Sync Driven Development - When your data state is guaranteed to be shit a non-zero amount of time

Thu Dec 10 20

There are many times in life when we find ourselves in a bad state. Those times during a long night's bucks night for a guy you barely know, at a house party that was so out of the way Google Maps got lost. A couple of druggies doing God-knows-what in the back while the amateur DJ spins a beat from the 70s in reverse at 10k decibels. You hate the music, the only available couch is covered in dog vomit and you're vaguely aware that the food you ate might have been tainted so you're worried about taking a drug test on the way home by a bored policeman. Just when you think 'this can't get any worse' a fight breaks out between the gate-crashers and the owners, you get named 'Designated Dave' despite losing your car keys and that emo song you hate gets put on repeat.

Just as the night gets darkest before the sunrise, so too does your ever-increasing torment have an end. Imagine if you will that just as a broken glass is flying at your head nearing the end of the night from hell that it freezes in mid-air, a shard mere millimeters from your precious eyeball. All the hollywood ease-out animation effects in full force with a quick helicopter camera shot and a thrumming base note to indicate how perilously close you were to losing an eye in a meaningless altercation with a guy named "Frank". What happened you might ask? You were synced.

A sync job is an indication that at any point in time your data corrupted when compared to a better version of it. So somewhere else in our "Bad night out" there exists a person who is having a great time. Surrounded by good friends, listening to classic jams that nostalgically remind him of childhood and impressing a member of the opposite sex with witty barbs. This person exists in a mirror-reality where everything has gone great, there's no stress and no indication that this night could ever turn sour.

What does the sync job do? Depending on its implementation it can either teleport you out of the bad data state so that you're experiencing the good night, or it can immediately sober you up and teach you kung-fu so that you can fight your way out of wherever the hell you are. Either way, you'll have no idea or inclination that you've been 'synced' and so from your point of view the situation magically and immediately change and you responded unflinchingly. If anybody observed you in the bad data state they would be bamboozled by the sudden turn around. Someone who only observed the bad state would walk away thinking "Wow that guy's dead", and someone who only observed the good state would think "Huh, impressive"

While this might make for interesting cinema, further inspection reveals the rhetorical question, "Why did God program the world to even allow the bad state in the first place?" What if there was no bad state? What if the data was just always correct so that you didn't change your opinion on the observable correctness of what was going on? Adding into this that every time the universe syncs the bad state with the good state the planet has to spin 0.001% slower for a few seconds because of increased resource usage. Does God have to increase the scaleability of the universe for every fifteen second cron job he puts on it?

If you were God, is this how you would program the universe?