By James Cooley - June 21 2008 tags:

The Economist details peoples attitudes to the erosion of hard won civil liberties in Mary Poppins and Magna Carta. They reference a poll that shows broad public support this unfortunate trend and conclude that:

... people are vehement in defence of civil liberty and privacy when considered in the abstract. Confronted with specific situations, their resolve wilts, especially when specific security gains are promised (although administrative benefits can overcome libertarian instincts too).

Oddly enough software engineers spend more time than most dealing with abstract concepts and working around specific edge cases. I wonder how ideas like "fixing bugs is parallizable" could be used improve the democracy release process? Or how Test-first Democracy could help to prevent a nasty regression? An interesting idea "when considered in the abstract".