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¶ why I hate law
Ask a mathematician or a computer scientist or someone like that to tell you what's beautiful, and you'll often get descriptions of simple but descriptive and powerful constructs. ex is a beautiful function. the unix file system ideology is a beautiful thing (everything is a file). The logarithmic spiral, the lambda calculus, the game of Go, etc. are all examples of beauty and elegance in our eyes. They embody power in simplicity. It's so easy to understand the basic concepts behind them, but the implications of each are vast.

You see the logarithmic spiral mentioned most often in popular science as the curve describing the nautilus shell and lots of other curves found in nature. The lambda calculus embodies not just computer programming, but computability in its entirety. Go is amazing because of the complexity that can arise in a single game with such simple rules. You hear about computers beating and matching human chess grandmasters and world champions every now and then, but you never hear about computers being able to play go, because it's so much more complicated than chess (and yet so much simpler) that conventional algorithms stand no chance against a good Go player.

Anyway, the point of those paragraphs is to contrast with Law and the Legal system. There is no Beauty in the legal system. You will almost never see generality or simplicity because it just doesn't exist. It's powerful, and extremely descriptive, but the complexity is just staggering. Legislators just pound out rule after rule after rule, enumerating everything in excruciating detail. I'll bet if you got a legislator to write a computer program to display the first 20 even numbers, you'd get a program that looks like this:
print 2
print 4
print 6
print 8
print 10
print 36
print 38
print 40
On the other hand, a mathematician would give you a program that looks like this:
i = 2
repeat 20 times:
     print i
     i = i + 2
Anyway, that's a little extreme, but you get the idea. They both serve the same purpose, but the second way is arguably more beautiful than the first. If you read through tax law or your municipal ordinances, though, you'll never find things like that. It's always item after item hammered out one by one.

And it sucks to read.

I guess you can't really blame the legislators, cause there aren't a whole lot of beautiful (as defined above) ways to describe our current state of society.. there are just so many weird cases that have to be dealt with that would be hard to fit into a general clause. I dunno. Maybe there are. If anything, I guess you could argue for the beauty of the Constitution, but then there are all of those amendments...

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