Celestial Weasel (celestialweasel) wrote,
Celestial Weasel

The banality of banality

Something that occurs to me which I don't think I have seen mentioned is that I can easily imagine politicians / civil-servants / whoever thinking 'well, we have people retain email headers using the email protocol, surely we can return Twitter using the Twitter protocol and Facebook using the Facebook protocol?'. It seems to me non-obvious that the world doesn't work that way. Indeed, I would suspect this would be someone's 'first order' assumption if they don't understand very much but know slightly more than the 'it's all magic' level.
Certainly, we had (under the old regime) an annual 'work out which parts of our software development are eligible for R & D tax credits' session, and every year I would be struck that the guidelines were written for someone who didn't really know (or care) very much. The list resembled to me what you would get if you asked a pal who was a slightly old and out of touch computer science academic what R & D should be about, 'compilers good, UIs bad' etc., wrote down his/her prejudices and declared that the government guidelines. I never quite got round to working out who I should complain to. I think my boss got someone else to do it most recently, probably fed up with my muttering about it.

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