Report of the Planetary Software Authority
Report from the Planetary Software Authority
Transmitted to Inhabitor of the Throne (IoT) Zing Ahmed Du Hong Smith at the World Capitol in Jakarta, province of IndoMelanasia
Report 507.658N, June 22, 2025
Amends Report 507.658M of Jun 21, 2025
Most honorable IoT and HisHer Excellency IBM BlueGreen Genie IV:
With great pleasure, insofar as one is now allowed to take or express pleasure, we submit this summary of the actions of the Planetary Software Authority.
The Great Reconciliation quelled the revolts. The software crisis of 2017 is now forever behind us. Those mass leaks of personal information were stopped when CEOs of organizations whose lax security was penetrated were herded into hard labor facilities where they were required to maintain undocumented COBOL code. The Supreme Court of the then-USA ruled they were not subject to constitutional protections so permitted their torture, including the use of dial-up connections and Windows 3.1. Though this practice was later halted as being too inhumane, a few of the worst of the worst were forced to use vi.
Similar intrusions into government facilities and the hacking of the Permissive Action Links used to protect nuclear weapons, with the subsequent loss of Kansas (once a territory of what is now the MexCanAmerica Co-prosperity Sphere) were eliminated with the passage of the 2018 Free Speech (Within Limits) Act. This legislation shut down the old “Internet” (a corrupt system that permitted the unfettered exchange of ideas between individuals without appropriate government intervention). Earlier attempts to monitor the “Internet” by a National Security Agency failed in 2016 when the attorney general of the territory of Utah realized that, since the agency vacuumed up most all traffic on the net, there must be child pornography stored in the Utah Data Center. It was illegal to possess such material so he confiscated all of those servers and auctioned them off to the predecessor of the current world government, a company known as Amazon.
When it was discovered that the entry point for the nuclear hack was the “Internet” connection to a hitch on a tractor plowing the fields of North Dakota that used firmware created by low-cost workers in Turgidistahn, vendors immediately started looking for even cheaper places to create software.
Another force in the Great Reconciliation was the collapse of the great powers’ militaries. For decades weapons were becoming ever more expensive due to their escalating software content, till even the superpowers could only afford to buy a single fighter jet. You will recall that the lone F-39, at $21 trillion, did manage to get airborne, but its sophisticated sensors mistook JFK airport for Moscow. (The cleanup of Long Island is almost complete). Ironically, for hundreds of years countries competed by building ever more capable weapons, but a decade ago that trend reversed as they worked to hack into the oppositions’ systems to make them non-functional. Today, of course, it’s far too risky to use computers in weapons so most are completely mechanical. The Mark X Catapult is a shining example of the state of the art. With another few years of development, and a few more billion dollars, BoeingLockheed promises it will be able to hurl a twenty-kilo delivery vehicle nearly half a kilometer. It is anticipated that the delivery vehicles, militarized bowling balls, will eventually become economical at under $500 million each.
Today, software engineering is nearly perfected. Fifty years of fads (TDD, Waterfall, PSP, XP, CMM, etc.) have been replaced with Stultifying Methods. Developers are selected genetically at conception. The BRAK-X4D gene predicts with complete certainty introversion, lack of any sense of fashion, and software engineering aptitude. Raised in programming farms these children are educated only in physics, math, coding, and posting angry comments on public forums. At age 14 they become licensed Regulated Programmers. (The underground market in fake RP IDs is a growing problem, so each day begins with a ten minute warmup exercise in self-modifying code; those who manage to solve the problem are hustled into reeducation camps).
Work starts at 0800 sharp with a lunch break before the bell rings at 2000. Each developer is expected to produce exactly one flawless line of code per day; a line that is of such astonishing excellence and beauty that each is covered on the Global News Network (GNN) that evening. The next day, of course, is for refactoring, so that line is replaced with one of even greater perfection. That is then cast in gold type and carried with great reverence by robed algorithm acolytes to Supreme Holiness of Information Technology, Linus Torquemada. The Supreme Holiness of Information Technology either admits the line of code to the global repository, or assails the developer with profane comments about the developer’s ancestry and complete lack of skills.
Every coder has between fourteen and seventeen supervisors, and each of those manages just the one developer. Throughout the day they demand progress reports at ten minute intervals. Meetings, of course, happen on the hour, but are limited to 50 minutes.
Because software is in maintenance for many years, all comments are in the one language that has remained fairly static over a long period of time: Latin. Thus, modern programs are backwards compatible with Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico.
These Stultifying Methods have led to unprecedented levels of productivity and quality. No program created with them has ever failed or been hacked. Your excellences have noted that none have actually been delivered, but we consider that merely an implementation detail.
So, dear IoT and HisHer Excellency IBM BlueGreen Genie IV, we submit to you this summary of the state of the art, and with great assurance promise that more reports and memos will follow promptly. We also certify that the program you are waiting for will be delivered in October December 2026 2036 Real Soon Now.
Jack G. Ganssle is a lecturer and consultant on embedded development issues. He conducts seminars on embedded systems and helps companies with their embedded challenges, and works as an expert witness on embedded issues. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His website is www.ganssle.com.