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Brevity November 21, 2009

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Ramblings, Technology.

Something I came across in a book I was reading:

  • Pythagorean Theorem: 24 words
  • The Lord’s Prayer: 66 words
  • Archimedes’ Principle: 67 words
  • The Ten Commandments: 179 words
  • The Gettysburg Address: 286 words
  • The Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words
  • The US government regulations on the sale of cabbage: 26,911 words

Now, I won’t bother citing the aforementioned book since its author was upfront about the fact that this little gem has probably been making the rounds on the internet for some time, not mention may very well be printed on any variety of t-shirts by now.

Which is true! I haven’t found any such t-shirt and I apparently missed the email (because I do live under a rock), but it turns out that this “cabbage memo” does have quite a bit of history.

Anyway, it got me thinking: wouldn’t it be neat if legislators around the world could devise laws befitting the age of the tweet? Sure, it’ll be nigh impossible to craft a bill around 140 characters (for most laws, the title alone can run for much longer), but it would be cool if legal eagles were to draft laws whose articles/relevant sections did fit in that word limit, and were indeed short overall.

Then promulgate said laws by tweeting them 140 characters at a time.

Wouldn’t that be something?


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