Brexecution and spaghetti code

Brexecution reminds me of the huge code spaghetti of some software programs and operating systems. Management (in this case the voters) demands a profound rewrite of the existing code to write out all the (integral) EU stuff and replace it all with new code that needs to work with new interfaces, new data, new partners and new customers. Programmers (the politicians and public administrators) meet to discuss the changes but not a single one of them is capable enough of overseeing all cascading consequences. They all see what needs to be done on many levels, but only from a theoretical perspective. There’s really no executive understanding on their level of what needs to be done.

Management doesn’t understand code, they can’t see the problem and want it all done within a certain time frame and if there are problems, maybe it’s because the programmers aren’t good enough or maybe they need external consultants or offshore developers. Or maybe the programmers are obdurate and have a secret agenda.

The problem is that no single human being or group is capable enough to see how to get from the status quo to the intended status. So there is no guidance and there is no plan.

The advantage that a software company has is that it can test. It can set up a virtual UK, make changes to the code, and examine the consequences of changes. It can delay implementation and even rewrite much or all of the program. Much of this happened at Microsoft in the period between Windows XP and Windows 7. The UK doesn’t have this luxury, it cannot test and even if there are interim agreements possible, their implementation and roadmaps are equally nontrivial.

Unfortunately this is what many warned would happen. Now some will claim that the government has a secret agenda and so what’s needed is a new government that can execute Brexit in disregard of the consequences. But even if a party like the UKIP were to form such a government, they will lack the ability.

So the most likely outcome by far is no Brexit. Maybe in a few years time a legal artificial intelligence will be expert enough to write a Brexit plan but no human being will be able to audit it. Still, such a plan will look a lot like code.