Stanislav Datskovskiy: Employers much prefer that workers be fungible, rather than maximally productive

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

I’ve linked this before, but it is worth linking again:

Where Lisp Fails: at Turning People into Fungible Cogs.

A favorite conundrum of many Lisp aficionados is why the language appears to languish in disuse. Talk of cultural problems, “the library question” (which usually boils down to nonsensical circular reasoning), too many parentheses, and other absurdities simply dances around the blindingly obvious explanation – one which is able to make sense not only of the obscurity of Lisp, but of many other conceptual breakthroughs (such as reflectivity) which threaten to give developers’ minds a “lever to move the whole world.”

Employers much prefer that workers be fungible, rather than maximally productive.

…It amazes me just how blindly complacent programmers have been in the face of the ongoing and very successful deskilling of their profession.

…I predict that no tool of any kind which too greatly amplifies the productivity of an individual will ever be permitted to most developers. In this they shall follow in the maximally deskilled assembly-line footsteps of their grandparents. “They’ll time your every breath.” As for the “free software” world, it eagerly opposes industrial dogmas in rhetoric but not at all in practice. No concept shunned by cube farm hells has ever gained real traction among the amateur masses. [2]

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