Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's All Programming

Programming codifies a process into something that can be executed on a machine.  But this is psychologically no different than codifying any other process into a set of rules for any interpreter, not necessarily mechanical.

The link between programming code and law has been noted in the past: the laws try to leave no room for argument, so they become long, and subject to similar problems as computer code.  Particularly unintended consequences: witness the spate of sexting prosecutions that try to brand teens as sex offenders for a decade for sending nude—or sometimes even just swimsuit—pics to their significant other.

Laws writ small are the ordinary rules of everyday life.  Those Dilbert moments where you receive multiple conflicting rules?  Those are bugs.

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