Legislation 0.5, in Beta

What better way to start the year than with a good old rant? I have been looking at Diaspora, the Facebook replacement for those with a conscience and those who have to be just a little bit different from everyone else. Early reports seem to be that it requires a lot of work, but feedback seems positive. This got me thinking about one of my pet peeves. Everything in technology is beta-tested, from your phone to the games you play on it. Every designer knows that even the smallest change in an interface can bring about large changes in usability, and in how people use the tool.

So why is it that legislators around the world think that where it really matters they will get things right the first time? How many times do we see legislation that looks good on paper, but when implemented it is ignored, circumvented, or even an unmitigated disaster? And this is not even mentioning the painful lack of even the most basic type of evidence-based policy-making.

So this new year I have only one wish. That some day we will award the things that really matter the same level of crowd-sourced scrutiny that we award to games and apps.

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