Simon Willison’s Weblog


2 items tagged “newyorker”


A Coder Considers the Waning Days of the Craft (via) James Somers in the New Yorker, talking about the impact of GPT-4 on programming as a profession. Despite the headline this piece is a nuanced take on this subject, which I found myself mostly agreeing with.

I particularly liked this bit, which reflects my most optimistic viewpoint: I think AI assisted programming is going to shave a lot of the frustration off learning to code, which I hope brings many more people into the fold:

“What I learned was that programming is not really about knowledge or skill but simply about patience, or maybe obsession. Programmers are people who can endure an endless parade of tedious obstacles.” # 14th November 2023, 4:36 am


One way to establish that peace-preserving threat of mutual assured destruction is to commit yourself beforehand, which helps explain why so many retailers promise to match any competitor’s advertised price. Consumers view these guarantees as conducive to lower prices. But in fact offering a price-matching guarantee should make it less likely that competitors will slash prices, since they know that any cuts they make will immediately be matched. It’s the retail version of the doomsday machine.

James Surowiecki # 9th November 2009, 10:06 am