The piece made me think several different things.
First, he claims that the Systems research community has abandoned the development of operating systems and languages in favour of measuring things about existing systems. Measurement as a “misguided” focus on science, but then he adds:
“By contrast, a new language or OS can make the machine feel different, give excitement, novelty. But today that’s done by a cool Web site or a higher CPU clock rate or some cute little device that should be a computer but isn’t.