Links for 2016-10-04

  • Charity Majors responds to the CleverTap Mongo outage war story

    This is a great blog post, spot on:

    You can’t just go “dudes it’s faster” and jump off a cliff.  This shit is basic.  Test real production workloads. Have a rollback plan.  (Not for *10 days* … try a month or two.)
    The only thing I’d nitpick on is that it’s all very well to say “buy my book” or “come see me talk at Blahcon”, but a good blog post or webpage would be thousands of times more useful.

    (tags: databases stateful-services services ops mongodb charity-majors rollback state storage testing dba)

  • Remarks at the SASE Panel On The Moral Economy of Tech

    Excellent talk. I love this analogy for ML applied to real-world data which affects people:

    Treating the world as software promotes fantasies of control. And the best kind of control is control without responsibility. Our unique position as authors of software used by millions gives us power, but we don’t accept that this should make us accountable. We’re programmers—who else is going to write the software that runs the world? To put it plainly, we are surprised that people seem to get mad at us for trying to help. Fortunately we are smart people and have found a way out of this predicament. Instead of relying on algorithms, which we can be accused of manipulating for our benefit, we have turned to machine learning, an ingenious way of disclaiming responsibility for anything. Machine learning is like money laundering for bias. It’s a clean, mathematical apparatus that gives the status quo the aura of logical inevitability. The numbers don’t lie.
    Particularly apposite today given Y Combinator’s revelation that they use an AI bot to help ‘sift admission applications’, and don’t know what criteria it’s using:

    (tags: culture ethics privacy technology surveillance ml machine-learning bias algorithms software control)

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