Software v. law
: Following my riff the other day on how society will change as former programmers take over the roles now filled by former lawyers (see also Rick Klau’s better take), Clay Shirky pointed me to James Grimmelmann’s riff on the essential morality of law v. software (which follows on Lawrence Lessig’s thesis that code is law). I think this is looking at things through the wrong side of the prism: What’s more interesting to me than laws or software is the people in front of and behind them: What do each say about their creators; how do each affect society? Still, Grimmelmann’s essay is a provocative read and I like this thread of conversation — a culture of lawyers v. a culture of programmers — and hope it keeps going.
: UPDATE: Tomas Kohl respectfully disagrees about a programmers’ utopia:
Programmers are chaotic. They constantly challenge the causal nature of programming languages and combat the impossible. They know that problems can be fixed only temporarily as they tend to resurface later and in greater numbers. When they make a mistake, they rarely admit it, and concentrate on shifting blame on Microsoft instead – remember that the word flamewar is synonymous with programming newsgroups (must have been invented there, actually). They do live in details, love details, and rarely see the big picture. They abhor transparency (of their code) as it makes them vulnerable (no one can fix it but them), and their cubicles, though theoretically open, are bastions, fortresses, bunkers; don’t ever ask them about anything, use ICQ and pray that you’ll be answered.