The P20 Pro blinked itself on the morning after Nyepi, alarm sounding as the Hindu island of Bali reopened at the first new moon in March. I looked over at the planning board on the wall. Unlike the day prior, it was now filled with cards ready to be transitioned to the DONE column. Leaving GH wasn't one.
After a cold shower I quickly threw on some clothes and hopped on my motor to head to work – a small table at coffee shop 30 minutes away. I didn't bother looking at the board again before I left. I knew what I wanted to accomplish today after I finished writing, though it hadn't always been that way.
There was a short detour on the way into Lovina. A foot soldier pointed scooters towards small a gang off the road as cars began reversing course. Now seated with a kopi, listening to cicak croak behind me, I want to explain why I deleted a 10 year-old GitHub account just before Nyepi.
Before I completely stopped using Facebook I was seated at 1871 in Merchandise Mart at River North, Chicago, listening to Twitter leadership give a talk about the direction of the social network around the time Twitter cut unauthenticated API access. They likened their vision of Twitter to that of the “Agora” – a grecian public space where commerce, politics and free speech took place.
But after the public API was locked down, as Twitter tightened its grip over free speech it became clear to me Twitter was not the public forum envisioned. And, much like the Agora itself, Twitter was crumbling as worthy adversaries began to erode their control and pillage their surveillance capital.
Nevertheless, one thing stuck with me from the Twitter talk. It came up during the Q&A when one of the audience members inquired about the contentious 140 character limit some of us knew was rooted in SMS limitations of yore:
Constraint breeds creativity.
I'm paraphrasing, as that's the most concise way to put it. And the day Twitter removed the limitation I knew all creativity had left the building, not much unlike what has happened at GitHub according to That Octocat on the Wall.
Such is the circle of life in big tech. A circle of investor capital and quarterly earnings reports, where ROI and and NPS are considered amongst the most important things to key stakeholders – rarely power users, mind you – who eventually disconnect so completely they don't understand people at all.
And just as I had previously left MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google, so too was it time to leave GitHub in search of a new constraint.
Lately things have been going the way of federated, a step toward layer one protocols. And just as a controversy lead to git itself, the future of GH will invariably be the same. It's up to Gitea and Gogs to replace what is now a set of unbearably sluggish Ruby back-ends and completely transform FOSS development as we establish a suitable GitChain for the future.
Today is the start of 1941 on the Balinese Saka calendar. And this will start my first full year without GitHub. As the Balinese say, adeng adeng.
Adeng adeng, GitHub (constraint). Hello High Tea (creativity).