Re: Singularity: can't happen here

From: Chuck Kuecker (
Date: Sun Sep 09 2001 - 07:07:00 MDT

I have been lurking on this thread, and here's my $0.02.

First, it's bad law. Any law proposed by Congress is bad law until proven
otherwise. We should fight it vigorously.

Unfortunately, this law will pass, because not enough people will care or
realize the implications. What then?

They are NOT going to start licensing compilers. The manpower needed to
police that would bankrupt the government. They are going to make a few
high profile arrests and try to cow the independent developers.

They are NOT going to require licenses on software engineers. Industry
would squeal loudly, and THEY have the lobbying power to succeed in their
protest. This will be just like the visas fro foreign born engineers thing
a few years back - US engineers were almost unanimous in opposition to more
visas being issued, but the corporations wanted the cheap workers, so
Congress obliged.

There might be moves to license hardware, as has been mentioned, and
outfits like Intel will be very happy to see the limits on competition.
Since none of us have the resources to build our own processors, we will
have to learn to work around this. Buy up as much state of the art hardware
NOW if you are concerned. Parallel or clustered Pentium 4's might be a
formidable tool against oppression some day.

It's just another baby step toward the eventual police state. Why does this
whole subject make me think of how they are trying to control "g*ns"? Black
markets exist for just this reason.

Chuck Kuecker, independent software developer

At 01:24 PM 9/9/01 +0100, you wrote:

>I just did something I never expected to have to do ...
>Back in my youth, I made a career error and ended up qualifying as a
>pharmacist. It took me a couple of years thereafter to realise how bad a
>mistake this was for me, go back into academia, get a degree in something
>I was _interested_ in (computer science), and start a new career.
>I've just sent a preliminary enquiry to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society,
>asking about regulatory and educational requirements I'd need to meet
>to go back into the profession. (I've got the Pharmacy degree and the
>sheepskin to prove I'm allowed to deal in heroin and cocaine in the
>course of my lawful business, but I've been out of it for a decade and
>times have changed.)
>My reason?
>I detested being a pharmacist. It damn near gave me a nervous breakdown
>before I realised that I had the option of jacking it in and doing
>something else instead. But if this law ends up going through, it's
>liable to kill my preferred profession stone dead. I need to be able
>to earn a living, and counting pills is better paid than secretarial work.
>Lest you think I'm exaggerating, consider that the implications of the
>SSSCA bill would make it an offense to use a compiler or development
>tools that _could_ circumvent a protection device. Can you spell "licensed
>software engineer"? With random spot inspections to ensure that you're
>not using any uncertified, dangerous, free software tools?
>This bill can't be allowed to go through and spread world-wide: it would
>be a catastrophe.
>-- Charlie

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