It’s the backbone of evolution itself, isn’t it?
The thing off of which it all hangs: the inability to just rip out the guts and make everything anew, in the image of better thought-out things. For most intents and purposes, slates are never, ever wiped clean.
But every once in a while, it can seem to happen.
Which is why Jack holds his breath every time a new architecture comes into being.
Why he has to stave off near-asthmatic panic each time a new protocol-space inflates itself into the now standard 6 dimensions of artifice…
Panic breeds a well-established routine:
He trawls through the inevitable quagmire of fresh APIs and HelloWeb samples. He grabs every unstable release of every toolkit, tempts these toward the precipice of impossibility and deliberately pushes them over; combs through the shards like an archaeologist tending bones found where no one thought to look. He’s even been known to report back to the makers in question, if he’s feeling charitable. Or desperate. Or both.
And the machine Saracen hums to itself, gorging on the perpetual downflow, growing fat on Terabytes that stow themselves away for later sifting. It blinks it’s orange lights, while Jack himself rarely bats an eyelid: His eyes almost extrude out of their sockets, glued invisibly to the sliding surface of a concave wrap-around screen.
He withdraws, falls into a subsistence diet of mostly crackers and marmite and pop for the entire 36-week grokk-window, the gestation period beyond which every dimwit knows the line in the sand WILL HAVE BEEN DRAWN: those who have ‘adopted’ standing on the one side, and those who haven’t on the other.
Then there’s an eye to be kept on the ware-markets too; the economic possibilities of the arch-du-jour are weighed out: staying power versus bulk vs good ‘ole likeability (which counts, believe it or not). Because if enough people aren’t going to jump on the proverbial bandwagon then what would be the fragging point? And so more resources – siphoned away for market analysis.
At least that’s something he can carve away from his domain of interest, preferring to palm it off to partners that are much better at such things. Not a few times, their special brand of prescience has saved him from a month or two of flogging stillborn horses.
As for his own punitive regimen, there’s no-one else to trust the job with. This is something he has to do for himself. Otherwise what would be left of You Surp Inc? You can’t outsource everything. Eventually you have to roll up your own sleeves and put some elbow grease into it.
And it’s what he likes doing best, anyway: hiking up the steep learning curves, scouring the slopes of whatever new-fangled invention had been thrown into The Wilds. And at the top of each curve, at the pinnacle of his new-found aptitudes, the real work begins. The peeling back, layer after layer, looking for weak spots: Bad terminations and sloppy handshakes and poorly-typed elements. Third party hacks and workarounds. Loopholes, all the way down. The hike in reverse is infinitely more enjoyable; grows more so as he descends toward the relative terra-firma of his preferred haunting grounds. By the time he cruises past Presentation, Construct and finally the Fabric itself, he has amassed a decent bounty of flaws.
Cos “Flaws is money, mate”, as his ‘ole school-friend used to say. Too right, too right.
And back of all flaws is the one original flaw – the one without which none of this would even be worth the time.
One day it might be gone. Scratch that. Will be gone. But in the long meantime, You Surp Inc is safe from obsolescence.
Which means no-one else is safe.