Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
"Bun is such a sad word, is it not?" -- Watt, "Waiting for Godot"

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.

user:
pass:
register,


                 

Constitution

Compile Constitutions in Programming Language So They're Consistent
  (+4, -2)
(+4, -2)
  [vote for,
against]

Most democracies have largely secular, rational post-enlightenment systems of government that don't rely on gun barrels and arguments from authority to continue operating. However, because of the advance of technology, the laws these governments pass (and the way they can operate) will continue running into situations that their founders couldn't possibly have anticipated.

Currently many of these problems are solved by court rulings, which establish precedents. These precedents accumulate until there are layers upon layers, not all of them consistent. Passed legislation also can take the form of an inconsistent patchwork.

By writing a constitution in a logical programming language that generates new laws and automatically checks for internal conflicts, these inefficiencies and inconsistencies can be avoided. Governments will become much truer to the ideal of being made of laws, and not of men.

ringworldengineer, Apr 19 2008

[1] W3 XML Schema language http://www.w3.org/TR/xmlschema-0/
[Ian Tindale, Apr 20 2008]

[link]






       Interesting idea. But the marvelous thing about laws is that you and I can understand them. If we give up our understanding to a special class of people that can decode the language they're written in, then we're in real trouble.   

       Oh, wait a minute...
DrCurry, Apr 19 2008
  

       Cute+; DrCurry (ha!);
theircompetitor, Apr 20 2008
  

       Heh.
wagster, Apr 20 2008
  

       Bravo, [DrCurry], were you referencing present political or ancient theological? Or maybe also present theological? Bravo in any case.   

       But what I like about the idea, though I believe it is impossible to implement, is that everyone could have a copy and could run through trial circumstances. I doubt there are many that could do this for tax law.   

       PS For a test of your programming ability, let set some initial quantities. Start by defining a human bound by these laws?
MisterQED, Apr 20 2008
  

       When you say "constitution", do you mean a list of parts, ingredients, components, foodstuffs, that comprise or constitute a whole product? Or do you mean the other meaning - one's own constitution, ie, health, feelings, temper, fitness? Either of these are more a match not to a programming language as it stands, but to something more akin to W3 XML Schema language [1], which of course everybody understands with ease.
Ian Tindale, Apr 20 2008
  

       This is rather interesting, if a little magic wibni for right now.   

       One wonders if a 'logically consistent' constitution would prove to be efficient or effectual at governing a society at all, or if there must be some inconsistencies to handle the complexities of life. How well does life 'do' logic, and vice-versa, even at optimal parameters?
RayfordSteele, Apr 20 2008
  

       Every situation cannot be anticipated, but a properly written constitution can be added to as needed.
Voice, Dec 24 2008
  
      
[annotate]
  


 

back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle