In a bid to avoid the inevitable moral hazard of privatizing Social Security the U.S. government will most likely turn the U.S. into a managed economy where corporate success will be more about pleasing Congress than succeeding in the market. My, but aren't I cheery?
[6/20/2005 – The Christian Science Monitor had an interesting editorial that gives a real world example of how special interest groups are currently gaming the government's internal pension system in exactly the manner I describe below.]
When designing a protocol or programming language the inclusion of extensibility is essentially an act of humility. One is minimally admitting that one's design is not complete and more generally one is admitting that one's design is not perfect. By providing for extensibility one is enabling others to improve and in many cases fix one's design.
Unfortunately it's easy to get extensibility design wrong. Typically such design errors result from assuming oneself or others to be perfect and in that assumption one fails to provide for sufficient extensibility. A rather subtle example of this problem recently came up in the Web Services – Business Process Execution Language Technical Committee (WS-BPEL TC).
A few days ago I noticed some comment spam and wondered how it managed to get on my website without my e-mail notification system letting me know. Sure enough, it turns out that sometime last December my perl Mail::Sendmail hack stopped working. So I have missed a bunch of comments. I apologize to those folks who were kind enough to comment. I've gone through the comments and put in responses. I'll have to keep checking things manually until my ISP lets me know what the problem is.