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Josh Shear – Final Archive

The final archive of the former

CTRL+Z: Biden and Trump in the perspective of bad code

When you’re iterating software and something goes amiss, you have two options: write a patch or roll it back.

If you patch the code, it’s like putting a bandage on a wound. You take something that didn’t do what you intended it to do, and you put something new you hadn’t intended to create on top of it to attempt to nullify it. It might have not have immediate unintended consequences, but three or four iterations down the road, it’s another piece of code that could get in the way.

It’s a piano top, if you will.

But unlike a wound, you have the option to just simply delete the iteration. Roll it back to what came before it, and try writing something new again.

Before the 2020 U.S. presidential election, I noted the parts of my life that were verifiably less safe under President Donald Trump’s watch than they were before. Those will take a long time to correct, if they ever do in my lifetime. I’m no particular fan of Joe Biden — who’s been running for president since 1988 — but this election seemed to be more a referendum on Trump than on Biden.

Biden isn’t a new iteration to improve on Trump, he’s a roll-back. An undo. A CTRL+Z on the keyboard of the American presidency.

People wanted a new direction, and Trump certainly offered something new. If you remember back to 2016, the Democratic Party establishment wanted Hillary Clinton in so badly that they worked to stop Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination, and there were a lot of people who were in the give-me-Bernie-or-give-me-Trump crowd, so give me Trump it was for them.

When you try something new and you don’t like it, you can either put something else new on top of it and see if you get something else you like, or you can pull back to the last thing that was minimally acceptable, even if it’s not exactly desirable.

If you don’t like your pulled pork with whipped cream, you can either take the whipped cream off it, or you can toss some clam sauce on it and hope it gets better.

In this case, we took the whipped cream off. Biden isn’t something new and improved on Trump. He’s the minimally acceptable previous step.

With the exception of the four years during Trump’s presidency, Biden’s been part of the federal government since 1973. He’s been a part of the system that led us to want something different for almost 50 years.

So what’s next? Sometimes your game needs a sequel instead of an iteration, a full overhaul that keeps the storyline moving forward but is different enough to make you want to play it instead of its predecessor.

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