About this site

Technical Details

This site is hosted on Github Pages, and is generated using Hakyll. At some point along the way, I picked up markdown, and, though far from perfect, it’s my markup language of choice for most things, including the content on this site. To make code snippets in blog posts pretty, I leveraged the tango theme by Tejas Bubane.

If you’re curious, you can find the (sadly, undocumented) source code for this site here.

About the title

The title of the site, “Scarce Computing”, is meant to evoke Mark Weiser’s “Ubiquitous Computing”. For Weiser, the third wave of computing (which we are currently in the midst of) meant that humans would be surrounded by computers (“one person, multiple computers”), which would have advanced so much as to i) be absurdly inexpensive, and ii) make our interactions with them transparent, to the point of being intuitive. Living in (and through) the 21st century, it is clear that Weiser was ahead of the curve, and accurately predicted the commoditization of performant hardware, but his vision of human-machine interaction did not pan out, or at the very least not universally.

Companies are investing heavily in making some aspects of computing frictionless, because that’s what their business models rely on. Pretty much any interaction that takes place outside the “maximizing user engagement maximizes profit” context remains at the very least unintuitive, or, depending on your capacity for patience, bordering on aggresively user-hostile. Technology is failing to produce the sense of calm that Weiser hoped for, and many of us are suffering the consequences of the fact that we got the growth he anticipated without the positive developments that would render said growth manageable.

So, as I said at the top, “scarce computing” is meant to evoke “ubiquitous computing”, or rather a vision of an alternative third wave of computing – one where we didn’t push technology onto every aspect of our life, just because we could.