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gnat (29)

gnat
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Journal of gnat (29)

Friday March 22, 2002
12:50 AM

More on SSSCA

[ #3716 ]
I'm sure you'll see a lot about it, but Dave Winer puts it well. I'm still fuming. The fuckheaded laws in the US are unbelievable!

--nat

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  • Leave it to the $cientologists and the SSSCA to put me in the unforseeable position of agreeing with Dave Winer on something...

    --rjray

    --

    --rjray

  • The laws occur because of these factors:

    • 98% of the population makes statements like: "Oh, computers are so hard! I couldn't possibly understand such complicated things. I can't learn this! Hold my hand and teach me a few tasks I'll never deviate from so I can get work done with my computer!" (It should be noted that 99% of people say the same about their VCRs.)
    • Congress is elected from the general population.
    • Due to public pressure, and industry pressure, the current line in government is: "We've got
    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • I agree with some of that, but I think there's more to it. That is, you put most of the blame on the electorate, whereas I think most of it goes on the part about "industry pressure".

      All laws are passed due to pressure of some kind. Usually that pressure comes from a special interest group. If the law is important, usually you'll have people on both sides give the pros and cons and arguments about it, and the representatives can decide (in theory) based on those. If the law is not so important, it migh
      • Very true. But I still think any congressman who's ever voted for a law "because we need to get tough on computer crime" after ever having made the statement, "Oh, computers are just too complicated for me," ought to be ashamed.

        Actually, I tend to feel that anyone under the age of 70 who's ever made that statement should take it back. In other areas of life, we call that "giving up," and it's not looked upon with respect.

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
        • Ashamed of being ignorant, or ashamed of legislating while being ignorant? Neither is a shamable offense. Most legislators are ignorant about many things, as most people are, as you and I are. They can't not make laws just because they are ignorant; they need to trust various people to give them opinions and facts. And in many cases -- such as this one -- the balance is lopsided.

          As to saying "computers are too complicated," it is not that computers are, but these issues certainly are. You could study
    • Congress is elected from the general population

      Hardly. They're elected from something far worse than even the general population [guardian.co.uk] -- lawyers!

      No law (hah hah!) says that congressmen must be lawyers. But almost all of them are.

      • Yes, and it is our shame. We are expected to believe that only lawyers can understand the law, that legislators are just another form of lawyers, that They are more capable than Us. Bah, I say, Bah! If our law is too complex for the lay man, it is not by initial design, it is because -- surprise! -- the lawyers made it more complex along the way. Congress was supposed to be a place where people of all types could represent their area of the nation. Now it's a place where lawyers can represent the speci
      • On a side note, I've always been of the opinion that programmers would make good lawyers. Anyone with the patience to go through a 10,000 line source listing and examine every effect of every line has just the right mind for the job.

        And with that, I'd like to announce my candidacy for...

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • I'm not sure how serious you are, but I don't think we should send them to prison. I do think we should more readily impeach/recall/remove them, however.
      • Personally, I've always thought that if being elected to any public office carried an automatic death sentence, commuted until the end of any elected offices you gain, people would enter the races and run for offices a little less cavalierly.

        At least the social whores and the power-hungry would think twice. And we'd get riskier types in. ;)

        --

        ------------------------------
        You are what you think.