Of software and fish

Hal Goldfarb codewell at
Thu Dec 5 01:17:55 CST 2002

> > there so far.  Every other area of engineering has testing, licensing and
> > regulation.  Architecture (AIA), Accounting (AICPA), Medicine (AMA), Law
> > (ABA), and so on, all have an examination and licensing process.   Some
> > fields even have continuing education and retesting requirements as well.
> Yet they still suffer from the presence of completely unqualified
> professionals that are fully licensed to practice.  If you have never
> experienced this then you lead a charmed life or I lead a cursed one (which
> is probably more likely!)

OK, here is maybe a better example.

So you go to the brain surgeon to have a tumor removed, and as you are 
passing out from the anasthetic, the last thing you remember seeing as your 
eyes blur and you lose conscience is your doctor standing over you reviewing 
the book "Brain Surgery for Complete Idiots".  When you wake up, you feel 
much better, but you can't remember who you are, where you live, or what you 
do for a living.  All you can remember is testifying at something called a 
"trial" (and guess who was also at the trial, sitting next to the defense 

Or something like that.  Now, imagine that the US is attacked by hackers who 
bring down the entire internet, including all of the porn sites.  The US 
economy comes to a complete halt as our great minds in Washington DC figure 
out what to do.   After a blue ribbon senate committee, Americans Concerned 
about Hubcaps, the United Anarchists LLC, People Against Hamburgers, and 
every other special interest group in the country have thoroughly dissected 
the incident, and $3.6 trillion dollars later, it is determined that it was 
just another couple of 8 year olds who figured out one more way to exploit 
.NET version 7 technology (they wrote their kiddie script in MS 
VisualBasic++).  All of the states file lawsuits against Microsoft for 
writing insecure software, and of course, the United States government, who 
defends Microsoft, saying that a decision against them would be bad for what 
is then left of the economy (assume Microsoft is one of the last 7 
corporations left in the country during the 2nd Great Depression of the 
2010's.   There are only 38 people left employed and every else's 
unemployment benefits ran out long ago, or they are dead. But those still 
employed inspire those looking for jobs, admonishing them not to sit around 
feeling sorry for themselves, suggesting they take $1.50/hr jobs and work 
their way up, and provide other useful information and free job search 
sites.).  Luckily, President Ashcroft makes a moving speech in a time of 
crisis and the public forgets the whole thing 6 weeks later.

So my point is this:   Uh, my point.  What ... is my point?   Er, I forgot.  
I was going somewhere with this, then I lost it.

I'll try again later after I sleep a bit.  If anyone, friend or foe, can 
figure this out, I'd greatly appreciate it.   Thanks.

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