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Re: [dvd-discuss] The Touretsky and Shamos debate at CMU.
On Friday 30 November 2001 23:38, you wrote:
> Scott A Crosby wrote:
> >What Shamos claims is that it is wrong to distribute things with
> >functional aspects. Shamos says that instead, one should just make sure to
> >distribute it as something that DOESN"T have functional aspects.
> In my declaration, I argue that oftentimes, code is a useful form of
> communication precisely because it is functional: it is useful because
> it is precise & unambiguous, and it is precise & unambiguous because of
> its functional nature. (Computer tolerate no ambiguity, so writing in
> code is an effective way to avoid ambiguity.)
You have it backwards: it is functional because it is clear and
unambiguous. The only obstacle to computer use of natural
language is that natural languages tend to be imprecise and
ambiguous; add precision and remove ambiguity and natural-
language computing becomes straightforward.
Therefore, under the Court's reasoning, clear and unambiguous
natural language is also "functional" and therefore bereft of
First Amendment protection . This becomes a *reductio*
*ad* *absurdem* exercise when you realize that one of the
goals of the Law is to be clear and unambiguous.
 I realize that the Court made some gestures in the general
direction of the 1A. However, since they didn't bother to conduct
the O'Brien analysis, their reasoning in effect amounts to a
determination that no First Amendment issues are raised by any
| I'm old enough that I don't have to pretend to be grown up.|
+----------- D. C. Sessions <firstname.lastname@example.org> ----------+