimizing, and giving our users the best experience possible.

LISA (sipping her coffee) I love it. But how do you handle the pressure? The constant need to improve?

JASON (grinning) Pressure is part of the game. It’s what keeps us on our toes. Plus, seeing the impact of our work and making something better each time? That’s the real reward.

LISA (looking around the office) Well, everyone seems pretty engaged in their work. I guess iteration is the heartbeat of this place.

JASON (nodding) Absolutely. It’s not just about the product; it’s about the journey of making it better every single day. And hey, speaking of which, I’ve got to get back to this iteration. The code won’t write itself.

LISA (laughing) Alright, go work your magic. Can’t wait to see what this version brings.

Jason gets back to typing, and Lisa walks away, inspired by the constant pursuit of improvement in the world of iteration.


PROMPT #2: Generate non-sexist dialogue for a screenplay about iteration.


The development team is busy at work, typing away on their keyboards. ALEX, a seasoned programmer, is sitting at a desk reviewing code. JORDAN, a junior developer, approaches with a notebook in hand.

JORDAN Hey, Alex, mind if I bounce some ideas off you for the next iteration?

ALEX Sure, Jordan, shoot. What are you thinking?

JORDAN (smiling) I was thinking about streamlining the onboarding process for new users. The feedback from our last release pointed out some confusion.

ALEX (nodding) That’s a great focus. Simplifying onboarding is always a win. What’s your plan?

JORDAN I thought about breaking it down into smaller steps and adding tooltips for guidance. It might make the whole process more user-friendly.

ALEX (leaning back) Nice approach. It aligns with our user-centric philosophy. Have you considered how it might affect the overall user experience?

JORDAN I did. I think it will make the initial interaction smoother without overwhelming users with information.

ALEX Good thinking. And how do you plan to gather feedback during this iteration?

JORDAN I was thinking of setting up a quick survey for users who go through the onboarding. Something short and focused on their experience.

ALEX Smart move. Continuous feedback is key to refining our work. Remember, iteration isn’t just about the code; it’s about understanding the user journey.

JORDAN Absolutely. I appreciate your input, Alex.

ALEX No problem, Jordan. It’s all about collaboration. If you need any help with implementation, feel free to reach out.

JORDAN Thanks, Alex. I’ll definitely take you up on that. Let’s make this iteration our best one yet.

They both get back to work, each motivated to contribute to the success of the next iteration.

This Is Front Page News

It’s been five years since this article came out. I asked a geologist friend to evaluate its conclusions, because they were so striking as to seem almost unbelievable. The geologist agreed: climate change isn’t just about the world getting a little bit hotter, or a bad drought or hurricane here and there. It could actually render the planet uninhabitable by humans.

The Uninhabitable Earth

In the jungles of Costa Rica, where humidity routinely tops 90 percent, simply moving around outside when it’s over 105 degrees Fahrenheit would be lethal. And the effect would be fast: Within a few hours, a human body would be cooked to death from both inside and out.

Read the full article online…

How can we make things better? Hint, hint: politicians aren’t that interested in radical systemic change. They are trained to think in the short term (poll to poll, election cycle to election cycle) just like corporations. While ESG investing provides a lifeline for investors and even consumers to align their ideals with their pocketbooks, it’s not enough. Extinction Rebellion has some good ideas, but street theater is not enough. Constitutional challenges on behalf of future generations in the United States have gone exactly nowhere.

Let’s not leave Greta Thunberg on her own here.

What is needed? A radically new mindset. Solutions that allow individuals to pool their collective knowledge and resources and effect change quickly. We need to stay positive and respect human rights as well as economic justice. This is a fight that will be won or lost in the Global South.

Why We Need Blockchain and Open Source Technology to Guarantee Fair Elections

Let’s face it.

The American people have lost faith in the electoral process. Whether you’re on the right wing and a die-hard Trumper who truly believed that evil liberals conspired to steal the 2020 presidential election, or whether you’re a mainstream progressive and concerned about the fact that in the United States, candidates who win a majority of votes (like Hillary Clinton in 2016) actually cannot become President due to the weirdness of the Electoral College, you know that something is wrong in this country. There is also the huge problem that ballots can get lost in the mail, and that not everybody has time to get to the voting booths or wants to come out and vote in the age of COVID.

What if we just had an app, or a website, for voting? Wouldn’t that make things easier?

It absolutely would. Turnout would go through the roof. Open source election technology is already mainstream, as this PDF from the respected Open Invention Network (OIN) clearly shows. Existing voting machine technologies could certainly be adapted for remote use.

But then the risk of fraud becomes higher.

How could we keep our elections secure, yet enable everyone with a cell phone or a computer to participate?

The answer is another open source technology: blockchain.

The basic premise resides in the reason why blockchain (the technology behind Bitcoin) works: it is analogous to BCC. You encrypt or do not store the identity of a person making transactions on a blockchain network, but you make many copies of the record of this transaction, so that it can be verified by independent third parties (and 4th parties, 5th parties, etc.)

My proposal is that we use the same blockchain technology to prevent fraud in US elections, and of course also elections anywhere else in the world.

#opensource could lead the way.



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About Deism

Hey, I found my old spirituality blog. Looks like the entire site was archived by the Wayback Machine. I should probably write a crawler and try to make my own archive, but… too many other projects I’m procrastinating on.

I’m going to add the links here for the free PDF download of Southern Cross, the book I researched and wrote while a bored housewife seeking truth and meaning in the Bible Belt. You can also buy a copy on Amazon (Kindle or print). The free version is older and less edited — I’m sure it has a lot of typos. It also has the original line drawings that accompanied the project. I need to emphasize that this book was written for Christians seeking to find common ground with other Christians. If you are not Christian, please know that my intent is not to convert anyone. I left organized religion about a decade ago. I sort of know what the right faith community would look like for me and it would be a group without walls, paid staff, or dogma. Built on friendship, good intention, and mutual support.

Anyway, the post below summarizes where I’m at right now. Only downside of being a Deist is that there isn’t a built-in community. Perhaps I’ll find one or build one in time.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2021 [Edited]

About Deism

Religion is a practice. Belief is a frame of mind.

I believe that there is a conscious and compassionate force beyond the scope of human rational inquiry at work in our daily lives. This belief is based mostly on personal experience, and on the firsthand accounts of others. I choose not to further define this Higher Power because whatever attributes I assign would almost certainly be wrong. My definition of deism is less passive than that of the 18th Century Enlightenment. It seems most likely to me that God is a meta layer of reality, both nervous system and DNA, a manifestation of conscious information. Not a watchmaker, but rather the gears, the numbers, the hands, the wearer, the manufacturer, and the construct of 4D spacetime itself.

Photo taken 12.28.2021.

Of course, our reality could also be a simulation. In theory, the odds that we are inhabiting a simulation are fifty-fifty.

But this isn’t a “just so” story. I’m not claiming any authority or special revelation.

And no, I don’t know what happens after we die.

In 2015 I did have something happen to me that cannot be explained by science. It wasn’t a coincidence. It wasn’t an answered prayer. It’s not the face of Jesus on a pancake, or anything like that. It was just something that happened outside of continuity. Something we had no rational explanation for. It had both symbolic and personal relevance. There was another witness. We took a picture with my camera phone.

The picture wouldn’t convince you if I showed you, though. You could just say that we made the whole thing up. Anyway, I’m not trying to convert anyone.

I don’t have any particular agenda, not at this point in my life.

Be a good person. Live according to your conscience. Know that fear is largely imaginary, a pernicious delusion. Love is real but not easy to find. Distrust simple answers and the wisdom of crowds.

That is my practice. That is how I try to live my life.

Not a Happy Song

Um, this isn’t a happy song, but it’s one of my favorites. It’s on the ROSECODE playlist, incidentally, if I can ever remember which YouTube account I stashed that link under. I remember hearing about Tupac’s death in 1996, but I don’t think back then I had ever listened to a single song or album of his.

“Ballad of a Dead Soldier,” by Tupac Shakur

Just want to say that today and every day, I am glad to be alive.