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July 12, 2020

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(int math is about 2x faster, however)

To tie combinatorics and computing back to edumacation, one of the least pleasant tasks I had to do over and over while I was on the state legislature's budget staff was explain combinatorics and regression testing of the software that did public assistance benefits calculations every time they changed the benefit levels or qualifications. "It's not that the single change is complicated, Senator, but there are thousands of combinations of that service with other services and the software has to be checked to make sure all of the combinations are handled correctly. So we need to appropriate a considerable pile of money." It would have been nice if some sort of software background were a requirement to serve in the legislature.

I met state budget analysts who wanted state government to be smaller, and analysts who wanted it to be bigger, but every single one I ever met wanted state government to be simpler.

It would have been nice if some sort of software background were a requirement to serve in the legislature.

Let's face it, it would be nice if some sort of background in lots of the stuff they legislate about were required. Although, if they weren't allowed to rant about stuff they know nothing about, politicians would be severely handicapped.

But wait! California has a solution! If you put nice tight term limits on your legislature, you end up with most of your laws written by lobbyists (who have the advantage of being around long enough to learn how things in government work). And the politicians can stick to their core competencies: crowd-pleasing and soliciting donations.

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