Subject: Re: What's ANSI Up To?
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 21:50:54 -0500
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>
[Possibly heading slightly OT... Maybe.]

Kent M Pitman  <> wrote:
| The slowness of the present system, for all its flaws, is the
| actual protection itself ...  A great deal of the problems of
| the world these days are caused by things running faster than
| can be easily controlled, adapated to, responded to, etc. by
| individuals, such that the process takes on a life of its own.
| And the safeguards on time have a considerable good side in
| maintaining the stability which supports desired exploration...
| It's probably hard to see this as symbiotic but I think it is, and
| its worse enemy is people demanding "raw efficiency of the system".)

In Frank Herbert's science-fiction novels "Whipping Star" and "The
Dosadi Experiment" [and a few other short stories as well] containing the
character "Jorj X. McKie" <>,
he postulates that when [future?] government got *way* "too efficient"
that there arose a popular movement to throw sand in the works:
    Red tape no longer exists: laws are conceived of, passed, funded,
    and executed within hours, rather than months. The bureaucratic
    machinery becomes a juggernaut, rolling over human concerns and
    welfare with terrible speed...
    BuSab began as a terrorist organization whose sole purpose was to
    frustrate the workings of government in order to give sentients
    a chance to reflect upon changes and deal with them. Having saved
    sentiency from its government, BuSab was officially recognized as
    a necessary check on the power of government. It provides a natural
    (and lucrative) outlet for society's regular crop of troublemakers,
    who must be countered by society's regular crop of "do-gooders".

    First a corps, then a bureau, BuSab gained legally recognized
    powers to interfere in the workings of any world, of any species,
    of any government or corporation, answerable only to themselves.
    Their motto is, "In Lieu of Red Tape."

It sometimes seems that the open-source software movement [in the
larger sense] has been making some of the same mistakes that led to the
[fictional] arising of BuSab: changing things for the sake of change
and "because it's cool" -- the sardonic and self-deprecating expression
for which, often used in comments at <>,
being "Oooh! Shiny!! I wants it!!! -- and without any apparent concerns
for backwards compatibility or not breaking things that work.


Rob Warnock			<>
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