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Comment: Opt In Mathematics and Functional Programming (Score 1) 418

by Googol (#11966552) Attached to: Major PC Makers Adopt Trusted Computing Schema

The issue here is a deep one. Our current legal paradigm is skewed exclusively towards Imperative programming. The public and judges and most lawyers understand no other. We try to prohibit side-effects that the legal system doesn't want by limits to functions that might compute them. The net result, since side-effects of functions are quite unpredictable, is the only way to enforce undesirable side-effects is to censor the functions in advance. This amounts to pre-censorship rather than the present unsuccessful post-censorship. It also drives attempts at defining, in advance, which functions are off-limits conceptually (by software patents).

This amounts to taking away the right to program an (approximation to) a universal computing device. To the extent this approach succeeds, it will be to the detriment of computational freedom generally.

The line of defense in the long run *must* be the freedom to compute anything. Computation is like thinking. You can't censor it in advance by rules.

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell