Soren Harward on 6 Nov 2015 12:09:15 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Why = history (was Re: ...PLUG Central - "OpenVPN" by Keith C. Perry (7pm at USP))

On Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 12:33 PM, JP Vossen <> wrote:
> I've always wanted to know "why" partly because I'm just curious
> and partly because it helps me understand and remember.  I find that is
> especially true in the Unix/Linux world, which has such a neat history
> and does have solid reasons for almost all of the stuff that looks odd
> today.  (I suspect the same for medicine and law, but can't prove it.)

Speaking as someone who works in both those fields (biomedical
patents), you're mostly on the right track, though the "neat" (as in
"clean" or "tidy") and "solid reasons" (as in "well-founded" and
"logical") are totally, fascinatingly wrong.  Laws make a lot more
sense if you think of them as source code for how a
country/state/organization/whatever is supposed to function.  So
working in a legal field is like trying to work on a code base that
was started 300+ years ago and is written in the irregular, ambiguous,
and ever-changing natural language of English; where everyone uses
their own in-house compiler; and where you have tens of thousands of
project managers writing their own design documents and then trying to
get them implemented by yelling at each other.  It's no wonder the
whole thing is full of bugs, exploits, dead code, half-implemented
features, and cruft nobody's looked at in over a century.

Soren Harward
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