A Single Perfect Moment

One Leaf

There may be no better way to sum up John Gruber’s writing than his own admission that he wishes he’d written a sentence penned by Paul Graham.

Would a moment of clarity please pick up the #4a525a courtesy phone? A single, brief moment of clarity to the #4a525a courtesy phone, please.


  1. Posted November 19, 2009 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    It helps a little that this is by a large margin the least wrong thing I’ve ever seen Paul Graham right, but still… Yeesh.

  2. mhoye
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    It might not be the dumbest thing he’s ever written, but it is still pervasively, cringe-inducingly dumb. It _starts_ by saying “Apple doesn’t understand software” and only gets worse.

  3. mhoye
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    You know, I’ve changed my mind. I’ve gone back and re-read it, and it might be one of the dumbest things he’s ever written. It’s not that I disagree with him, it’s that his argument is so idiotic that I’m forced to reconsider my position.

  4. Posted November 20, 2009 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Well, this is a Paul Graham essay, so one’s expectations must be callibrated. This one is dumb, sure, but it comes closer to describing reality than anything I can remember of his.

    At least this one didn’t turn into another programmer-exceptionalist rant, even if you can feel it lurking there in the background.

  5. Posted November 20, 2009 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    I take that back. I recant it all. I’d somehow glossed over the later part of the essay where he manages to find his way back to his only writing subject: How much more awesome programmers are than you (unless you are a programmer).

  6. Posted November 20, 2009 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    The characteristic programmer triumphalism of the Graham article is dumb, but the rest of it…

    … okay, look, I will never forgive you for this, but: I think Graham is basically right.

    He’s right about Microsoft (a lot of Microsoft’s 21st-century renaissance can be chalked up to Microsoft not being evil; you get people working for Microsoft now who would never have considered it 10-15 years ago). He’s right about Apple being a bunch of dictatorial assholes. And I at least hope he’s right about people eventually not wanting to put up with abusive relationships with dictatorial assholes, although you never know.

  7. Mike Hoye
    Posted November 22, 2009 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Whether or not Graham is right is irrelevant if his reasoning is specious or out-and-out dumb. This article reads like somebody who says the moon orbits the earth because it’s made of blue cheese and everyone knows blue cheese and the mass of blue cheese in space is different, and that’s what makes it just hang there especially over france because cheese comes from france and did I mention that I’m a programmer and that programmers are fucking awesome, and not a sub-human meat robot like the rest of you?

    Not to put too fine a point on it but: honestly, fuck that. Whether I agree with the principle of the thing or not, I’m not going to be saluting a flag hoisted by that self-important toolbox.