No more monolithic law (or kernels?)

Okay, I won’t get into the linux kernel argument, but I will say that it’s time we moved away from monolithic laws and bills. It worked well in 1776 because they spent a lot of time and read the thing. The Constitution was such an important document.

They had tried and failed with the Articles of Confederation and wanted to get it right. In a lot of ways the creation of the Constitution mirrored the development of the kernel. After awhile the kernel took on collaborative creation and eventually became solidified. It’s bloated if you leave everything turned on, but no one needs everything and most distro stock kernels are solid.

Back to the law. Today most laws passed by Congress are mammoths. They are jambalaya. A bit of law, a bit of appropriation for necessary things, a lot of these stupid riders. We need to, as a nation, move away from single laws that do all these things at once. The immigration bill discussed during the Republican Primary debate is a perfect example.

They have a 400 page bill that covers everything and has to be debated on its merits as a whole. That’s like someone giving you a piece of proprietary software and saying “take it or leave it.” It’s bull-headed and backwards. Instead, I’m sure you’d prefer to get a piece at a time like I would, and evaluate that piece. Try it with a fence. Try it with amnesty or not, with ID cards and a database or not. See what it can do and what it can’t do.

If they would put the various pieces into independent bills and debate the merits one at a time and decide “Yes we need some kind of guest worker program, yes we need to have a process toward citizenship,” and so on, we could get a law that actually does the job.

Until then we’re stuck with a bunch of numskulls whining about the legislation not being perfect.