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May 31, 2008

Code is Mightier than the Political Sword

Code is Mightier than the Sword. Let's compare the code process to the political process.

Politics is Complex

The hot battle between Clinton and Obama has come down to contested delegate counts in Florida and Michigan; and the vote of super delegates. 

The process is engaging - pitting the voice of every voter with the rules set by governments and committees. Yet, the voters or their representatives elect individuals to serve legislative, executive, and judicial roles. Each role has fixed terms. 

For the Democrats, the DNC Committee sets the rules that may impact the selection of the party candidate. If the committee set rules against the interest of the voters, they will suffer the impact at the end of their term.

The process is slow. Voices and words count as individuals attempt to influence committee members and the public. The multi-year process also delivers stability.

Tuesday May Not End Democratic Fight

With just three more Democratic primaries and a rules committee meeting remaining, many expect the long race for the Democratic presidential nomination to end on Tuesday. But will it?

IRC for Democratic Rules Committee Meeting

Fascinating stuff coming up during testimony at Democratic Party Rules and Bylaws Committee today in Washington. 
Coding is Complex and Powerful

Unlike words, coding is more complex, but carries great power.
  • Volunteer committees, like w3.org, set rules. Unlike the legislature, these committees only recommend. Their scope is global, not national or local.
  • Browser and operating system coders act as executive branches. Their interpretation of the rules is only influenced by users choosing their browser over others. Competition is the key for continued innovation.
  • There is no judicial branch to arbitrate disagreements. 
An application coder abides by the soft rules, cross-platform interpretations of rules, and the needs of public constituents. Like representatives elected by the public, coders navigate thousands of rules to define applications like widgets or websites. 

If an individual coder understands all the rules, hacks to overcome limits of browser imposed rules, and makes the right choices, the public rewards them with millions of votes. Without elections and fixed terms, the process is open to any coder and the benefits can be immediate. 

Is Code Mightier than the Sword?

Is it time to change the expression? Has code become mightier than the sword?

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