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Two now 3 months old O’RLY book puns “Getting ChatGPT to write your code” / “Copying and Pasting from ChatGPT”

Posted by jpluimers on 2023/04/04

Earlier this week I got reminded of the “book” so many people seem to fall for via the Tweet by [Wayback/Archive] turbo (@turboCodr) / Twitter.

The image (and text) is in fact a parody both on ChatGPT and on the Stack Overflow meme it is based on (more on my opinion on both further below).

Back to the book title referred by [Wayback/Archive] turbo on Twitter: “Something something last tech book you’ll ever buy”.:

Deploying untested code at break-neck speeds
Copying and Pasting from ChatGPT
The Practical Developer


I remember having seen it way earlier so I mentioned the very first mentioning of “Copying and Pasting from ChatGPT” I could find in two replies:

  1. [Wayback/Archive] Jeroen Wiert Pluimers on Twitter: “@dnsmichi @kwootman Likely…”
  2. [Wayback/Archive] Jeroen Wiert Pluimers on Twitter: “@dnsmichi @kwootman A textual “Copying and pasting from chatGPT” comment to the original StackOverflow reference was already made on January 12, 2023: …”

That textual response was in fact a response to the much older meme:

Cutting corners to meet arbitrary management deadlines
Copying and Pasting from Stack Overflow
The Practical Developer @ThePracticalDev

as a reply on 2023-01-12 to [Wayback/Archive] Copying and Pasting from Stack Overflow (Essential) : ProgrammerHumor

Copying and pasting from chatGPT

r/ProgrammerHumor - Copying and Pasting from Stack Overflow (Essential)

It appeared around the same time as [Wayback/Archive] I wonder if it wrote the book itself : ProgrammerHumor

Hey, it’s practically the same as hiring an intern!
Getting ChatGPT to write your code
Artie Fishallin-Teligents

r/ProgrammerHumor - I wonder if it wrote the book itself

Somehow, right before april 1st, the first meme became really popular, for instance appearing in:

Google Search cannot yet keep up with them as currently quite a few of the below results are in fact about StackOverflow:

  1. [Wayback/Archive] “essential” “copying and pasting from chatgpt” – Google Search
  2. [Wayback/Archive] “essential” “copying and pasting from chatgpt” – Google Image Search

The first query also returns a few other interesting posts on why you should be careful when using ChatGPT.

In addition it returns a few other good posts of which I will quote from [Wayback/Archive] Why AI in Digital Marketing Won’t Put You Out of a Job | TEAM LEWIS which the first as one of the cons:

  1. Hazy plagiarism lines. Because text generators pull snippets from the entire Internet’s worth of sources, one 600-word AI-written blog post could borrow ideas from dozens of authors. Similarly, AI art generators gain inspiration from hundreds of years of art history. Best practice dictates that creators correctly attribute their sources. But when it’s unclear where the information comes from, originality and accuracy lags. Copying and pasting from ChatGPT is just as unethical as copying and pasting from a human author.

followed by

  • The “it’s-good-enough” trap.
  • Stretching truths, casting doubt.

Stack Overflow meme from 2016

The odd thing is that doing a Google Search by Image on the first image in fact turned back quite a few Stack Overflow meme references.

The earliest I could find was in a Tweet from March 2016: [Wayback/Archive] DEV Community on Twitter: “The last programming book you’ll ever need”

Later it gots used on a lot of blog posts of which a these two are in chronological order:

I like both points made, so lets elaborate a bit more on both ways of copying/pasting code.

My opinions on ChatGPT and Stack Exchange sites like Stack Overflow

I used to be really active on Stack Overflow and am still occasionally contributing to some of the Stack Exchange network sites (which coincidentally are owned by the Dutch Prosus N.V.) for the same reason I stopped being active on Facebook and its groups, usenet groups, most if not all forums, and before that FidoNet echomail forums: egos playing a too important role and the declining feeling of a “common cause”.

Smaller Stack Exchange sites are still cool for me, as they are basically self moderating and the voting mechanisms really work for keeping quality up. This is unlike Experts-Exchange which was the reason for Stack Overflow to get started in the first place..

The drawback of anything published (including the internet and specifically Stack Exchange) is that hardly anybody revisits past content and updates it to the current state of the art.

This brings me back to ChatGPT: it is trained with a corpus of text that is quite unselective on quality. This basically averages out the knowledge that ChatGPT can expose.

By plain copying and pasting from ChatGPT you basically indicate that you have no other means to post average material at best.

Furthermore, since you do not know the source of the text that ChatGPT responds with, you have to check it yourself in a similar way you have to check Google Search results.

This apart from the generic shortcomings of a large language model: it is centered around human language, not programming language.

The minimum you have to do with code you copy from the internet is write adequate test code. Given how difficult even non-novice programmers have to write such test code I wonder how below average programmers will behave here.

Earlier tweets from me on both meme targets


  1. [Wayback/Archive] “essential” “copying and pasting from chatgpt” – Google Search
  2. [Wayback/Archive] “essential” “copying and pasting from chatgpt” – Google Image Search
  3. [Wayback/Archive] Google Search by Image (based on the “copy paste from chatgpt image”)
  4. [Wayback/Archive] copy paste from stack overflow – Google Image Search by image (which Google automatically deducted from the “copy paste from chatgpt” book text)
  5. [Wayback/Archive] from:@jpluimers chatgpt – Twitter Search / Twitter


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