The Computer Programmers’ $150/hour Racket Is Over

Kids Will No Longer Leave High School or College Making More Than Their Parents

Max Can't Help It!


Hey ChatGPT, draw image computer programmers gone way of the buggy whip.

Where do I begin? There are so many aspects of this story to tell. For now, a quick personal history.

My mother told me to take a typing class when I entered high school in 1976. She said, “if you can type you can always make money.” Thanks Mom! She was right. I earned money typing papers in college and later picked up well-paying temp jobs in NYC.

In the mid 1980s word processors lead to most executives losing their secretaries. It was just as well, women were sick of typing.

By the late 1980s those word processors became all-around computers, doing spreadsheets, databases and desktop publishing. I transitioned from typing to programming, fortunate to have left college just as computers began to reshape the world.

My Plan ‘A’ in high school was to become a Great American Novelist. Today I would have ended up an Uber driver.

Fast forward to 2010. I told my hard-charging middle-child artsy daughter (all three of them are artsy) to learn computer security. That way she could spend most of her time in an office, drawing.

She left college earning more money than I. Way more because she’s immensely talented. When I ask her computer questions she gives me the look I used to give people, “Really, you can’t figure that out yourself?”

Once the kids left the house I went back to doing just enough computer programming to keep my wife and I off the street. I program just enough to write on Medium about how most tech is crap-tech. I write about how we’ve turned technology into a false-god, leaving true science to a marginalized few. I work on YouTube projects. I’m getting off track…

Fudge, I was wrong about AI. AI has killed my gravy train.

No, I haven’t changed my mind that AI only produces more crap to be saved on the cloud. When it comes to art — which I mean in the broad sense, from writing to filmmaking to social media posts —people will always seek the output of their contemporaries.

I’ve always found it a strange phenomena. So many great films were made in the…