Elegance

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Aliasi Stonebender
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Elegance

Post by Aliasi Stonebender »

One of the criticisms of the "simplicity" philosophy is that detailed, precise rules are preferable to vague ones.

I feel this is an inaccurate criticism. To explain why, I'd like to borrow a meaning from the Jargon File: "Elegance".

In computer programming (and engineering in general), an elegant piece of code is one that combines simplicity, grace, and power; characterized by lack of the gratuitous. To quote C.A.R. Hoare: "There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. And the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies."

Are the laws of a Second Life land co-operative/virtual township the same as a computer program? Hardly, but a similar principle applies. The goal of the Simplicity Party should not be merely to make all of our laws simple in form, but to make them simple and [i:21g2qdpm]effective[/i:21g2qdpm].

This is not an easy task. It is much easier, in both law and engineering of all sorts, to throw together something mediocre that limps along well enough. However, designing for elegance is more effective in the long run. At every turn, when proposing or examining a bill, the questions, "is this necessary? is this needed?" should be asked.

Thus, our purpose should be [i:21g2qdpm]elegant[/i:21g2qdpm] simplicity; I feel we could call ourselves "The Elegance Party" just as well, save that sounds more pretentious. ;)

This is a failure - not just of recent laws such as the Judiciary Act, but of much of the CDS' laws throughout its history. I can even admit to contributing to the problem, though in my defense I was trying to hack in some maintence to a body of law not designed for the facts of the matter (the various amendments to transform the constitution for the Anzere-based town of Neualtenburg into the constiution for the private sim of Neualtenburg) and a total constitutional revision was not considered an option.

I'd like to discuss this in more detail here and on the 27th.
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Diderot Mirabeau
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Re: Elegance

Post by Diderot Mirabeau »

Well put! I agree entirely and I think this philosophy is to a large degree already embedded in our founding philosophy. Let me quote a few examples:

[quote="Draft Manifesto":3ai9kxfi]Simplicity in a democratic government is a Good Thing to the extent that it :-

1) Levels the playing field, enhances transparency and democratic accountability and lowers the barriers to participation,

2) Reduces the amount of time and other resources that need to be spent carrying out government functions so that our citizens and their resources can get on with pursuing the wortwhile activities that they would like to bring to the CDS experience,

[b:3ai9kxfi].. without overly impeding the realisation of other important values of our society. [/b:3ai9kxfi]
[/quote:3ai9kxfi]
One will also note that in our draft principles for RA governance the simple approach is mentioned on a par with other principles and presented with the emphasis of achieving something that works:
[quote="Draft principles for RA governance":3ai9kxfi]1) Always try the simple approach first
2) Agree on a unifying vision for the community
3) Legislative Timetable
4) Standing commissions to do detailed work[/quote:3ai9kxfi]
Furthermore if one looks at the proposed interpretation of simplicity when it concerns the governmental interface to commercial activity, one will notice it to be phrased as follows:
[quote="Draft manifesto":3ai9kxfi]We should strive to create an environment where the government creates a simple interface to potentially complicated arrangements so that our creative entrepreneurs may devote all their resources in pursuit of development without having to worry about the bureaucracy involved in raising investment capital, managing sub-contractors or handling customer relations.[/quote:3ai9kxfi]
Thus simple does not equate to ineffective, unrealistic or destructive. It is on the contrary an extremely important way of achieving transparency and allowing people to spend time on unfolding their own particular vision of what the CDS community means to them rather than having to spend hours on wading through endless bills and administrative documents to achieve a simple aim.
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