The Bugsworth Letters: 1

The Bugsworth Letters: 1

What if there were a nefarious figure at work behind the scenes, trying to ruin our efforts to write software—an antagonist to our efforts of quelling complexity?

Well, through undisclosed means and methods, we’ve uncovered a series of correspondences, and they seem to unveil just such a figure—Uncle Bugsworth. He wants software to fail. He wants complexity and entropy to win out over simplicity and functioning software. And he’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen.

At least, that’s what we’ve gathered from the letters that we’ve read thus far. See for yourself and make your own judgments.

These are the cordial letters between Bugsworth and his nephew, Mugwort.

(Heavily inspired by CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters)



My Dear Mugwort,

I received word that your patient has begun learning the new JavaScript framework. Well done my nephew. In the past, many of our patients have successfully been taken down by similar maneuvers—that is, trapping them in the gyration of perpetually adopting the newest fad.

Your goal now should be to move them on from this framework before they linger for too long. If they linger, we run the risk that your patient, through long-term system maintenance, tech-support, or production of a new major feature, may unearth complexity-destroying knowledge. It would be best to move them on before any of that nonsense takes place, and soon their current project will grow into an unmanageable legacy system.

In the future, if you have a patient who seems resistant to new fads, I recommend trying to push them in the opposite direction. Make them cling to their comforts and refuse to accept any new improvements. Doing so will be just as detrimental to our enemy.

As you know, I have been in this business for quite some time. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions about how to confuddle your subject. I look forward to our future correspondence.


Your Affectionate Uncle,


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