Newly Accessibly “Geek Chic”

There comes a point in every coders life where a well-meaning grandma, roommate, or neighbor gifts them a piece of outrageous computer science merch because they think its “just so you!” For my cousin, that blessing will come in the form of an upcoming graduation gift from me.

I’m aware of the usual missteps – I got a mug scrawled with binary gibberish for birthday present some years ago and have found many a t-shirt printed with algorithms solving for non-existent variables on online stores. So, for my cousin, I thought I’d at least lean into it.

I found a shirt online, because who doesn’t wish for a slightly-too-large black T to celebrate their major life milestone? Printed on the front is a large block of code, minimally formatted and squared off at the edges. It looked more like a passage from a book than code, and I was at a loss for its general meaning.

Uniqlo PEACE FOR ALL Short-Sleeve Graphic T-Shirt

Luckily, GPT-4 is able to both describe code and understand images, so I used this as an opportunity to test out its abilities. Along with the above image, I asked “In a couple sentences, what does the code on this shirt intend to do?”

ChatGPT responded: “The code establishes a simple HTTP server in Go. It allows an admin to send control messages via the `/admin` endpoint to manage a worker’s state, while the `/status` endpoint provides the current active status of the worker. The server employs channels and goroutines for concurrency, handling parallel tasks and ensuring real-time communication between different parts of the application.”

Now, to me, that sounded a bit plain. I wondered if there might be a reason someone would print startup commands on a shirt, and figured that, if anyone knew, it would be ChatGPT. When I asked, “Why might that code be printed on a shirt? Is it fun in any way?” Chat responded with, “From the provided snippet, the code appears to be a straightforward representation of a basic HTTP server setup in Go. There’s no immediately obvious humor or quirk in the code itself, but its appeal might come from one of the reasons mentioned above.”

A straightforward representation of a basic HTTP server? No immediate obvious humor or quirk? Sounds perfect for a kitschy gift for my future software-engineer cousin. Here’s hoping she likes it! (There are no returns.)

Annika McTamaney

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