Sometimes You Just Want To Toss Your Computer In A Dumpster

Image of man tossing computer into dumpster, from Parks & Recreation

Technology is great until it stops working, and you have no idea why.

After Twitter "open-sourced" part of its source code, I learned why my art profile ( had been only getting a couple of hundred impressions per post when I had 5,700 followers but, a year ago, was seeing 3000 impressions on average.

This has happened for nine months, and I never knew why until now. If you follow more than 60% of your followers beyond 500, your Mass is severely reduced, and Twitter reduces showing your tweets even to your followers. So clearly, the solution is to remove a large portion of those I follow to a separate Twitter account, necessitating using the Twitter API since you can only remove one at a time in the UI.

Sounds easy. First, pony up $100. Now use the Twitter API in Postman to fetch all the follows. Again, easy. Now to test the Delete Follows method, which requires setting up an app in Twitter Developer and setting up the call to generate a new token in Postman, which should be easy.

Well, nope.

Despite having all the correct entries, when I try to fetch a token, Twitter responds more-or-less correctly, but either it never calls the Oauth 2.0 Callback URL, or Postman isn't handling it. Of course, there is no way of knowing what is happening. Despite trying multiple browsers, it never works.

A whole morning wasted.

While swearing to give up computing, I see a problem with the web app that tracks my stocks. For example, a stock that just paid a dividend suddenly shows all previous values reduced by 25%, but all new data is correct. The old data is incorrect, so it should be easy to report.

Nope, again.

The support ticket sends a request and never comes back, and you can't even cancel it, and the company (I pay for the service) has no other contact method. So I tried another browser, and the same thing happened, although the second time, it worked. So was it Safari, or were their servers slow, or am I cursed somehow? Again, no way to know.

I was using a web app recently, and the UI buttons did not work. I checked the developer console and saw a Javascript file loaded from their servers returned a 404 and thus was never executed.

The Citibank website used to work for me just fine; I could log in on Safari. Then they completely replaced the UI, and suddenly I could not log in without it complaining my browser version was not supported. The supposedly helpful link offered to explain why it went nowhere. A bank login page that doesn't work is a pretty bad problem, but they have no web support link, so I emailed the CEO, noting I am using Safari on the most recent MacOS version (with version number), which got me an answer from their Exec Response team saying that my Safari version was too old. I responded by explaining in great detail exactly what I had and that it was the most recent of everything. Eventually, they admitted something was wrong. Months go by, and I still have to use another browser. I looked at their Javascript, and it's like 100,000+ lines long, and clearly, no one knows what it does.

Technology is great, and I've seen it grow since the early 80s when everything was so primitive. But with so much complexity in everything today, keeping things working keeps getting harder and harder. Even worse, when things go wrong, you might have no idea why, which is frustrating. Posting questions in forums often gets you no response, or looking up similar issues becomes an exercise in reading old comments that no longer apply or never answered questions.

Twitter has rapidly changed its policies lately, and often their documentation is way out of date since I imagine all the documentation team left. Support from Twitter likewise is non-existent. All I need is a token, and I can move the world (or at least fix my follower issue)!

Where's that dumpster already?